It may have been the final discussion session before formal approval by the Red River Parish Police Jury of a new ordinance governing use of parish roads by heavy trucks. Members of the timber industry appeared Monday night to make their views known.
“We want to be helpful to the jury,” said Buck Vandersteen, Director of the Louisiana Forestry Association and the Louisiana Logging Council. He said most loggers want to and do follow the rules when it comes to doing the right thing not to damage roads they use. Vandersteen told the police jury his groups could exert pressure on loggers to follow the rules. “If there are truckers who are causing a problem, if there are people who are bad actors, then we will not buy wood from them.”
Most of the discussion at the meeting dealt with the finer details of how the proposed ordinance would work. Jury President Shawn Beard wanted the ordinance state that a company operating in the parish would have one contact that would be available 24 hours a day in the event of a problem. Superintendent Jessie Davis said the jury cooperates with businesses in getting roadwork done, for example the jury might furnish the materials and the company does the repair work.
Beard wanted the ordinance to make it clear that the reason for requiring a company to obtain a bond. He said, “Bonds should be required for those people who have not done what they were supposed to have done in the past. They would have to obtain a bond before getting a permit for another job.”
The jury instructed Superintendent Davis to run the ordinance in the official journal the required three weeks. Final approval of the ordinance would come at the June 4th Police Jury meeting. Members of the public could also comment at that meeting before a final vote would be taken.