Archive for March, 2021

Library Board Meets Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control will meet Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 3:30 PM, Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton Street.

Here is the agenda:

I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Agenda
III. Public Comments
IV. Approval of Minutes – February 24th and March 10th , 2021
V. Introduction of Interim Director – Marcie Nelson
VI. Accept Resignation of Board Member – Deborah Hollimon
VII. Welcome Board Member – Sandra Dupree
VIII. Accept Proposal for Library’s Information Technology (IT) Management
IX. Announcements
Board of Trustee Training – April 28, 2021 Events Center 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Lincoln Parish Library Liaison Committee Meeting March 31, 2021 Events Center 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
X. Statistics
XI. Adjournment


Tommy Lane Boddie: 3/9/1953-3/20/2021


Tommy Lane Boddie, age 68 of Ruston, Louisiana, passed away Saturday, March 20, 2021.

Funeral service will be 10:00 A.M., Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Cook Baptist Church in Ruston. Rev. Gil Arthur and Rev. Jeff Smart will officiate.  Interment will be at Douglas Cemetery in Choudrant, Louisiana.  Visitation will be held on Monday, March 22, 2021, from 5:00 P.M. -8:00 P.M. at Cook Baptist Church under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston.

Tommy was a member of Cook Baptist Church.  Tommy was a retired superintendent for the DOTD.  He is preceded in death by his parents; Thomas “Bo” Boddie and Sybil Dye Boddie.  Those left to cherish his memories are his wife Nina Cook Boddie, son; Todd Boddie and wife Kim Boddie, daughter; Nancy Boddie Griffith and husband Eddy Griffith.  Four Grandchildren: Nathan Griffith, James Gunner Griffith, Adam Griffith and Skylar Boddie, brother; Terry Thomas Boddie and wife Pam Boddie, and several nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be sent to Cook Baptist Church in Ruston, Louisiana.

Pallbearers are Tony Billberry, Will  Billberry, Brian Vann, Luke Allen, J.P. Dunbar, Donnie Martin, Ken Lantrip and Dan O’Neal.  Honorary Pallbearers are Steve Barham, John Roebuck, Wayne Brooks, John Eley, Randy Roberson and DeDe Deason.

Library Board Punts on RIF, Schedule Changes


The Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control took no action on two significant agenda items at yesterday afternoon’s meeting.

The “Reduction in Force” item was tabled with no action taken.

Board Chair Augusta Clark said that after a Monday meeting with library staff, the issue was not quite ready to address.

Said Clark, “We were almost ready to go with it, but we’re not quite ready.”

Board member Amy Miller said, “We had some issues with this – we’re just not ready to make a decision on this – we have to talk to legal counsel.”

Richard Durrett added, ” We want to make sure we do it correctly.”

Likewise, the decision on adjusting operating hours was discussed, but not acted upon. Clark did say that there was discussion about opening from Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM, and closing completely on Sunday. More study was needed on what hours the library was most used, the board members felt.

Currently, the library hours are Monday – Thursday 9AM to 8PM, Friday and Saturday 9AM to 6PM, and Sunday 1PM to 5PM.

The board earlier accepted the resignation of Interim Director Theresa Mason, who will resume her old duties as Manager of Materials Management.

Hired as the new Interim Director at $60 thousand/year was Marcie Nelson. She has over 13 years of experience in several libraries across the state, including a 3 year stint as Children’s Librarian at the Lincoln Parish Library.

She is currently Head of Youth Services at Livingston Parish Library. She was also Director at Jackson Parish Library.

The board agreed to hold the next board meeting on Wednesday, March 31.

Jury Tables Sales Tax Collection Resolution


After a briefing by Louisiana State Representative Chris Turner (LA House District 12), the Lincoln Parish Police Jury last night tabled a resolution that would have put the jury on record opposing any legislation that would allow the Louisiana Department of Revenue to administer and collect local sales and use taxes.

Recently, some lawmakers have indicated that centralized collection was a major goal for the upcoming fiscal session of the legislature. Business advocates have said that companies that operate across multiple parishes find it cumbersome dealing with the many local tax collection agencies.

Changing the existing setup with a constitutional amendment would require a 2/3 vote of both the House and Senate, and approval of the state’s voters.

Turner said the proposals are still in draft form and have not yet been presented in bill form. He also said the collections would still be done locally, despite what had been said earlier.

Said Turner, “It’s still a draft, not a bill. We’re trying to capture all these sales taxes we’re missing. We’re not replacing anyone locally. There’s words that’s being worked out (collection and administration) in a bill right now, and it’s going to be a tough fight.”

Turner went on to say that much of the effort would be directed toward collecting sales taxes from internet purchases that local entities may be missing.

District Eight’s Skip Russel (who has been the LPPJ representative on the local tax commission for many years) noted that the local collection agency costs about 0.5% of revenue to collect taxes. He asked Turner what the state would charge to do job.

Replied Turner, “We’re still looking at that – there’s this number of 5% that’s jumping around.”

Turner said that Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder would be amenable to setting up a conference call to hear juror’s concerns.

Local tax administrator Denise Griggs spoke up to say that Lincoln Parish had been collecting online sales tax monies since the summer of 2020.

The vote to table the resolution was unanimous, but it was clear that jurors were very interested in the issue and would be discussing any proposed legislation with legislative leadership.

Earlier in the evening, the jury’s Personnel & Benefits Committee adopted a revised policy on board and commission appointments. The full jury ratified the committee’s decision.

Also, the jury called a public hearing for the April 13 meeting to hear input regarding an October library tax election.

Library Board Special Meeting Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Library’s Board of Control will meet in a special called session Wednesday, March 10, 4 PM, Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

Several significant items are set for discussion, to include:

  1. Acceptance of Theresa Mason’s Letter of Resignation as Interim Director
  2. Consider and Take Action on Marcie Nelson’s Appointment as Interim Director
  3. Consider and Take Action on Salary Approval of Marcie Nelson
  4. Consider and Take Action on Salary Adjustment for Theresa Mason
  5. Consider and Take Action on Reduction in Force (RIF)
  6. Consider and Take Action on Proposed Changes in Library Schedule Hours Beginning March 15, 2021

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton. Committee meetings begin at 5:30 PM.

Here are the agendas.

Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce Minutes


Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce – February 2021 meeting

The Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce met at the Community Center on Tuesday, February 24 at noon with President Andrea Malone presiding. This monthly meeting was noted as the first general membership meeting held since March 2020. The Community Center was provided to the chamber for the meeting in order to follow social distancing guidelines.

Old Business discussed included a potential project for a Business of the Month and the awarding of the annual 2021 Community Service Award that will be given by each parish school rather than the parish application process.

New Business included information regarding the annual June Golf Tournament and the Sunshine Festival. A style show is in the planning stages. The Annual Chamber Banquet is tentatively scheduled for Thursday September 16 at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center.

All activity planning will follow the guidelines for Covid regulations and/or social distancing.

Follow the Chamber Facebook for updates and decisions or call the chamber at 318-259-4693. Operating hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Hours are 8:00 to 11:30. For hours other than these, please leave a voice mail which is checked on a regular basis so that assistance can be available as soon as possible.

Submitted by Judie Blalock

2021-2022 School Calendar Approved


Lincoln Parish Schools will open their doors for students Thursday, August 19, 2021, following last night’s approval by the school board of the 2021-2022 school year calendar. The last day of classes for students and teachers is Friday, May 27, 2022.

Assistant Superintendent Lisa Bastion said the schedule exceeds the required instructional minutes mandated by the state.

Asked about any makeup time for the recent snow event, Superintendent Ricky Durrett said he didn’t think so, as the students were able to meet virtually during that week.

Durrett also updated the proposed summer school plans.

Said Durrett, “There’ll be more coming as we get to the end of the 3rd nine weeks next week. Hopefully, we’ll have the list of those who need to attend by the first of May.”

Earlier in the meeting, Business Manager Juanita Duke reported that tax collections were up almost $1/2 million from the same period a year ago, thanks to the 1/2 cent sales tax passed earlier this year.

See here the financial reports.

Cell Tower Approved for Tech Drive Location


For the second time in less than a year, location of a cell phone antenna tower became the focus of a lengthy discussion at a Ruston City Council Meeting. Last night, the council voted unanimously to not follow the recommendations of the city’s Planning and Zoning board, and allowed construction of a tower near the corner of Tech Drive and Bearcat Drive.

Planning & Zoning Director Jim Hayes told the council that the board voted 3-1 to recommend denial of the necessary variances and use permit. He said the board explained that a tower in that location did not match up with improvements that Louisiana Tech University was making in the area, and there were other nearby locations that weren’t considered.

Representing AT&T, New Orleans attorney “Chip” Leyens explained that the company had explored over a dozen other locations, and that the tower was needed to relieve overloading from other cell sites. He added that they had been trying to place the tower for five years.

Local attorney Kyle Greene spoke up on behalf of the Brasuell family, the owners of the site. He noted that they owned several business locations in that area, and would do nothing that would jeopardize the value of those properties.

Said Greene, “The Brasuells have agreed to do whatever it takes to change the landscape around the property. They can do it as a monolithic pole or a “pine tree” tower.”

The council unanimously approved both the variances and the use permit.

In other business, the aldermen approved starting the condemnation process for about 20 buildings/structures that do not meet the city’s codes.

School Board Meeting Tonight


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet at 6:00 PM, Tuesday, March 2, Lincoln Parish STEM Center, 525 Tarbutton Road.

Here is the agenda.