City of Lake Charles Fiscal Year End

The City of Lake Charles recently completed its annual financial review of operations for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013 and recorded a $535,584 surplus. While this is good news, this surplus is not entirely the result of increased revenues. It is the result of the following factors:

  • General Fund expenditures and transfers of $59.4 million were $665,000 less than projected.
  • General Fund operating revenues were $58.3 million which is $636,000 more than originally estimated.
  • The City anticipated that revenues would be insufficient to cover expenses and budgeted supplements from two other sources to offset this deficit.  We supplemented the General Fund with $887,000 from the Riverboat Gaming Fund to pay for heavy equipment for the Public Works Department; a similar transfer has been made since FY 2010. 
  • The General Fund also received a refund of health insurance premiums from the Employee Health Insurance Fund in the amount of $750,000.  This transfer to the General Fund has been done for the past two years in an effort to reduce the deficits that have been forecasted.
  • Adding these transfers from other funds into the General Fund resulted in a year end surplus of $535,584. 


As discussed during the City's budget meetings, the City's revenues continue to fall below amounts sufficient to cover its operating expenditures.  The adopted fiscal year 2014 budget included a $2.3 million deficit.  Just as has been done in the past several fiscal years, the City will closely monitor all expenses and, with a possible increase in revenues, end next year in a more favorable manner.  

It should also be kept in mind that future budgets will continue to be a challenge. The City continues to operate at staffing levels below 2010 authorizations. Although all eligible employees receive an annual 2 percent longevity pay increase, the City's public safety employees have not received a cost of living raise since 2009; all other employees have not had a cost of living increase since 2008.  Of particular concern are the City's pay scales that are below that of other employers in the area.  This recruitment and retention problem will only get worse as the economic boom moves into the area.   Although the City tends to focus on the payroll issues, there are other areas, such as equipment and infrastructure needs that are not currently being adequately funded.    

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The City of Lake Charles fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities.   For more information, or to obtain a Title VI Complaint Form, see the City of Lake Charles website-  or call the Mayor's Action Line at (337) 491-1346, or contact the appropriate Department Head, or call the Title VI coordinator at (337) 491-1440.