- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WELSH, La. (AP) - Welsh officials have agreed to cut their current budget from $2.2 million to $1.8 million to help offset a more than $300,000 budget shortfall.

The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb ) the town council amended the budget Tuesday by trimming $484,955 in expenses and cutting $418,094 in income to help close the budget gap.

“We went line by line on the budget and cut everything we could,” Mayor Carolyn Louviere said.

Officials hope the budget cuts will help the town continue to operate until the new fiscal year and a new budget begin on June 1.

“All the department heads are working very hard and have worked together to do this and are making sure all the services are taken care of,” Louviere said. “We are just cutting and tightening our belts.”

Among the cuts, officials will no longer attend conferences. Some positions, including the town superintendent, are not being filled when employees leave, saving the town on salaries and benefits.

The police department is expected to save nearly $60,000 by not immediately replacing employees who resign, including the assistant police chief, who is expected to leave for another job but has not resigned yet. An evidence custodian position is also being vacated and will not be replaced.

Police Chief Marcus Crochet hopes to combine the two positions in the future.

The town has implemented a better check-and-balance system for purchase orders to avoid frivolous spending, Louviere said. All purchase order books are now kept at City Hall, and all purchases are signed off by the mayor.

“We are taking care of things that have to be taken care of because it is important that we keep all the services going,” she said.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com