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Tallulah among those cities called ‘fiscally distressed municipalities’

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana’s legislative auditor says 18 cities, towns and villages may be close to reaching bankruptcy or might have the inability to provide basic services to residents in the future based on the municipalities’ most recent financial information.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera compiled a list of “fiscally distressed municipalities” and added it to the auditor’s website.

The municipalities range from small villages like Epps in northeastern Louisiana to larger towns like Winnsboro in central Louisiana.

The list also includes the city of Tallulah.

Purpera says the list is a way to alert the public and officials of the problems so they can be easily addressed.

The list includes concerns for each municipality, including incomplete or inaccurate financial information, insufficient utility rates, debt and rural water infrastructure problems.

In Tallulah’s case, Purpera issued what was titled “a concern regarding ongoing operations.”

The announcement defined that “concern” as “the CPA performing the audit was concerned that the municipality may not continue to operate in the future, based on factors disclosed by management (significant debt, insufficient utility rates, loss of a major industrial taxpayer, etc.)”