The Crescent City Council has hired a consultant to examine local sales, use and transaction records in an effort to identify lost economic opportunities.

The Council unanimously authorized City Manager Eugene Palazzo to sign a contract with Hinderliter, De Llamas and Associates, a company based in Diamond Bar, Calif., that offers audits, financial and economic analysis to local governments nationwide. The Council also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the examination of local sales, use and transaction tax records.

The firm will establish sales, use and transaction tax databases, provide quarterly reports and analysis and make available a computer software program database for $300 per month. The fee will increase every year based on the consumer price index.

Palazzo said representatives of Hinderliter, De Llamas and Associates will provide the city with quarterly reports on how individual businesses are doing. The company will also be able to compare changes in sales among businesses in a given geographical area. The information will be confidential, Palazzo said.

"I've used HDL in other communities I've worked with and found them useful," he said.

The city will be able to use the information the firm provides as a business recruitment tool, Palazzo said.

Reach Jessica Cejnar at