The Red River Parish Police Jury met on October 4 for committee and regular meetings. The committee meeting began with two visitors. Kristin Delahoussaye of Capital Area Finance addressed the members concerning an amendment to add updated bond language to the Cooperative Endeavor. This agreement is of no charge and no financial to the parish. It allows CAF to assist qualified 1st time homebuyers in securing a down payment for the home.
The second visitor was Alvester Barfield. Mrs. Barfield represented the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center. She urged the members to discuss with their constituency the importance of reading and acting upon letters from the Department of Health and Hospitals regarding the need for all Medicaid recipients to recertify. “From 2020 to now, over 2.5 million recipients have not had to recertify due to COVID extensions. All these people must complete the recertification process or risk losing all benefits”. Barfield ended her presentation by passing out cards for members to distribute.
The regular business began with the approval of the minutes for September and the approval to adopt Off System Bridge Replacement Resolution for the period October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023.
Then, a discussion of the repairs for the courthouse began. Mr. Davis said he had gotten bids for the courthouse and buildings acquired from the school board. The former family center building will get a new roof, repair to the handicap ramp and exterior, and removal of overgrown shrubbery ($57,375). The former technology/adult ed building will get a new roof, energy-efficient windows, and interior upgrades ($55,480).
The former school board office needs new windows, a roof, and repairs ($165,000). Mr. Murray inquired about the cost of the courthouse. Mr. Davis said the list of work included new windows and repair, power washing, repair to exterior stucco, and painting. The overall scope of all the work will be $222,831. Murray expressed his concern that the work needed to start immediately. He remarked that in places in the offices downstairs, a person can stick a finger through the wood to the outside. Davis said the work could begin quickly. The members approved the bids for repair work to start.
In other business, jury members voted to approve an application of a GOHSEP grant for generators and safe room construction, approved authorization for Council on Aging resolution, and voted to pay the bills. During a discussion on paying the bills for the ambulance district, Davis and Hillman brought up the recent state inspection. Hillman said all ambulances were inspected, and no deficiencies were found. Davis said there are now 4 ambulances running at specific times due to sports events in the parish. A follow-up question was asked about the delivery of new ambulances. Davis said it could take more than a year to get the ambulance here and in working order.
Road construction and repair were also discussed. Several roads all over the parish are in varied states of repair, currently for $1.5 million. Davis also informed jury members that he is now seeking and receiving payments from oil and gas companies and similar large trucking companies for damages to parish roads. He stated that he had collected over $400,000 from companies and expects to collect more than $750,000 by year’s end.
After approval of the CIP resolution for the airport, the members motioned for adjournment. The next Police Jury Meeting is November 1 at 10:00 a.m.