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Sulphur council wants better communication from property owners – American Press

Sulphur council wants better communication from property owners

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Communicate, get permits, show up. Some property owners don’t, even when their address is on the agenda. This continues to be a concern expressed at Sulphur City Council meetings. Monday was no exception.

Residents who want to continue living in RVs because of hurricane property damage and/or those who want to stay the condemnation and demolition process should keep in touch with their council representative, the city’s ordinance enforcement officers and show up at council meetings. Generally, council members need answers to make informed decisions.

Council member Joy Abshire requested information from administration about how property owners are being informed about what they need to do. She said she understands repairs and rebuilds don’t happen overnight and might not be obvious via a drive by — it’s been a drawn-out process for her business property — but she is able to document what has been accomplished if asked and would like to have “something definitive from people” that demonstrates progress.

In response to a comment about accessory buildings, the mayor and ordinance officers said there have been instances when these buildings were moved in or built without permits. A permit should be requested from the city to help ensure the accessory building meets general requirements such as setbacks, etc. Permits are not granted to property owners who have open “cases” or are in violation to existing ordinances.

Also at Monday’s meeting, financial statement and audit findings highlights were presented by Steven Derouen. CPA, Steven Derouen & Associates.

At the close of the most recent fiscal year, the City of Sulphur’s assets and deferred outflows of resources exceeded liabilities by $80,772,961. Assets represent $47 million cash, checking account and investments, down $6 million from the prior year, according to Derouen.  $110 million in capital assets includes land, water and sewer systems. That total increased about $4 billion from the previous year, he said. The city added about $15.5 to $16 million in improvements to water and sewer

Liabilities, $74.8 million are down by $32.8 million, normal operating accounts payable, and $18 million in unfunded pension liabilities, a decreased of about 16 million from the prior year and $34 million in accrued liabilities for the health benefits of the retirees that decreased about $10 million from the prior year.

Revenues were at about $50.5 million, Derouen said. That’s a total of fees, fines and charges for services and sales and property taxes and grants. Total sales tax revenues were $23,900,945, an increase of $796,079 over the prior fiscal year.

 

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