Archive for November, 2022

2023 Jury meeting dates to remain 2nd Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will for 2023 continue to have its regular monthly meeting on the second Tuesday of the month, as has been the custom for many years, it was decided at last night’s meeting.

A proposal by Parish Administrator Doug Postel to schedule the March and October meetings on the third Tuesday so as to not conflict with Lincoln Parish School’s spring and fall breaks was met with an active discussion and was defeated on a 4 to 8 vote.

Voting for the proposal were Cranford (District 4), Hunt (District 5), Scriber (District 6) and Pullin (District 7). All other jurors voted no.

Said Postel, “I recommend that we establish the second Tuesday of each month at 7 PM as our regular meeting time, with the exceptions of March and October, and I recommend the third Tuesday of those months for that. The reason for my recommendation on this is mainly is because the majority of our staff have school age children. For us to do without staff on a meeting week is complicated.”

Several jurors disagreed.

Joe Henderson (District 9): “I don’t think we should move tradition based on what anybody wants. It needs to be the second Tuesday every month at 7 o’clock, like it’s been forever.”

Hazel Hunter (District 2): “We been doing this for a hundred years. I don’t we should change.”

Theresa Wyatt (District 1): “I think it’s wrong to confuse the public like this. I don’t think we should change.”

Juror Logan Hunt supported the proposal.

Said Hunt, “My thought process on this is the staff being able to travel with their children on those particular weeks.”

Scriber also supported the change, “I don’t care if we change two meetings. I don’t think that’s a make or break situation. If we are setting the calendar right now for the year 2023, I don’t have a problem with changing a couple of dates.”

After the motion failed, Henderson made a motion to have all the meetings on the second Tuesday at 7 PM. It passed 11-1, with Cranford voting no.

The jury also discussed and voted to proceed with architect’s plans for a new health unit for the parish.

That process had been ongoing for some time, but recently Allegiance Health Management, the owner/operator of Northern Louisiana Medical Center, suggested that the jury may be interested in acquiring one of the buildings that will become vacant once a new hospital is constructed on Celebrity Drive just east of Lowe’s.

A couple of juror suggested that remodeling of an existing building would be more economical than a new building.

Postel said he had a discussion with Allegiance, and the timeline for construction of the new hospital and vacating the old buildings could be as much as four years.

The jury’s consensus was that was too long a time horizon.

In a related bit of news, Lincoln Parish News Online has learned that an LLC with ties to Allegiance has purchased 32.5 acres on the north side of Celebrity Drive between Lowe’s and Commerce Street.

Ruston Real Estate Holdings, LLC last moth paid $3.6 million for the parcel, according to records from the Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor.

That company has the same Bossier City address as Allegiance, and lists Rock Bordelon as manager, who is also the CEO of Allegiance.


Police Jury Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will have a special called meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29. Two jury committees will also meet.

Additionally, the meetings will be held on the third floor of the Lincoln Parish Court House, 100 West Texas Avenue, instead of the Lincoln Parish Library.

  • Personnel/Benefits Committee – 5:00 PM – Agenda
  • Public Works Committee – 5:15 PM – Agenda
  • Police Jury – 6:00 PM – Agenda

Postel denies ethical conflicts, wrongdoing


Lincoln Parish Police Jury Administrator Doug Postel said that he had no ethical conflicts and had committed no wrongdoing during his tenure. His comments came at the end of the jury’s regular monthly meeting.

“Many of you know, and I disclosed it at the time I had my interview with the police jury, that I have a small business that I own a portion of, that has the contract with the concessions at the Ruston Sports Complex,” he said. “I had a conversation with Mr. (Lewis) Jones (Police Jury Attorney) to make sure that I understood very clearly that there was no conflict of interest. He did confirm that there was no conflict of interest in my business,” he added.

Postel continued, “I have no operational function in that business. My brother-in-law runs that business as his full-time job. My involvement is very limited.”

Earlier this year, Lincoln Parish News Online had reported on the details of Ruston Gameday Grill and its exclusive relationship with the City of Ruston, including contract documents and payments to the City of Ruston.

The jury and the city have recently been involved in a contentious negotiation over ambulance and rescue services outside Ruston’s city limits.

Postel also commented on rumors that he used his taxpayer provided vehicle on personal business.

“I believe that someone believes they spotted my police jury vehicle at Sam’s. And I believe they think that I was possibly purchasing concession supplies at Sam’s. I want to make it very clear. I have never, ever driven my police jury vehicle to Sam’s, not even on police jury business,” he asserted.

Postel also talked about his relationship with the jurors, saying he didn’t favor any one group or individual over others, and that his relationship with individual jurors was strictly about jury business.

In the jury meeting several draft budgets were presented for 2023. See here the documents:

There was a bit of discussion in the Solid Waste Committee meeting about the need to possibly curtail acceptance of some construction and demolition debris until new a new landfill area can be made ready.

At present usage rates, the existing landfill will be full in less than a year, Solid Waste Superintendent Kerry Outley said.

Ruston Utility, Water customers will pay another $3.5 million+ beginning next year for neglected infrastructure


Despite spending tens of millions of dollars to build a money losing sports complex over the past several years, there apparently is a lack of money for maintenance and upgrades to the City of Ruston’s critical infrastructure, it was said at last night’s meeting of the city council. Instead money has been looted from the city’s utility fund to prop up other city departments.

Mayor Ronny Walker admitted as much, saying, “If that system goes down or we sell it, every department in our city gets slashed as far as money that is transferred from the electric to those departments. The electrical system in the City of Ruston is the cash cow, everybody, every department benefits from that.”

Public Works Utilities Manager Andrew Halbrook cited a litany of “needs” for the electric distribution system.

Said Halbrook, “This rate increase will fund necessary repairs to 50 plus year old substations, infrastructure that is failing daily, and also allow for us to be more resilient and reliable in our electrical distribution. We have front-line vehicles that are 30 plus years old that are desperately needing to be replaced.”

He added, “We have multiple subdivisions throughout Ruston that all have aging infrastructure – some that were built in the 1960s, 1970s – all that underground infrastructure is reaching the end of its usable life. We’re having frequent problems – all those problems cost increased manpower, increased material costs.”

Ward Four’s Jim Pearce opposed the increase.

Said he, “I don’t just think now is the time to raise the rates – I think this is going to generate roughly $3 million annually, is that correct? A lot of people are having a hard time between the price of gas and food and inflation. I don’t think you can just keep going back to the well to raise money. I just don’t think the public can take more.”

Ward One’s Carolyn Cage said that people would just have to economize to pay the higher rates.

Said she, “It’s called sacrifice. I might have to sacrifice going out to eat one week for a hamburger. A hamburger now is probably $10, so that would be what the (extra) bill would be.

Walker agreed, “You can turn you lights off, you can lower your heating or raise your thermostat for air conditioning.”

When the vote came, only Pierce voted no.

Another ordinance was enacted that will raise the city’s water rates by $500 to $600 thousand. The vote was the same and the discussion was similar.

Said Water Utilities Manager Keith Jeselink, “We have aging infrastructure taking place within our system. If we don’t change what we are charging, just by a little bit to get us to where we can try to keep up, we’re going to start getting farther behind the eight ball.”

Sewer rates will remain the same.

In other business, the council approved an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the Lincoln Parish Police Jury for ambulance and rescue service.

Here is the document.

Police Jury meets Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, November 8, Lincoln Parish Library Jack Beard Room, 910 North Trenton.

Here are the agendas.

Personnel/Benefits Committee – 6:30 PM

Solid Waste & Recycling Committee – 6:45 PM

Police Jury – 7:00 PM

City Council meets Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, November 7, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

Scheduled is the final vote on an ordinance that would raise electric rates for the city’s customers. A public hearing will be held prior to the vote.

Cameras coming to all Lincoln Schoolrooms


Video cameras will soon be installed in all Lincoln Parish Schoolrooms, District Superintendent Ricky Durrett told last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board.

Said Durrett, “Our stimulus plan with cameras, we’re finally ready with that. Provision Security of Ruston is going to do that for us, and we are starting at I. A. Lewis and then Choudrant High School.”

He added, “Eventually over the next year we get will get all of the schools done and have cameras in all the schools and every classroom. That is all stimulus money that we use for that.”

The board approved a new policy for video monitoring

Much of the meeting was devoted to upcoming changes to group insurance coverage for district employees.

Long-time district insurance consultant David Charpentier told the board that the coverage will stay with Blue Cross and that overall it was a good renewal with a cost of living increase in administrative costs only.

See here the report.

Also presented was the monthly personnel report.

School Board meets Tonight


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet tonight (Tuesday, November 1), 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.