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Salary, budget problems remain in Port Allen

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 PORT ALLEN - Money talk in Port Allen made circles around the council and mayor, as they work to come to an agreement on drafting an ordinance about salaries.

"So from this point on there won't be any question as to what that is," said councilman Garry Hubble.

The council remained calm Wednesday, despite the tough issues ahead of them. There's still no city budget and Mayor Deedy Slaughter is collecting a paycheck the council hasn't signed off on.

Slaughter is being paid a rate of $84,000 a year when she should be making $65,000, at least until her salary is officially approved.

How the mayor spends money has been a topic of conversation for months. Wednesday, the mayor spoke to cameras about the issues her city faces.

"We want to make sure that the money is there, that the money is available, but again, we have to follow the procedures, follow the guidelines," said Slaughter.

The mayor says it's up to the council to move things forward.

"Once they approve, the budget will be ready. So, it's in their hand," she said.

Port Allen has been using last year's spending plan for the last month and a half. The city is at least a couple of months away from welcoming a new budget.

The budget woes are leading to problems, including no funding for costs associated with a new fire truck, arriving next week.

Chief Richard Boudreaux says he can't afford insurance.

"Again, it all lies in the hands of the council to make that decision, to go ahead and approve that budget," said Slaughter.

The council plans to introduce an ordinance addressing salaries at another meeting next week. The budget won't be addressed for at least another month.


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