Live blog: Mayor Landrieu kicks off annual town hall meetings on city finances

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Mayor Mitch Landrieu will kick off his annual series of town hall meetings about city finances Monday evening in City Council District D, at Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral in Gentilly.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m.; The Lens will live-blog it here.

The meetings are designed to allow the public to weigh in on how Landrieu should spend public dollars in 2016.

Landrieu may be better equipped to meet those demands next year, as the city finds itself in better financial shape than in recent years. After ending 2014 with a $14.6 million surplus, which allowed for across-the-board raises for police officers, the city expects similar revenue increases this year.

According to its most recent projection, the city will end 2015 with $12 million more than its general-fund budget of $537 million. Last week, the city accepted a $45 million settlement for economic and environmental damage related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Significant challenges, however, threaten to eat away at those gains. The city owes more than $100 million in pension contributions and back pay to firefighters.

That’s on top of more than $30 million it owes in civil judgments and settlements, some more than a decade old. Some City Council members recently said they intend to make good on those obligations.

And a lawyer for the Sheriff’s Office, which must improve conditions at the city jail under a federal court order, said on Friday that it may need tens of millions more than the city has allocated for the jail.

Live blog, 6 p.m. Monday

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