New Fire Department Board Appointed

The Red River Parishwide Fire Protection District has a new governing board.  The Red River Police Jury held a special meeting on Thursday morning to name the new board. 

Board Supervisor Jessie Davis presented a series of motions that removed the old board members, set up new fire board district boundaries, and then name an all new board.

Davis told the jury, “The fire board is not properly appointed.  He said the last appointments to the fire board were in 2016.”  State law states that members serve two year terms.  Davis said, “I move that the police jury exercise its authority to remove the entire board of the Red River Parish Fire Protection District.”  His first motion was adopted.

Regarding a new board, Davis said, “The law calls for eight members serving specific districts and that the members appointed live within the district they are appointed to serve.”

Davis presented a parish map with the seven districts.  The town of Coushatta would get two members on the board and each other district would get one.  The map and districts were appointed by the jury.

Davis said they have been talking with prospective board members and he presented a slate of eight people who said they would be willing to serve.  District Attorney Julie Jones, who attended to advise the police jury on current state law, was selected to draw names from a hat to assign the length of terms.  Three members will serve three years, three will serve two years, and the remaining two will serve one year terms.  As board terms expire, all new members will serve two year terms, according to the state statute.

Davis presented a motion with the list of prospective members, their districts and length of initial terms on the fire board.  The motion passed.

The final motion by Davis called for a member of the fire board to attend each regular police jury meeting and report on the status of the fire department.  In recent monthly meetings various jurors have expressed dissatisfaction with the information, especially financial data, coming from the fire department.

Back in the spring, the jury authorized a ballot issue to allow the fire department to renew their property tax up to three years early.  The reason given by the fire department was to ease a financial burden by allowing refinancing of debt on the new fire station over 12 years.  At that time, the fire department promised to make regular reports to the jury on their finances.  Davis told the Journal recently that they had not received the information they were expecting.  This past summer parish voters gave the OK to the early tax renewal.