by Malcolm Butler
It appears as if Lincoln Parish residents are one step closer to knowing the solution to the ambulance and rescue answer once the calendar rolls into the new year.
During Thursday’s Ambulance Committee meeting, the City of Ruston’s proposal for a 5-year deal was voted on and approved 7-3-1 to recommend to the 12-member Lincoln Parish Police Jury.
Now it’s up to the police jury members to vote to approve it or deny it. The next scheduled meeting is set for Oct. 11.
This is far from a done deal though.
“I want to make sure everybody is clear, all this is is a recommendation,” said Lewis Jones, legal council from the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office. “The police jury will have the final say. If you are obviously interested in this … you may want to be at the police jury meeting where this will actually be decided. … The jury is going to decide what to do. They have the final decision.”
“Or better yet, contact your police juror before then,” said Ambulance Committee member Dr. Jackie White.
The Ambulance Committee brought the same recommendation to the police jury in July, a recommendation that was ultimately voted down 6-3. However, that was three months ago and the $645,604 price tag from the city surprised most of the jurors that night.
Now nothing should be a surprise after the publicity this has received over the past three months. Plus the other options are better understood — both logistically and financially — now as well.
The city’s price tag can now be compared to the Lincoln Parish Fire District + Pafford EMS price tag, which ranges from $838,000 to $1,175,000 in year No. 2 and somewhere in between the last three years.
The policy jury members are now able to compare apples to apples when the vote takes place.
Although the next meeting isn’t scheduled until Oct. 11, Lincoln Parish Police Jury Administrator Doug Postel said Thursday that a special session could be called in order for the vote to take place sooner. Postel said that there are two ways for this to occur:
- Lincoln Parish Police Jury President Richard Durrett could request it
- Any 12 Lincoln Parish residents could send a signed letter requesting it
Postel said if a special session is requested that the policy jury would make that information public.
A Lincoln Parish Police Jury member speaking off the record Thursday said they felt as if it would be beneficial for the vote to take place sooner than the Oct. 11 date with the Dec. 31 expiration date of the current contract with the City nearing.