Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Police Jury’ Category

So What is the “Courthouse Capital Fund”?

02/16/2018

It is named the Courthouse Capital Project Fund.

It is one of several separate fund accounts the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) accounting department has set up to document revenue and expenditures for a specific purpose.

To quote from the jury’s 2016 audit:

The Courthouse Capital Projects Fund (CCPF) is used to account for renovations of the Courthouse. Financing is provided primarily by operating transfers from the General Fund.

There are several other dedicated funds – Bridge Replacement, Parks & Recreation, Sewer, Library – to name a few.

As of 12/31/16, the Courthouse Capital Project Fund had an audited balance of $1.85 million. Apparently, it is the only fund that is used as a piggybank for pet projects. We cannot recall monies from any other funds used for purposes other than specified.

We looked on earlier audits (1995 and 1999), and the CCPF was described the same was as it is now – “to account for renovations of the Courthouse.”

We don’t know why the practice of spending dedicated money for other purposes has been allowed, nor can we explain why it hasn’t bee flagged by auditors.

But we’ll try to find out.

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LPPJ “Stealing” From Dedicated Monies?

02/14/2018

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.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tuesday

02/12/2018

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, September 13, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor. Committee meetings begin at 5:00 PM.

Here are the agendas and meeting times:

Health & Welfare – 5:00 PM
Public Works – 5:30 PM
Public Property & Buildings – 6:00 PM
Personnel – 6:45 PM
Police Jury – 7:00 PM

Roberson, Henderson, LPPJ Prez & VPrez

01/11/2018

Tuesday night’s Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) meeting lacked the political drama that we’ve seen in the past when it came to electing officers for the year.

Randy Roberson (District 4), was unanimously re-elected at President for 2018. He was nominated by Bobby Bennet. No other candidates were nominated.

Likewise, Joe Henderson (District 9) was elected Vice-President with no opposition. He was nominated by Hazel Hunter.

On to business, the jury approved two re-appointments to the Board of Commissioners for Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 – Julius Sumler and Mike Fulton.

The only significant discussion was with Humanitarian Enterprises of Lincoln Parish (H.E.L.P.) Executive Director Tomika McDonald regarding medical transportation.

A new transportation provider will be taking over patient transport, and a new agreement must be negotiated.

It was agreed to delay any decision until the next meeting so that more information can be garnered.

Also discussed was the lease renewal for Dollar General located in the old County Market Building, which is owned by the jury. Negotiations are ongoing.

The Police Jury Association of Louisiana annual meeting was discussed, but few jurors apparently plan to attend.

The meeting is set for January 17-19 at the New Orleans Sheraton Hotel.

Lincoln Parish School Board, Police Jury meet Tomorrow

01/08/2018

Two local government entities will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, January 9), but not at the same time.

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet at 10:30 AM at the Choudrant Elementary School, 160 Walker Road, Choudrant, LA.

Here’s the agenda.

Tuesday night at 7:00 PM, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet at the Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here’s the agenda.

Both bodies will elect officers for the coming year.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Adopts Budgets

12/13/2017

Last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury saw a flurry of budget ordinances passed – amendments to this year’s budgets, and the proposed 2018 budgets.

The 2017 Amended Budget estimates final revenues to come in at $18.08 million, and final expenditures to be the same.

Originally, the 2017 budget estimated revenues and expenditures at $17.57 million.

The 2018 Proposed Budget
estimates revenues and expenditures at $20.14 million.

Also adopted were similar budget ordinances for the Exhibition Center.

See here a more detailed breakdown of revenues and expenditures.

During the Public Works Committee meeting, the 2018 Road Capital Expenditures plan was reviewed and approved.

Among the major projects slated for 2018 are overlay of about two miles of Mitcham Peach Orchard Road ($444 thousand), and a bridge replacement on Big Creek Road ($650 thousand).

There was a question about why the Mitcham Peach Orchard Road was up for overlay, and it was explained that it was one of the more heavily used roads in the parish system.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tomorrow

12/11/2017

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, December 12), Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Public Works Committee (5:30 PM)

Agenda

Police Jury (7:00 PM)

Agenda

Burn Ban Issued for Lincoln Parish

12/01/2017

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1, 2017

CONTACT: Chief Kevin Reynolds
(318) 255-1055

TEMPORARY BAN ON OPEN-AIR OUTDOOR BURNING

The Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 has issued an emergency order banning all open-air outdoor burning effective immediately. This bum ban coincides with Lincoln Parish Police Jury Ordinance No. 276-06-(1) which authorizes Commissioners of Fire Protection District No. 1 of Lincoln Parish to impose a temporary ban on open-air outdoor burning within said district.

Due to the extremely dry conditions presently existing in Lincoln Parish, rural areas, woodlands, and forests are subject to fire. Anyone found to be violating this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not to exceed
$500 dollars, together with all costs of court, or a jail sentence not to exceed six months, or both.

This ban will remain in effect until lifted by the Commissioners of Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1. Anyone having questions concerning this matter should contact this office at the number listed above.

LPPJ Adopts 2018 Budget

11/16/2017

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), a proposed budget for calendar year 2018 was adopted with but one change. Also approved were amendments to the 2017 budget which ends 12/31.

See here the documents.

The one change was to eliminate the requirement that the Lincoln Parish Exhibition Center repay to the general fund monies advanced to them to pay for the construction of permanent stalls and the addition of RV hookup sites. That $85 thousand appropriation was done in April, 2016.

General fund amounts were relatively static, with 2017 revenues at $2.91 million, and 2018 amounts roughly the same. Expenditures were in balance.

Not so for the road construction funds, with 2017 amended expenditures at $1.88 million, and 2018 expenditures of $2.45 million

Ditto the road maintenance fund where 2017 amended expenditures are $1.88 million, and 2018 expenditures are $2.46 million.

The Lincoln Parish Library’s budget didn’t fare as well as the others, however.

For 2017, the amended revenues were set at $1.53 million, with expenditures of $2.60 million. For 2018 the amounts are $1.54 million, and $2.45 million respectively.

See here the documents.

LPPJ Employees Get Good News on Insurance

11/14/2017

The 116 employees of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) got good news at last night’s Insurance Committee meeting – their premiums will actually decrease next year, while receiving the same coverage. The new provider will be United Health Care.

Earlier in the year, it was decided that bids would be taken from different providers in a effort to cut costs.

Thomas & Farr’s Ernest Finch told the committee that the coverage will match the current provider’s coverage. Parish Government Risk Management Agency is the current provider.

Said Finch, “The employees will see a lesser (premium) rate.”

One additional benefit is a life insurance provision for employees and family.

See here a sample enrollment guide.

Complete details will be available to the employees during the enrollment period.