Archive for the ‘Ouachita Parish Police Jury’ Category

Ouachita Parish Library Book Sale

09/21/2016

Friends of Ouachita Public Library

BOOK SALE
Friday & Saturday
September 23 & 24
9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
West Ouachita Branch
188 Highway 546, West Monroe
(1/2 mile north of Cheniere-Drew exit off I-20)

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Monday

09/18/2016

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet Monday, September 19, 5:30 PM, Ouachita Parish Courthouse, second floor.

Here is the agenda.

Immediately following the regular meeting, the Finance Committee will meet in the jury conference room adjacent to the large meeting room.

Here is the agenda.

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Tonight

09/06/2016

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet tonight (Tuesday, 9/6), 5:30 PM, Ouachita Parish Courthouse, second floor

Here is the agenda.

Immediately following the jury meeting, the Finance Committee will meet in the jury conference room adjacent to the jury meeting room.

Here is the agenda.

West Ouachita Road Tax Bonds Authorized

07/06/2016

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) voted 5-1 at last night’s meeting to authorize the sale of up to $10 million of sales tax bonds for the West Ouachita Economic Development District, to be used for road and drainage improvements.

Voting no was Jack Clampit (District B), with the others voting yes: Scotty Robinson (District A), Walt Caldwell (District C), Ollibeth Reddix (District D), Shane Smiley (District E), and Pat Moore (District F).

The bond sale was approved by voters in an April 9 election that also approved a .39% sales tax hike to pay for the bonds.

Clampit explained that while he was not opposed to selling the bonds and starting the construction projects as soon as possible, he thought it would be a good idea to not issue all the bonds at once, and spread out the borrowing over a longer period of time. He added that should an opportunity arise to obtain federal or state grant funds, it would be prudent to have some cash on hand as a match to the grants.

To qualify, most grants require the local government to make a “down payment” for a project up front, or “match.”

Said Clampit, “If we haven’t got match money, inflation is chump change. Once we get through with this $10 million, the only match money you’re going to have is $600 thousand. That’s it.”

Caldwell suggested that projects needed to be done as fast as practicable, otherwise inflation would eat up the available funds.

Robinson said the resolution didn’t mean they had to sell all the bonds at once, but that voters did expect progress on road repair in a timely manner.

“We went to the voters and asked for a tax, with the understanding that if they voted for the tax, we’ll sell bonds and fix roads sooner rather than later.”

In other business, the jury approved an ordinance removing about twenty roads from the parish’s road system. The roads in question were little more than dead end private driveways, most of them serving only one house, it was said.

A couple of people showed up for the public hearing, but were unable to make the case that the roads were used by the general public, and should be maintained with tax money.

West Ouachita Sales Taxes to Increase on 7/1/16

05/17/2016

Sales taxes in Ouachita Parish west of the Ouachita River will go up by $0.0039 (slightly less than 4/10 of one cent) beginning July 1, after the Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) unanimously approved at last night’s meeting an ordinance to enact the tax. The money is dedicated to roads and drainage.

Voters approved the levy in an April 9, 2016 election. A $0.0139 (slightly less than 1.4 cents) sales tax for the eastern part of the parish failed that same election.

During the public hearing for the ordinance, no one spoke.

There was extended discussion during the finance committee meeting over the cost of a upgraded electronic door lock system for the Green Oaks Juvenile Detention Center.

Director Lamar Anderson said the system would cost $577 thousand. The money would be paid from a capital fund money that originally was budgeted for a roof replacement.

District E’s Shane Smiley asked, “If the roof starts leaking in 2017, what are we gonna do?”

Treasurer Brad Cammack said that the roof did need some maintenance, but that it should hold up for several more years.

Finance Committee Chair Walt Caldwell (District C) asked Cammack to create for the next jury meeting a spreadsheet clarifying the center’s budget situation.

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Monday

05/15/2016

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet Monday, May 16, 5:30 PM, Ouachita Parish Courthouse, second floor.

Here is the agenda.

Civil War Breaks out in Ouachita Courts

04/20/2016

From the Ouachita Citizen:

Judge Sharon Marchman sues other judges, law clerk in federal court

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

The ongoing saga surrounding Stanley Palowsky III’s conflict with Fourth Judicial District Court officials took a turn Tuesday when Judge Sharon Marchman sued four of her colleagues on the bench and law clerk Allyson Campbell among others in U.S. District Court in Monroe.

Marchman’s lawsuit arises from the allegations that Campbell committed payroll fraud and destroyed or concealed court filings submitted by Palowsky in a lawsuit against a former business partner as well as allegations that district court judges covered up Campbell’s activities.

Defendants in Marchman’s lawsuit include Campbell, former state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Shreveport attorney Lawrence Pettiette (Campbell’s attorney), Monroe attorney Brian Crawford (Campbell’s attorney), attorney Jon Guice (judges’ attorney), Judges Carl Sharp, Fred Amman, Wilson Rambo and former Judge Ben Jones, who now serves as the court’s administrator.

Marchman said her efforts to “do the right thing and stop the cover-up of Campbell’s payroll fraud and document destruction” led to the defendants’ actions turning her into a “virtual pariah at the courthouse.”

See here the lawsuit.

North LA Local Governments Want More of Your Money

04/08/2016

Caddo Parish

Shall the Caddo-Bossier Parishes Port Commission (the “Commission”), acting under the authority of Article VI, Sections 30 and 32 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, as amended, and Chapter 37 of Title 34 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended (the “Act”), and other constitutional and statutory authority, continue to levy a special tax of two and one-half (2-1/2) mills on all the property subject to taxation in the port area consisting of Caddo and Bossier Parishes (the “Port Area”), (an estimated $6,800,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year) for a period of twenty-five (25) years, commencing with the year 2018, for the purpose of site acquisition and for constructing, acquiring, improving and equipping docks and wharves, transfer and storage facilities, commercial and industrial facilities and other port, transportation and infrastructure facilities and improvements within the Port Area, as more fully described in the Act, title to which shall be in the public, and for paying the Commission’s expenses of administering, maintaining, operating and marketing its facilities in the Port Area?

Shall Parishwide School District of Caddo Parish, Louisiana (the “District”), be authorized to levy a special tax of a twenty and eighteen hundredths (20.18) mills on all property subject to taxation within the District (an estimated $34,314,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2017 and ending with the year 2026, for the purpose of paying salaries and benefits for teachers and other personnel employed by the Caddo Parish School Board?

Shall Parishwide School District of Caddo Parish, Louisiana (the “District”), be authorized to levy a special tax of five and fifteen hundredths (5.15) mills on all property subject to taxation within the District (an estimated $8,757,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2017 and ending with the year 2026, for the purpose of paying the costs of renovation, repair and improvement of existing public school buildings and facilities in the District?

Shall Parishwide School District of Caddo Parish, Louisiana (the “District”), be authorized to levy a special tax of one and twenty-five hundredths (1.25) mills on all property subject to taxation within the District (an estimated $2,125,500 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2017 and ending with the year 2026, for the purpose of paying the costs of constructing, acquiring, renovating, improving, maintaining and/or operating computers, software and peripheral equipment, facilities and technological programs at public schools in Caddo Parish?

City of Ruston

Shall the City of Ruston, Louisiana (the “City”), under Article VI, Section 29 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974, and other constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to levy and collect a tax of three quarters of one percent (3/4%) (the “Tax”), upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services in the City, all as defined by law, for 20 years commencing July 1, 2016, and ending June 30, 2036, collections from the Tax for the first year expected to be approximately $4,250,000, with the proceeds of the Tax (after paying costs of collection and administration), to be dedicated and used to construct, improve, maintain, and/or repair public streets, related drainage, and facilities for the provision of water and sewer services; for economic development; and to acquire, construct, maintain, operate and/or equip a multi-sports recreation complex, an animal shelter and related property, facilities and utilities, all within the corporate limits of the City, and for authority to fund a portion of the avails of the Tax into Bonds in the manner provided by law?

Ouachita Parish

Shall the East Ouachita Economic Development District (the “District”), be authorized to levy a tax of 1.39% (the “Tax”) for a period of twenty-five (25) years, commencing July 1, 2016, upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services within the Parish as defined by law, (an estimated $2,650,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), with the proceeds of the Tax (after paying costs of collecting the Tax) to be dedicated and used for the purposes of undertaking economic development projects consisting of road, drainage and related infrastructure improvements for the benefit of the District?

The election is tomorrow (Saturday, 4/9).

OPPJ Flood Debris Pickup Info

04/07/2016

Memo.Press Release.Debris.4-6-16_Page_1

Memo.Press Release.Debris.4-6-16_Page_2

Sabine Police Jurors Have Road Issues

03/28/2016

Audit Finds Improper Road Maintenance Work, Use of Public Funds in Sabine Parish

Two members of the Sabine Parish Police Jury authorized $378,682 in road maintenance work in their districts without obtaining Police Jury approval or following state bid law or parish public works procedures, the Legislative Auditor said in a report released today.

The road projects were done between July 29 and September 4, 2015. The two police jurors said they decided to have the maintenance work performed outside of the parish’s normal process because the parish road manager did not respond to their requests for road repairs. The road manager said he was never told of the condition of the roads in question and did not find out about the work until it was underway.

The state auditor said the investigative audit also found that the Police Jury used public money to maintain what appear to be private driveways and roads in the parish, which is prohibited by the Louisiana Constitution and state law. An examination of parish records showed that 94 roads listed in the road department’s work tracking system did not appear on the parish’s approved road list.

The road department’s secretary said if parish employees worked on a road that was not in the department’s tracking system, she added the road to the system. However, she did not check to see if the road was on the parish’s approved road list.

In their response, Sabine Parish police jurors agreed with the audit’s findings and said they have held an educational session for the Police Jury on the laws and procedures involving public works projects. In addition, they are working on reconciling the roads in the road department’s tracking system with the parish’s approved road list to determine whether any private roads are listed. Officials also said they will work to implement the audit’s recommendations.

See here the complete audit.