Last June, town personnel and equipment and personnel were photographed installing portable barricades at a church-sponsored camp at Caney Lake State Park.
See our reporting on the controversy here.
The town’s controversial mayor Leslie Thompson opined that since the work was done for a “non-profit subsidiary” of the Rivers of Joy Ministries, that it was no different that what the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) does for entities such as the Pine Belt Multi Purpose Community Actin Agency.
Thompson also claimed that the town had done similar tasks for other area churches in years past, but offered no proof of that claim when asked for it by District B’s Renee Stringer.
Town attorney Doug Stokes said that if the town aided any private organizations, they would violate the law.
Said Stokes, “The (state) constitution is crystal clear – you cannot use public property for a private purpose.”
Stokes addressed the jury donations to Pine Belt by noting that the jury is specifically empowered by law to make expenditures to groups that aid those below poverty level.
After further discussion, it was decided to request a legal opinion from Stokes on what is and is not allowed by law as far as services that the town can perform for churches and non-profits.