By T. Scott Boatright
Paving the way for better bike trails and other improvements at Lincoln Parish Park was a main order of business Tuesday night as the Lincoln Parish Police Jury held its monthly meeting at the Lincoln Parish Courthouse.
Jurors unanimously approved a motion to accept the only bid received on the project — $310,319.00 from Rogue Trails, LLC of Rogers, Arkansas, and authorized Parish Administrator Courtney Hall to execute any documents pertaining to the project, which will be paid for through funding from the Love Louisiana Outdoors Program.
“Only one bid was received although many attempts were made to secure others,” Hall said. “But this is such a specialized type of work and (other companies) were obligated to other projects – and that was documented for Baton Rouge (the Love Louisiana Outdoors Program). They did OK it with a noncompetitive exception even with only one bid.”
Jurors also approved authorization of a low bid of $260,745.00 to Lawler Construction of Shreveport and approval for Hall to execute any related documents to replace old water lines at Lincoln Parish Park and also extending water lines to tent camping areas at the park which currently don’t have access to water lines.
Ashton Construction of Farmerville was the other bidder for that project.
When asked what the park has as far as sizes of current water pipes by LPPJ Parks, Recreation and Tourism Chair Glenn Scriber, park director James Ramsaur had a quick and easy answer before telling Scriber that current water piping at the park comes in many types and sizes.
“We have a mess,” Ramsaur said. “I can say this — since the bids were opened we’ve already had four water leaks at the park.”
Jurors also approved a recommendation from the Personnel and Benefits Committee to appoint Richard Pyles to fill the Lincoln Parish Board of Control seat recently vacated by Diana Humphries after her term ended.
Wesley Harris of Ruston was the other person the LPPJ considered to fill the vacant seat.
Jurors also heard a report from Hall concerning a recent meeting he, Scriber and Juror Theresa Wyatt had with Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker and other Ruston officials concerning a potential animal sheltering agreement at the new Ruston Animal Shelter said to be completed by later summer.
Toward that end the LPPJ authorized the extension of the current animal sheltering agreement the Jury has with the city of Ruston.
“We actually were finally able to get together last Friday morning,” Hall said of the meeting with Ruston officials. “My take is that the city is very open toward a sustainable agreement, but there’s a lot of work to be done before that agreement would be mutually acceptable.
“There will be a considerable upfront capital cost to cover the additional square footage added to the new facility in anticipation of the Police Jury partnering on that project. Some in kind work is also expected to be done on part by the Police Jury. As far as a per animal cost, the city can’t come up with that number at this point because we’re still kind of walking together and learning as we go along.”
Jurors also adopted millage rates for 2023 with no changes from last year.
Those 2022 rates were:
• For General Parish Purposes (General Alimony Tax) on all taxable property inside the corporate limits of the City of Ruston, Louisiana —1.68 mills
• For General Parish Purposes (General Alimony Tax) on all taxable property outside the corporate limits of the City of Ruston, Louisiana — 3.37 mills
• For the Construction, Improvement and/or Hard Surfacing of Public Roads and Bridges In Lincoln Parish, Louisiana — 4.41 mills
• For the Maintenance and/or Improvements of Public Roads and Bridges Throughout Lincoln Parish, Louisiana — 4.41 mills
• For the purpose of providing funds for equipment, supplies, maintenance, operation, construction and support of a public library and its branch or branches in the Parish — 4.49 mill
In other business during Thursday’s meeting, the LPPJ also adopted a resolution declaring the intention of the LPPJ to issue taxable sewer revenue bonds not to exceed $995,000 and engaged Foley & Judell, LLP as bond counsel for those matters.
Jurors also introduced an ordinance providing for claim of ownership of adjudicated property next to the Garr Road Fire Station, introduced ordinances for the sale of three parcels of adjudicated properties, authorization re-advertisement of lots of surplus office furniture, and authorized LPPJ President Richard Durrett to sign replating of Lincoln Parish Library property, part of which will go to the QuikTrip currently under construction on part of the current property.