Leesville celebrates second healthy audit in as many years

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

By Emily Burleigh

Leesville Mayor Rick Allen and the Leesville City Council celebrated a perfect and healthy audit report for the 2022-2023 fiscal year at the Leesville City Council meeting on Monday.

Allen said this is the second time in the city’s history that this feat has been achieved. With less than one percent of municipalities in Louisiana comparable to the city fiscally, Leesville is “first in line,” he said.

The city is considered a “low-risk auditee.” The state of Louisiana requires that municipalities have enough money set aside to operate for 60 days. When he first took office, the city only had 12 days of expenses in the bank and were negative $76 thousand. Today, the city of Leesville could remain operational for 391 days without any income.

He said the city is in “great financial shape,” with a net operating surplus of $2,445,906; If grants, capital outlay contribution and American Rescue Plan (ARP) monies are not included, the surplus is $1,842,657.

“I am very good with those numbers.”

In addition to a beefed up savings, the city’s expenditures were nearly $1 million under budget. The total budgeted expenditures was $15,678,000, but only about $14,680,000 was spent.

He said this is because they “spend taxpayer money right.” He expressed gratitude to the Leesville Police Department and Fire Department for watching their budgets and spending taxpayer money “like it’s their own.” The LPD was budgeted $2,937,000 and spent $2,601,000; LFD was budgeted for $1,163,000 and spent $1,100,000.

There was overspending in the Fort Polk Vegetation Control, with the budgeted amount being $2,256,000 and the spent amount being $2,303,000. Allen said this was due to the need to repair and replace equipment.

“As our vegetation control contract rolls on, our equipment gets older and older, that means it requires more and more maintenance, it becomes more and more difficult to track exactly what expenditures are going to be.”