Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Police Jury’ Category

Lincoln Parish Burn Ban

09/09/2019

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 9, 2019

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.

Advertisements

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tuesday

09/08/2019

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, September 10, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

The Finance Committee will meet at 6:00 PM to discuss funding requests from various parish agencies for budget year 2020.

Here are the requests.
Here’s the agenda.

At 6:45 PM, the Public Works Committee will meet.

Here’s the agenda.

The full jury will meet at 7:00 PM.

Here’s the agenda.

The jury will convene as the Board of Review for 2019 tax assessments. Also, the jury will hear a report on budget-to-actual finances for 2019.

Here’s the document.

Police Jury Talks Money

08/14/2019

A shortage of money, and what to do about it, took up much of last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury.

The discussion began during the Fiance Committee meeting where two budget amendments were adopted to accommodate a million dollar revenue shortfall caused by loss of oil/gas severance tax proceeds.

General Fund Budget Amendment
Courthouse Capital Fund Budget Amendment

That development was revealed at last month’s meeting, and was a result of oil/gas producers in the parish taking advantage of tax exemptions not previously used.

Jury Administrator Courtney Hall noted, “The Local Government Budget Act requires that if you have a 5% variance or more in your budget during the calendar year, you have to formally as soon as possible take action to formally amend your budget, which is what we’re doing tonight, because it’s so significant.”

During the full jury meeting, a resolution was passed asking the area’s legislative delegation and the Louisiana Police Jury Association for assistance to enact legislation that could provide relief.

See here the document.

During the discussion, it was brought out that the severance tax revenues would likely not be forthcoming for 2020. These taxes make up about 1/3 of the general fund budget.

The jury unanimously approved the property tax rates for 2019. The millage rates are the same as last year, with the exception of the library tax for operation and maintenance, which was increased from 3.20 mils to 4.65 mils.

See here the ordinances.

A public hearing was held prior to the jury meeting, and there was a bit of public participation.

Mark Taylor said that the jurors should be aware that the money that funds the library belongs to the taxpayers. He also suggested that the library doesn’t server the entire parish, especially since it no longer operates a bookmobile. He added that other efficiencies in operation could be realized, perhaps by revamping operating hours.

Former Jury Administrator spoke, noting that the bookmobile was simply too expensive to operate and maintain, and that the library has programs that serve all the parish.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tomorrow

08/12/2019

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, August 13), Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor. Committee meetings begin at 6:30 PM.

Public Works Committee – 6:30 PM
agenda

Finance Committee – 6:45 PM
agenda

Police Jury – 7:00 PM
agenda

Scenes from the Court House this week

08/09/2019

Billy Mac McBride

“Lincoln Parish has provided me with so many opportunities. I want to use my experience to serve, and I want to be part of the positive things going on in Lincoln Parish.”

Walter Pullen

“I am now officially a candidate for Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor!! I want to say a special word of thanks to Heather my wife of 20 years for her love and support in this endeavor it’s is truly a team effort.”

Letter to the Editor from Sheila Bordelon

07/10/2019

Lincoln Library Millage Set to Increase

07/10/2019

Though no vote was taken at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), the consensus of the body was that the property tax millage that funds the Lincoln Parish Library should be increased for the 2019 tax year to 4.65 mils, from the 2018 rate of 3.2 mils. The present millage collects about $1.5 million/year, while the 4.65 rate will collect about $2.26 million/year, according to Parish Treasurer Holly Lowry.

The rate will be formally proposed at the August meeting of the jury, and a public hearing will precede the vote. Other millages will remain at 2018 levels, Parish Administrator Courtney Hall said.

See here the complete list.

The issue generated quite a bit of discussion, and to fully understand, some background is necessary.

In the fall, 2010 tax election, a 5.99 mil library tax was approved by Lincoln Parish voters. That tax will expire next year, and will be resubmitted for voter approval. The first year after the election, it collected about $2 million, roughly in line with library expenditures.

As the parish added more taxable property, and with reassessments, a fund surplus developed. In 2014, the jury decided to trim the millage to try and keep income in line with expenditures.

In 2017 and 2018, it was trimmed again, in a effort to spend some of the fund balance, instead of taking the money from taxpayers. As of 6/30/19, that fund balance is about $2 million, a little less than one years’ operating expense. That is in line with what auditors recommend as prudent fiscal practice.

Hall explained, “The library had a very substantial fund balance, approaching $5 million. The plan was over a course of several years, to roll that millage back in order to use that fund balance and get it down to a reasonable level of approximately a year’s operating reserve. We’ve reached the point now where it’s time to stabilize that millage where they have a reasonable fund balance.”

He added, “When you were collecting 5.99, you were collecting much more than you were spending. So your fund balance was continuing to get larger and larger every year.”

Library expenditures have remained relatively stable, ranging from about $2 million in 2011 to today’s $2.4 million.

Library Director Vivian McCain and Board of Control Chair Augusta Clark suggested that the maximum 5.99 millage be levied for 2019.

A figure has to published this week in the parish’s official journal, as a thirty day notice has to be given prior to the public hearing.

Earlier in the meeting, the jury got some bad news.

Approximately $1 million in severance tax revenues from oil and gas production won’t be received this year, and maybe not for the next couple of years.

A Louisiana Department of Natural Resources program (Severance Tax Relief Program) allows “suspension or reduction of severance taxes due on production from a qualifying well for a variable time period depending on the category.”

The $1 million represents about 35% of the general fund budget, so some serious trimming will have to be done, it appears.

The general fund has a balance of about $3.8 million.

The first casualty is the $400-$500 thousand that is transferred yearly into the Courthouse Capital Fund.

That fund is nominally used for repairs to parish-owned buildings, but has also been used recently for jail repairs and horse barns.

Millage Renewal Discussion on Police Jury Agenda

07/07/2019

An agenda item labeled “Millage Renewal Discussion (2019) is on the agenda for the Lincoln Parish Police Jury’s (LPPJ) Tuesday night meeting.

The meeting is set for 7:00 PM, Tuesday, July 9, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here is the agenda.

There will also be a meeting of the jury’s Personnel/Benefits Committee at 6:45 PM.

Here’s that agenda.

LPPJ/Ruston Agreement to Cover Work Already Done

06/12/2019

The cooperative endeavor agreement between the City of Ruston and the Lincoln Parish Police Jury pertaining to tornado debris cleanup is for work that has already been done, and not for any new work, it was said at last night’s meeting of the jury’s Public Works Committee.

Jury Administrator Courtney Hall said that in the immediate aftermath of last April’s tornado, the jury dispatched several crews with boom trucks to help open streets and roads within the city limits.

Said Hall, “This agreement that you have here is really a post-event agreement. We actually were in the City of Ruston, on my directive, at their request, like a week or so after the storm.”

He added, “What we need to do in order to be able to capture any costs that we incurred, and that the city incurred – since we’ve gotten the presidential disaster declaration… one thing that they require is a written agreement between any and all entities and private contractors. If you don’t have those, you might be hung out on a limb on trying to get your reimbursements.”

Asked if a retroactive agreement might cause issues with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), Hall said that usually they were amenable to such deals, as it wouldn’t make sense to delay emergency work while waiting on paperwork.

Bobby Bennett (District Three) asked about the procedure for payment.

Said Hall, “This particular agreement will allow the police jury, who sent personnel and equipment in to assist the city, to be able to claim that time, manpower, equipment, fuel as costs for reimbursements.”

The committee voted unanimously to adopt the agreement.

The committee also fielded requests from the Village of Choudrant and the Town of Dubach for street repair and drainage work.

Those were also approved.

Perhaps the most important event of last night was the return of District Seven juror Jody Backus, who has been absent for several months. Last fall, he was diagnosed with cancer, and since that time has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

Thanking everyone for their prayers and well-wishes, Backus added, “I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior for pulling me through this time. I finished my treatment four weeks ago yesterday – my last chemo – the doctor says I’m clean.”

The Parks, Recreation & Tourism Committee heard from Nadel and Gussman VP Joe Anderson, who was negotiating to buy 600 thousand barrels of surface water from the Lincoln Parish Park lake. That amount of water would lower the lake about four to five feet, if no further rains occur, he said.

The water is for fracking several oil/gas wells the company has drilled.

However, the upside is that the park would receive about $150 thousand, which would be used to make park improvements.

Anderson noted that the company had bought water from the park several times previously, but it had been in the winter and spring, so the lake refilled prior to summer usage.

Even though he had other sources for water, Anderson said he would rather buy from the parish so the money could benefit the public.

The committee unanimously approved the sale.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury to Help City with Tornado Cleanup

06/10/2019

A proposed cooperative endeavor agreement between the City of Ruston and the Lincoln Parish Police Jury would call for the parish to furnish trucks and drivers to help with city’s cleanup from tornado damage suffered last April.

The item is on the jury’s Public Works Committee agenda at tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 6/11) regular meeting of the jury and its committees.

Here are the terms:

A. City Obligations:
1. Organize handling efforts (bottom of page cut off).
2. Provide seven (7) trash trucks and up to five (5) dump trucks and loaders.
3. Provide fuel for all City and Parish trucks.

B. Police Jury Obligations:
1. Provide up to four (4) insured trash trucks and drivers for handle debris removal and disposal.
2. Provide all Landfill tickets to City to claim in national disaster declaration with FEMA.
3. Claim all labor for services on the disaster declaration claims with FEMA.
4. Burn or otherwise dispose of all Debris at the Landfill at no cost to the City.

See here the complete document.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be at the Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here are the meeting times and agendas:

Public Property and Buildings Committee – 6:00 PM
agenda

Parks, Recreation & Tourism Committee – 6:15 PM
agenda

Public Works Committee – 6:30 PM
agenda

Police Jury – 7:00 PM
agenda