The budget council meeting saw a bit of a vocal stir up and back and forth between the public and the council when issues came up regarding salaries.
“The misinterpretation comes from a person who is not knowledgeable about reading a budget or reading an audit,” says Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine.
The salary issue erupted when some in the audience questioned increases for the mayor and council members.
“Like you just said in the audit report, it broke down those salaries plus the benefits, it don’t have it all together but the budget…it got $80,000 dollars and I don’t think that is fair to the citizens of Ville Platte,” says resident Arthur Sampson.
The mayor took issue with the claims, saying the salaries weren’t increased but that more dollars were going toward expenses for the positions.
“Other types of benefits and expenses that is included in the salary and it might look like that’s the total salary but that’s way far from the total salary,” says Vidrine.
Regardless of the issue, the $17 million dollar budget was passed and Vidrine says the plan on paper is simple.
“We have $4,700,000 there in capital outlay and that’s going to be for park improvements, to purchase vehicles for the fire trucks, sidewalks,” says Vidrine.
Vidrine says the city saved over $440,000 in interest from the year before.