MELVILLE, La. (KLFY) –The Town of Melville is in such dire financial straits it could be taken over by the state.

St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard says the town is in debt well over $300K.

The parish president and the town council met Tuesday to discuss the matter, but tempers quickly flared.

The meeting started with Bellard identifying some of the outstanding debt owed.

“We have a council member that for sure owes money to the town, Miss April,” Bellard said.

“Somebody should have called me so that I would have been able to defend myself and get my paperwork together showing my receipts for my bill and that I don’t owe the town of Melville not one red cent,” April Goudeau said.

Following that tense exchange, Bellard then immediately offered two solutions to the council and the mayor.

“Yall come up with a comprehensive plan and show that yall can bring the town back to fiscal responsibility. Number two, you get a fiscal agent in here. We ought to be taking care of our business better than we are doing and that’s the bottom line.”

Following his statement, the town council voted 3-1 in favor of Donald Ford taking over the town’s finances.

“Almost four years now, I always felt like I was in a position to really influence town decisions and that’s what I’ve been doing in an advisory capacity.”

But, some residents question if that was the right decision.

“How long would it take for you to do this, to get this town back in good shape,” a local resident questioned Ford.

He explained that it would take perhaps two or three years to get things back to normal but despite that fact, he was ready for the task.

“We are going to work hard to get them back in right standing and on good physical footing. We’re going to work hard to do that. That’s all I can promise.”