Jurors hear audit, set millages
Steve Bandy is the managing editor of The Crowley Post-Signal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 337-783-3450.
A favorable audit report of fiscal year 2013 and the approval of millages for fiscal 2014 highlighted an otherwise routine meeting of the Acadia Parish Police Jury here Tuesday.
John Istre of the firm of Broussard, Poché, Lewis and Breaux, presented the audit of last year’s finances, reporting “no findings of non-compliance.”
Istre pointed out that total assets of the parish currently stand at $75,485,000, up from $74,765,000 the previous fiscal year.
“A big chunk of that is capital assets — equipment, infrastructure, etcetera,” Istre added.
He went on to say that total liabilities for the most recently ended fiscal year are $22,834,00, down from $25,601,000 in fiscal 2013.
That’s a decrease of $2,767,000, or 10.8 percent.
Millages for this year were presented to the jurors for approval by parish Assessor James “Jimbo” Petitjean.
The jurors unanimously, with Dale Trahan and Alton Stevenson absent, approved millages as follows:
• General alimony: 4.25 mills.
• Exempted municipalities: 2.12 mills.
• Library: 4.25 mills.
• Health Unit: 2.12 mills.
• Roads and bridges: 3.18 mills.
• Co-Op. Extension: 2.12 mills.
• Senior Citizens Center: 1.5 mills.
In other action, jurors voted to continue with the parish inmate work program with the stipulation that costs arising from any accidents or injuries to prisoners be monitored on a monthly basis.
Secretary-Treasurer Richard “Dickie” Latiolais said the issue arose from “a few accidents in the past” for which the sheriff’s office was held liable for costs.
“The sheriff wants us to assume the liability,” Latiolais said. “They want us to take over all medical costs if an inmate is injured or they will do away with the program.”
Latiolais pointed out, and most jurors seemed to agree, that the program is a valuable one to the parish.
“It would cost us more to hire a crew to do the work these inmates do than what it costs for injuries,” Juror Julie Borill said.
“I think we should continue the program, take over the liability and see how it goes from there,” Latiolais said.
Charles King of Crowley proposed an amendment to the parish solid waste ordinance that he said would help parish residents better understand exactly what can be disposed of at the landfill and who can do the disposing.
“The Department of Environmental Quality permit for the Acadia Parish landfill governs operation of the landfill by the police jury, it does not address use of the landfill by the general public,” King said.
“Parish Ordinance No. 572 is the only one that addresses use of the landfill, but its language is vague and it contains no definitions.
King said his proposal defines residential, commercial and manufactured waste and sets forth procedures for the disposal of each.
Parish counsel Brad Andrus asked the jury to hold off on taking any action on the proposed amendment until he completes his research on the original ordinance.
He explained that, since the ordinance was established by a referendum vote of the citizens of Acadia Parish, he is not sure if it can be changed by the jury or if it would take another vote of the citizenry.
No action was taken.
Under appointments, jurors reappointed James Lacasse to the Iota Fire Protection District and Conrad Meyers and Darryl Zaunbrecher to the Second Ward Gravity Drainage District No. 2.
Heather Harper, new administrator at Acadia General Hospital, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Terry Osborne on the Acadia Parish Communications District.