October 13, 2014
The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting tonight (Monday) in the courthouse. It was a lengthy meeting that contained much discussion on a few subjects.
Kevin Belanger, CEO, with the South Central Planning and Development District addressed the jury and went over a handout regarding a new commission that is being formed consisting of Parish Presidents, Mayors, etc., from a multi-parish area, to correct the problems that previously existed causing the areas to fall into a “D-Designation” status, which prevents the areas from receiving federal funding in many areas. The new commission would be to re-create stability and the status of the district. Mr. Belanger advises that “if the parish decides to join the commission, he feels the re-establishment could be up and running in a year to a year and a half.
The agenda included discussion on Road Use Permit changes. The Police Jury had asked the parish attorney, Marcus Fontenot, to draft an ordinance making some changes to the permitting process when a company is going to be using parish roads for a project. As written, the new ordinance would have required a bond of $15,000.00 for those who would use the roads for commercial use with the chance the roads could be damaged. It also gives the Police Jury President and Public Works Director, authority to decide who the ordinance would pertain, if so needed. Police Juror, Eric Soileau, voiced concern with the way the permitting process is as of now saying “Changes need to be made before more roads are damaged. There needs to be something in place to hold companies accountable.”
Police Juror, Bryan Vidrine, added “…there are exceptions made to people and they promise to fix any roads that are damaged…then the work gets done and then the parish gets left with their thumbs in the air.”
Concerned citizens, farmers, loggers, etc., spoke out on the issue and said the ordinance would cause great harm to their industry, especially with the $15,000 bond. It would cause a de-value in their crop or timber, etc., because of the additional cost for what “may happen” to the roads. There will be further discussions on the issue before a final decision is made.
Regarding the condemned property issue that the Jury has been tackling, out of the 12 property owners who were sent the “certified letters” regarding the clean-up or demolition to their property, only 3 have contacted Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, about addressing the issues. Tonight anyone who has been sent a letter regarding their condemned property had the opportunity to address the jury. No one did so. The jury will now proceed with getting bids and moving forward with the clean- up or demolition of the properties.
It was agreed that the fees for renting the Pavilion at Crooked Creek will be $125.00/partial day and $200.00 for a full day. If someone also rents 12 camping sites around it, they will receive an additional day free.
Donald Bergeron reported that he received a letter from D.O.T. finally clearing the replacement of two bridges. One in District 6 and one in District 9.
2% Sales Tax revenues were $284,735.51. That is an increase from 2013 which was $257,280.06.