Projects proposed to jury
By Shantelle Breaux
CROWLEY – At Thursday evening’s meeting of the Acadia Parish Police Jury, the jury agreed to start preliminary discussions with FEMA, and take reports at an open meeting next month, regarding a proposal made by the board of directors at the Crowley American Legion Hospital.
J. Andrus Barousse, president of the hospital board, addressed the jury, asking that the jury and the hospital form a partnership to help push forward two projects, a parish health unit and a new emergency room.
According to Barousse, because the hospital board is a non-profit entity, it cannot solicit funds for these two projects. Instead, the board offered to give the jury two 100-year paid-up leases to house the projects, if the jury would fund the construction of the buildings through grants or other means.
The emergency room at the hospital has had to close for recent major hurricanes, because of structural weakness. The proposed new emergency room be would be able to stay open during storms.
The new health unit project was already moving forward, but as Tina Stefanski, director of the unit, stated, a “location by the hospital is much more preferable to us.”
Police Jury President A.J. Credeur was supportive of the request, stating that not only people in Crowley but also in the small area communities would benefit from the care provided by these.
The jury also approved a recommendation to hire, at a yearly salary of $45,000, a full-time deputy to increase security at the courthouse. According to juror John Quebodeaux, other means of beefing up security, such as metal detectors, a card ID system and cameras are being considered as well.