“Emergency” Fencing @ LP Jail Approved a Year Ago

Security fencing that is now an “emergency” at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center had been approved to be bid a year ago, Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) has learned.

At Monday’s meeting of the center’s governing commission, an “emergency” was declared so that the state’s public bid law could be waived, and would allow an expedited construction schedule. About two weeks ago, two inmates walked away from the jail and remained at large for several days. That prompted the “emergency,” it was said at the meeting.

But after review of our archives of earlier news stories covering the commission, we discovered that the commission had already authorized bids for fences a year ago – at the 9/27/13 meeting.

Wrote our correspondent who covered the meeting for LPNO in this 9/30/13 news account:

Tuten requested that the Commission authorize advertisement for bids to (1) upgrade three sides of the existing (old) perimeter fence, once side of which does not belong to the facility but to an adjacent property owner; and (2) construct a fence inside the perimeter fence, to serve as an emergency evacuation area in case inmates need to be evacuated for fire, this being required by regulatory agencies. The Commission approved both requests unanimously.

There are no official minutes from that meeting, we were told.

So why is the public bid law important?

The answer is to insure that the taxpayer’s money is spent wisely. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) has published a summary on the subject. The overview says:

The objective of the Public Bid Law is to increase the public’s confidence in the government’s ability to contract for the construction of public works and purchase goods and services for the best price and to ensure that all persons who are involved with the procurement are treated fairly.

See here the complete document.

There are provisions for emergency declarations in the law, and specific procedures that must be adhered to. But as the fences were duly authorized a year ago, it raises questions why now an “emergency” exists.

Maybe the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, who operates the facility, should have spent more time tending to business, instead of gardening.

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5 Responses to ““Emergency” Fencing @ LP Jail Approved a Year Ago”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    TO the Police Jury: If you want to keep your job it is time to quit trying to squeeze money from the public by placing a tax on all sheds, chicken houses, farm equipment barns, hay barns, livestock sheds, lawn mower sheds, 4-wheeler sheds. You name it they want to tax it. Lets see how you like it when the general public to finds out about this little venture.

    • Cowboy Says:

      You are absolutely wrong here. It was Tom Thompson and the Fire Board which sought to expand the fire tax to every structure in the Parish – NOT the Police Jury which worked to oust Thompson and his cronies from the Fire Board to protect Parish residents from this revenue grab to fund their empire expansion!

      And, it was the governing commission of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center that approved the letting bids for replacement fencing a year ago and who now declare it an emergency to avoid bid laws.

      The Police Jury has recognized their responsibility to regain oversight control over these various boards and commissions whose poor performance reflects badly upon them, and they’ve done a great deal of work to reestablish this control. It is a slow process, but they are making tremendous strides. The Fire Board has been cleaned out and oversight control by the Police Jury has been reestablished. They have turned their attention to the Detention Center oversight commission and are cleaning up that mess.

      I hate government waste and abuse more than anyone, but the Police Jury is on our side and working in our best interests here.

  2. DetroitCity Says:

    What has this got to do with the subject of this column? Better talk to the fire Board if you are concerned about the fire structure fee being expanded, as the Police Jury does not support this at all.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    If you read your own posts you would know the Detention Center ran out of money before the fence could be purchased last year. Expenditures just to keep the building running were necessary, leaving nothing for the fence. Bids expire so the bids last year when the purchase ultimately became impossible are meaningless now.

  4. Rip Says:

    But what about the money paid to the former adm. for a pi– poor job?

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