St. John Housing Authority finally OKs budget

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2012



LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Monday approved the agency’s operating budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, 2011.

Housing Authority accountant Sherilyn O’Neal, offered a breakdown to the commissioners during the meeting in LaPlace. The budget includes about $1.62 million in total operating expenses and $1.65 million in revenue, including contributions from the Office of Housing and Urban Development.

“The figures give us a positive amount of $27,280 if all goes well,” O’Neal said. “It isn’t a large positive, but it is something to grow on.”

O’Neal said total operating income from rental fees and other investments is about $403,000. She said HUD offers an annual contribution of about $1.25 million.

She said the bulk of the agency’s expenses come from utility fees, which come o about $601,000 for the year.

“Much of that expense is the water bill, which is more than $479,000,” O’Neal said. “We are working to bring that number down as we correct issues with the water system.”

Administrative expenses, including salaries, legal expenses, training and travel, come to about $352,000. O’Neal said maintenance expenses were more than $264,000.

O’Neal said the agency is still working on a more comprehensive budget for the Section 8 housing program, which has lacked adequate updated information. O’Neal said a general overview budget showed revenues of $728,804 and expenses of $787,241. The program is operating at a deficit of $58,437.

“We are hoping to have more accurate info on Section 8 by the end of the year,” O’Neal said. “We only had a few months to go on because record keeping had been so lax.”