ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — St. Martinville Mayor Melinda Mitchell says Governor John Bel Edwards’ stay at home order has made a big impact on the amount of revenue the city is bringing in.
“It’s just something that has unfortunately caught us all by surprise,” Mayor Mitchell said.
To keep the city running, the city council voted to lay off 27 employees and furlough two others Tuesday. Mayor Mitchell says, however, it won’t be permanent.
“We just don’t know how long this thing will go on, so hopefully when businesses start running, hopefully we’ll get more tax dollars, our tax revenues, and we can go ahead and employ the same employees. That’s the goal,” she said.
Most of the employees who were laid off were part-time employees, but departments across the city saw those cuts including the police department.
Staff employed at the museum, city parks and swimming pool were taken off the pay roll altogether for the moment.
When the city’s audit came out in February, financial officers said if St. Martinville’s revenues stopped, the city had the money to run for two and a half months.
Now that the city’s revenues have greatly declined, Mayor Mitchell says those numbers aren’t looking good.
“That’s why we took those extra precautions because it’s going into the second month,” she said.
She says what’s keeping the city afloat right now is the money being earned from the city’s utility department.
As for the future of St. Martinville, Mayor Mitchell says she’s hopeful.
She added, “We’re hoping we can get back to the basics, back to positive movement in the city. We don’t know. There’s no definite answer. All we can do is just pray and hope that things start to move forward and work better for our city.”