GovReporter October 1, 2018
Lake Charles

The fiscal year 2019 Capital Budget of $51.6 million is one of the largest ever proposed by the City of Lake Charles. Revenues of $15.5 million from outside sources provide funding for several large projects and account for most of the increase, which compares to the $32 million budget adopted in fiscal year 2018.

Major improvements to city-wide drainage continues to be a strong commitment of the administration. Drainage projects account for $5.7 million in the fiscal year 2019 budget, an increase from the $5.2 million allocated in the current year budget and $3 million in fiscal year 2017. Specific projects have been identified funds will be used as studies are completed and plans laid out for long term solutions for a comprehensive drainage plan.

Funding for streets, sidewalks, bridges and other road improvements, which totals $17.8 million, includes $8.5 million intergovernmental revenue for the Prien Lake Road Project. Without those additional funds, the amount would be more comparable to the $8.5 million budgeted in fiscal year 2018. Many of these projects are recurring annually such as asphalt overlay, sidewalks, street striping and intersection improvement programs.

The Prien Lake Road project is estimated to cost $21 million and should be under contract within the coming year. The City and Parish plan to equally share the cost of this project.

Although the City has recently completed the Wastewater Treatment Plant rebuild totaling $42 million, many more wastewater system improvement projects have been identified and are funded at $9.8 million in the proposed budget. Annual work includes lift station rebuilds as well as basin and transport line rehabilitation. Specific projects have been identified and many are being funded over multiple years.

Water System improvements total $10.5 million in the proposed budget, with the largest project being the construction of a 6 MGD water plant located in southeast Lake Charles and the distribution lines associated with that plant. Other water projects include improvements to the City’s existing water plants and the extension of water lines to new areas.

Community service projects total $3.2 million for parks, lakefront, Civic Center and golf course. The City is aggressively pursuing development of the lakefront and has reallocated funds from prior years to allow for funding of up to $6.2 million to help support such development. Also included is funding to support the new golf course at MorganField development. As is done each year, funding is allocated to support the City’s recreation facilities and the Civic Center.

The General Government category of $2.4 million includes funds for replacement of a fire truck and technology upgrades. The City has recently created three economic development districts and has provided $300,000 in funds to help support those districts.

An additional $2,217,790 is budgeted in the Capital Project Fund to repay a portion of the debt service requirements of Phase 1 and 2 bond issues. Under the terms of the November 2006 bond referendum, up to 60% of the sales tax revenues dedicated to this fund can be used to repay the funds borrowed. The current debt service payments of $2.2 million represent 29% of the dedicated sales tax funds.

Capital projects are budgeted on a project basis rather than annual basis. Included with this budget is a reauthorization schedule that lists projects that have previously authorized capital projects funding. Funds that have been authorized and unspent are classified as “assigned” on the financial statements and can be reallocated by a vote of the City Council. Details of the capital projects can be found in that section of the budget.

See more information at GovDirections Business Intelligence Reports