Thanks for choosing news 15 at five... 3 with its inability to pass a budget, the town of washington is facing a state takeover.
News 15's phillip boudreaux is live in the studio.
Phil, how did the town get in this situation?
The louisiana legislative auditor's office says washington is 600 thousands dollars in debt.
Although the mayor and the council were supposed to pass a budget to fund the town and pay debt, they still have not come to an agreement.
I spoke to council woman who shot down the mayor's budget twice.
"as a female on the council, i was literally threatened, harassed, for trying to do what's right and that's get a passable budget for the town of washington."councilwoman mona bob believes a lack of communication between the mayor and council is preventing them from passing a budget.
One of the reasons she voted against it was because it proposed closing the town library."cutting out this service would be disservice to the people that need this service."the legislative auditor's office has been working with the town to pass a budget."based on what we saw over the course of the last few weeks.
They did have a budget that was balanced.
It did allow a certain amount of excess funds about 90 thousand to start paying back that back log."that doesn't erase bob's concerns"we don't have the manpower for the some of the numbers that are in this budget so we have to come back to this budget.
It's up to the administrator, but he's not communicating with us."if the state were to take over, the mayor and council would take a back seat to an appointed fiscal administrator who will be tasked with fixing the town's budget.
"anything that is not a critical vital service for the community.
We are generally talking about utilities, police and fire protection.
Anything outside of that is certainly on the chopping block."bob is optimistic that they can pass a budget before it gets to that point."i think open communication would get a passable budget before the state comes in."
I reached out to mayor jim olivier yesterday and today by phone.
After he didn't respond, i went to the town hall this afternoon where he told me no comment.
Live in the studio, phillip boudreaux.
Washington once generated a huge chunk of its revenue from a notorious speed trap on eye-49.
The town has until the end of the year to pass a budget.