Police Jury grants extension by one vote

Despite the recommendation of the architect who is overseeing the construction of the Henry and 7th Ward fire stations, the Police Jury extended Minville Lumber an extra 15 days to finish the projects.

The fire stations were rebuilt because they flooded for Hurricane Rita almost four years ago.

Architect Gene Sellers Jr., who oversaw the project, advised that the police jurors on the Public Works Committee not to give Minville Lumber an additional 15 days to complete the projects.

Sellers explained to the police jurors that there were days that contractors did not show up altogether and it was not raining. The Public Works Committee approved Sellers’ recommendation. It meant Minville Lumber would be liable for not finishing the work by May.

However, that all changed at Monday night’s regular Police Jury meeting when the Jury voted 7-6 to grant Minville’s Lumber Yard a 15-day extension.

Police juror Wayne Touchet, who is a contractor by trade, said he felt the jury should help a local business and grant it the 15-day extension.

Touchet said, “It’s good to have a local contractor bid on jobs, and I am asking the more time to complete the job because they left $57,000 (in additional profits) on the table to do this work.”

The police jury would eventually received the money back in sales tax.

But not ever juror was in favor is granting the extension. Juror Nathan Granger said, “I understand Wayne’s point, but if they are behind because they have too much work, shame on them. A contract is a contract. We need to stop being nice.”

Here is how they wanted: Dane Hebert (No), Chris Beraud (No), Nathan Granger (No), Ronald Darby (Yes), Wayne Touchet (Yes), Keith Meaux (Yes), Errol Domingues (No), Gerald Butaud (No), Ronald Menard (Yes), Pervis Gaspard (No), Cloris Boudreaux (Yes), T.J. Prejean (Yes), and Leon Broussard (Yes).

Police juror Mark Poché was absent from the meeting.

The Police Jury also approved:

• Reimbursing Little Chapel Fire Department in the amount of $1,850, relative to an antenna (attached to the building) that was broken during Hurricane Gustav.

• Authorized legal council to investigate the Jury’s responsibility to pay those medical bills for the Sheriff’s deputies who needed medical attention after being exposed to a UV light at the morgue, while in the course of their duties.

• Paying an invoice dated April 1, 2009 to the Iberia Sheriff’s Office for $806, relative to housing Vermilion Parish inmates in March.

• Authorized the parish liaison to investigate the request from the Office of Juvenile Justice for help in locating land for a site for a residential secure care facility for juveniles.

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