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Ferriday approves $2.2 million budget

FERRIDAY — The Ferriday Board of Aldermen approved the town’s 2014 budget Tuesday with a projected $2.2 million in revenue and $2 million in expenses.

Though approved, Mayor Gene Allen stressed that the budget can be amended later.

“We just have to get a budget passed by June 30, or else we will get in trouble,” Allen said. “We aren’t in the best financial shape, but we are paying the bills and moving forward.”

The budget projects a $120,793 decrease in revenue and a $47,595 decrease in expenses over the current fiscal year.

Allen said he didn’t have an explanation for the decreases, citing that the budget was simply an estimate by bookkeeper Jeri Sue Tosspon.

The budget projects a total profit margin of $281,405 after expenses.

The budget also lists a $126 raise for Allen.

“I will not take a raise,” Allen said. “I will make sure that my salary stays the same.”

Allen currently makes $40,874, according to the budget.

Before approving the budget, aldermen peppered Allen with questions.

The meeting began with Alderman Elijah Banks accusing Allen of failing to call a budget meeting in time. Banks said the meeting should have been called by June 15.

“Don’t pat your chest and talk about law when you didn’t even pass a budget last year,” Allen said. “All we have to do is pass a budget by June 30. We can pass one tonight if you want.”

Banks also asked why specific department expenses and revenue weren’t listed on the budget, but he declined to help create a line-item budget.

“Our bookkeeper prepared the budget,” Allen said. “She has been doing it since I was in office last time. She knows what she is doing.”

Before the board voted to pass the budget, Alderman Johnnie Brown reminded the board of its duty.

“We aren’t here to criticize,” Brown said. “For the sake of the integrity of the board, I want to make sure that we do this right. That may mean we have to amend it later.”