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While Clayton officials discussed its proposed budget for the next fiscal year during its regular meeting Tuesday night, there was a dose of good news concerning the town’s finances.

Mayor Wilbert Washington announced that the town has been removed from Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s non-compliance list. This is the first time in five years the village has not been on the list and now is able to qualify for federal and state grants.

The announcement was met with cheers and handclaps by aldermen.

In financial action, aldermen and the mayor reviewed budget figures on Tuesday in preparation of a future vote on the annual village spending plan.

Alderman are scheduled to vote on Clayton’s fiscal budget in a July 6 meeting.

Much of the general fund revenue figures remained the same with the exception of fines by Clayton Police Department. The $81,000 total in last year’s fines are set to go up to $171,000 if the budget is passed.

Revenue from franchise taxes is also expected to rise with the opening of a dollar store in Clayton.

Some expenses were slashed in the possible budget such as telephone costs while expenses like advertising are anticipated to go up.

Salaries for town personnel, mayor and aldermen are set to remain the same in next year’s budget.

Clayton’s annual budget is set to end in June.

“I’ll get these numbers typed up and give them to our CPA, Ms. Ferguson,” Washington said. 

Meanwhile, a Clayton resident brought a mason jar filled with cloudily water that he said smelled like “raw sewage.”

The water originated from his tap water, and he claimed sewage has leaked into his drinking water system. The resident reported the finding on April 28 and JCP Management, Clayton’s water managers, came to his residence. He said JCP sprayed painted several areas but has yet to come back.

Washington said he would look into the matter and advise the man to call Clayton’s Town Hall with such complaints, a fact the man said he did.

The man then attempted to give a Freedom of Information Act request to Washington, but the mayor refused it. He instructed the man to turn his request in to town hall during business hours.

Additionally, alderman agreed to hire Thomas Enright as Clayton’s lawyer. Enright will be paid a monthly fee to attend meetings and give advice. There is a fee schedule for additional duties.

In other action, bids will be taken for the pavilion over Clayton’s basketball court to be torn down and removed. The pavilion was severely damaged during February’s ice storm. Money from the winning bid will be used to build another pavilion.

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