By T. Scott Boatright
The holiday season is drawing close.
And that means the Lincoln Parish Police Jury was busy beginning the process of wrapping up the LPPJ year as it held its monthly meeting Friday night at the Lincoln Parish Courthouse.
Primary order of that business was passing inductions of the Humanitarian Enterprises amended 2023 and 2024 proposed budgets as well as passing an introduction of the LPPJ’s 2023 amended and 2024 proposed budgets.
Those items will be discussed and likely voted on during December’s LPPJ regularly-scheduled meeting.
Part of introducing the LPPJ’s 2023 amended budget included a last-minute addition to Thursday’s meeting to discuss the Lincoln Parish Park Bike Path Hub and the request of Park Director James Ramsaur.
And it’s a move that will save the LPPJ some money after the 2023 amended budget is voted on in December.
“We’ve got a proposed change where we wanted a little variation in ramps and the angles,” Ramsaur said. “The contractor came back and it was unrealistic price-wise.
“So we did some changing to the two easier trails as far as what we do with dirt. We can come back later and fix it if we want. And it will save roughly $13,000.”
Parish Administrator Courtney Hall said that information was only found about Sunday, hence the quirk request for the meeting agenda amendment to make it part of next month’s 2023 amended voting process.
A public meeting on those proposed budget matters is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Lincoln Parish Courthouse before the monthly meeting is held.
In another significant order of business, the LPPJ agreed with recommendations from the Jury’s Public Works Committee and Project Engineer Paul Riley to accept Ashton Construction, LLC’s bid of $52,905.37.
The LPPJ also authorized recommendation of a 2.5% increase for permanent Police Jury employees for 2024.
Jurors also passed a motion for introduction of an ordinance for sale of adjudicated Property Authorizing Assignment of Mineral Leases #13594 and #10520 From Comstock Resources, Inc. to Dixie Lake Royalty, LLC (56%) and Sabine Holdings, LP (44%).
The LPPJ also passed a motion agreeing to accept an $80,000 tax exemption for Weyerhaeuser in regards to its construction at 130 Girl Scout Rd. in Dubach.
Hall said two long-term tax exemptions for Weyerhaeuser are about to roll off the books, meaning that agreeing to tax exemption will bring no true overcost to the LPPJ.
“The last one we did of these was to Foster Farms for a 10-year exemption,” Hall said. “After the next one of the previous Weyerhaeuser exemptions will roll off, and the next year, the other one will roll off, So after the third year there will only be the one (Weyerhaeuser) exemption and it will all offset.”
Juror Logan Hunt, who made the motion to grant the new exemption, said he felt the move was a positive one for the future of Lincoln Parish.
“I think we need to be open for business and give that clear, business community here and across the South and everywhere that this community is open for business and we welcome those investments here as well as new jobs and projects,” said Hunt.