Jury debates mosquito program
By Paul Kedinger
LSN STAFF WRITER
The lack of qualified applicants for the post of mosquito control director led jurors into a debate on whether to keep the program in-house or advertise for contract service during committee meetings Tuesday night.
The only applicants were an uncertified resident of Morse and two Canadians who applied on-line.
While Juror Kermit Richard and John Quebodeaux saw a need to strive to revive the in-house program, Juror Alton Stevenson, A.J. Credeur and Cade Benoit talked about keeping contract option in place for the time being.
Credeur, for example, said he didn’t want to see the Jury go back to an in-house program.
Due to the poor response to the director’s post, Benoit suggested the Jury extend the current contract with Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc. That contract is set to expire June 10. MCCI is currently using the parish equipment and chemicals at a monthly charge of $22,000.
In other business, jurors agreed to recommend the full Jury consider contracting with a commercial cleaning service instead of having three Jury workers continue with courthouse maintenance.
Juror John Quebodeaux noted it costs $150,000 in salary and benefits to clean the courthouse now.
C&J Commercial Cleaning Service proposed a yearly contract of $75,912 for daily clean up and floor maintenance and a one time charge of $11,995 to refinish the floors.
Though jurors expressed some concern of future job duties for the three courthouse workers, they agreed to recommend the commercial cleaner.
Juror Alton Stevenson voiced strong opposition to razing the old jail and sheriff’s former offices, arguing that one floor could be used for storage and even suggesting the Police Jury offices could move into the first floor.
Juror Tony Moreau agreed the building was solid but “needs a facelift.”
Jurors asked jail warden Eby Henry if inmate labor could be used to remove the gut the jail and clean up the building. He indicated the inmate workers could do that work.
Jurors also agreed to consult with Acadian Elevator of Lafayette about installing an self-service elevator to replace the staff-operated elevator. The firm proposed a new elevator would cost approximately $104,000.
Jurors were concerned about how much time the installation would require.
Jurors also recommended a 25 mph speed limit on Civil Road and spending about $15,000 to instill at culvert to reopen a bridge on Conney Road.
The Solid Waste Committee recommended spending $280,000 for a new track-type dozer with a waste handling package to handle an increased amount of construction debris coming into the landfill in Egan.
Lee Hebert, emergency preparedness director, recommended the Jury renew a debris removal contract with D&J Enterprises, Inc. The contract would be activated following a hurricane or tropical storm.
Jurors complimented Kevin Ardoin, director of Acadiana Crime Lab for his efforts on trimming a $600,000 deficit to $200,000 over the past three years, reducing the parish share of the budget from $58,000 to $19,560 this year.
Jeff Bouillion, chairman of the Acadia Rice Arena Board, asked the jurors to approve a full-time employee for the arena. The Finance Committee agreed to recommend the full-time position.
In other business, the committee agreed to submit the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire to the Legislative Auditor.
Jurors also approved a list of equipment and vehicles as surplus and authorized sale to the highest bidder.
When jurors turned their attention to the appointment of an official journal, Jo Cart, editor of the Rayne Independent, suggested instead of solicit bids that the Jury rotate the legal journal on a six-month basis as paracticed by the City of Rayne for Rayne’s two newspapers.
She suggested the legal rate be set at $3.00 per column inch, indicating the newspapers could make a profit at the level.
The Rayne Acadian-Tribune currently serves as the legal journal based on a bid of 45 cents per column inch.
Jury Secretary-Treasurer Terry Lacombe told jurors the $3 rate would increase the budget item to approximately $45,000 per year. Annual costs currently are under $7,000.
Juror President A.J. Credeur also pointed out that the parish is served by one daily newspaper and three weekly newspapers.
Jurors directed Lacombe to survey other parishes regarding what they are paying for legals.
It was also mentioned that there is a proposed bill before the State Legislature that would allow parish governing bodies to post legal notices on their websites.