LPPJ “Stealing” From Dedicated Monies?

A proposal to spend nearly a million dollars for a covered warm-up area and and other improvements at the Ruston/Lincoln Parish Exhibit Center touched off an active discussion about spending priorities at last night’s Lincoln Parish Police Jury meeting.

Walter Pullen (District Six) suggested that money in the jury’s Courthouse Capital Fund should be reserved for its intended purpose and not spent on other parish projects.

“We cannot fund it the way y’all are wanting to fund it. You cannot continue to steal money from the Courthouse Capital Fund to pay for it,” Pullen said. “You’re chickens will come home to roost if you don’t have something in place to cover your long-term funding,” he added.

Moments earlier, Jody Backus (District Seven) voiced similar concerns.

“I’m a little concerned about some needs that may be approaching us in the next few years,” said Backus. He noted that the courthouse, the detention center, and the health unit were jury-owned buildings, and would require money for maintenance and upkeep in the future.

Jury President Randy Roberson (District Four) objected to the term “steal.”

Said Roberson, “Mr. Pullen, I’m going to have to ask you to stop using the word stealing. There is no stealing going on. That money is available for the jury to use for any lawful purposes.”

Replied Pullen, “It’s a matter of opinion.”

The jury voted seven to three to proceed with the project, which had received prior approval from the Public Property and Buildings Committee.

Voting no were Pullen, Backus, and Sharyon Mayfield.

Voting yes were Theresa Wyatt, Hazel Hunter, Bobby Bennett, Randy Roberson, David Hammons, Skip Russell, and Nancy Wilson.

Joe Henderson and Annette Straughter were absent.

The covered warmup area at the exhibition center has been a long-time want of director Angela Manning. Such a structure would allow rodeo participants to exercise and warm up their horses prior to events in the main arena, Manning has said.

In late 2014, the subject was brought up, but at that time, the cost was estimated around $400 thousand.

The Courthouse Capital Fund has often been a piggy bank eyed longingly by politicians looking for money to fund “needs.”

Long-time readers of Lincoln Parish News Online will recall the hundreds of thousands of dollars taken from that fund to pay for extensive repairs to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center after Sheriff Mike Stone took over operation of the jail in 2012.

2 Responses to “LPPJ “Stealing” From Dedicated Monies?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

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