Lincoln Parish Police Jury conducts committee meetings

By Kyle Roberts

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury opened its Tuesday night meeting with three committee sessions prior to the regular agenda meeting.

The Public Property & Building meeting began at 5:30 p.m., chaired by Hazel Hunter of District 2. Also serving on the committee are T.J. Crawford of District 4, Logan Hunt of District 5, Glenn Scriber of District 6, and Skip Russell of District 8.

The discussion focused mainly on the Police Jury Complex II Building, specific to a lease and maintenance of repairs of the building.

The building located across from First Baptist Church in between Vienna Street and Trenton Street is more than 50 years old and currently houses Dollar General, Hinton Driving Academy and the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Aaron’s Furniture recently vacated its space within the building.

Aaron’s was paying $44,000 per year for its space, but the condition of the building continues to deteriorate due to age.  

Until Dollar General’s lease runs out in May of 2024, nothing can be done with the entirety of the building (there is no option to end the release prior to its termination date). The main concern is the age and condition of the HVACs within the entire building. Concerns arose over leasing the now open space to a new customer, knowing if any of the HVAC’s fail, it would be a large expense to replace.

A recommendation to allow LPPJ Administrator Doug Postel to look for any available used HVAC units that could be purchased (if necessary) was approved by both the Public Property and Buildings Committee and then ultimately the LPPJ.

A second recommendation was approved by both the committee and then the LPPJ in regards to searching for a new leaser. Any new lease would not surpass May of 2024 (the date when the Dollar General lease runs out). It was also recommended to look for a shorter term lease such as six months or nine months or even a month-by-month in order to offset the concerns over possibly having to replace the old HVACs if they quite working.

Aaron’s was leasing the space for $3,667 per month and the committee and LPPJ feel the additional revenue is essential.

The Finance Committee meeting chaired by Russell. Sharon Mayfield of District 11, Matt Pullin of District 7, and Hunter followed at 6 p.m.

During this meeting a recommendation for a 2.5 percent increase in wages and salaries for all Lincoln Parish employees was approved unanimously. The proposal was then approved by the LPPJ.

The following budget request items were also unanimously recommended to the LPPJ: Bayou Lake D’Arbonne Commission ($1800), Sparta Groundwater Commission ($2500), Trailblazer ($2500), Council on Aging ($5000), Lincoln Total Community Action ($6000), Department of Veterans Affairs ($7917 as an in-kind donation), LSU Cooperative Extension Service ($20,000), Lincoln Parish GIS ($25,000), Lincoln Parish IT ($20,000), Registrar of Voters ($51,000 that included a $1000 increase), Lincoln Parish Coroner ($60,483), Third Judicial District Court ($137,700), Lincoln Parish District Attorney ($244,660). All of the preceded line items came from the general fund.

Three more items were also unanimously approved: Northeast Delta Human Services Authority ($15,030), Keep Lincoln Beautiful ($7500) and Lincoln Parish Health Unit ($18,500). Once again, these items were then approved by the LPPJ.

Finally, the Public Works committee met at 6:30 p.m. chaired by Hunt. Also serving are Theresa Wyatt of District 1, Cranford, Scriber, and Pullin.

New business for the Public Works committee included request for permission to advertise for bids for gas/diesel (one year), gravel (one year), culvert materials (one year), and hot mix for maintenance (six months: November through April). All were voted unanimously in the affirmative.

A recommendation for a final plat for Shirley May Subdivision in Grambling was approved along with a purchase of a Hydraulic Excavator 317GC for the Highway Department. After comparing the rental price for five years ($201,606) compared to an outright purchase price ($221,182) from a state contract, the vote was unanimous to purchase.

Finally, the Public Works committee voted unanimously to assist the City of Grambling with ditch digging on both Jordan and Carver streets. All of these recommendations were then approved by the LPPJ.

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