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Police Jury hears grant update

Members of the Acadia Parish Police Jury learned the status of a number of grants — both pending and completed — during a quarterly report by Renada Broussard, grants manager.
One of the most publicized of the grants is the capital outlay funding from the Louisiana Division of Administration for the ultimate replacement of the two elevators in the parish courthouse.
Broussard noted that the four-story courthouse was constructed in 1951 and that there are more than 500 daily elevator users, a number of whom are handicapped.
“There are two elevators in the building, both of which are original to the building and both of which need to be replaced,” Broussard said.
“The plan is to replace the smaller elevator first and, once it is working, the main elevator will be replaced.”
The total estimated cost for the elevators is $1.02 million. In 2019 the police jury was awarded $765,000 payable from state General Funds with a match from the jury in the amount of $255,000.
The project currently is waiting for the design contract to be signed.
Another state capital outlay application for which the parish is awaiting funding is for the upgrade of Old Spanish Trail Road in Mermentau.
“In the village of Mermentau, 13th Street is a main thoroughfare for rice mill freight trucks accessing Highway 90,” Broussard explained. “Before the access to Highway 90, there is a set of railroad tracks that have steep approaches on both sides. These approaches are difficult for the freight trucks to maneuver.”
It has been determined that raising 13th Street to lessen the severity of the approach is not feasible. It’s been proposed that Old Spanish Trail Road, an aggregate road, be improved to accommodate the freight trucks.
“Such an improvement would allow the freight traffic to use Old Spanish Trail to the Highway 92 intersection with Highway 90,” Broussard explained.
Total estimated cost of the project is $610,717. The jury has been granted $460,000 in priority 2 funding.
“In July of 2019, we received a cooperative endeavor agreement data form and a line of credit,” Broussard said. “We completed each form and immediately returned to (Facility Planning and Control).
“Bonds have not been sold to fund this project nor have we received a cooperative endeavor agreement for the project.”
Currently, the status of the project is listed as “application submitted.”
A number of Community Water Enrichment Fund (CWEF) grants have been applied for by the jury.
• The jury requested $107,000 — $57,000 for the Mire-Branch Water Corporation and $50,000 for the North of Crowley Water Corporation — to fund various projects for each entity.
The Mire-Branch Water Corp. was awarded $9,601; the North of Crowley Corp. was awarded $10,827.
These grants were just recently awarded and work has not yet begun.
• The jury requested $50,000 for the Mire-Branch Water Corp. to be used to clean, paint and repair two existing groundwater storage tanks.
A total of $9,900 was awarded and that project was closed in January, according to Broussard.
• A grant in the amount of $50,000 was requested for the North of Crowley Water Corp. to hire a contractor to install an in-line booster pump station including a security fence.
A total of $9,900 was awarded and the corporation is waiting for work to be completed.
• An additional $100,000 grant was requested for the Mire-Branch Water Corp., the funding to be used to blast paint and pressure wash tanks and equipment.
A total of $42,000 was granted and the project was closed in January.
The police jury has applied for a Local Government Assistance Program grant to remove and restore areas of the parking lots and sidewalks on the courthouse square that have obstructions, cracks and uneven pavement.
Broussard said she is waiting to receive confirmation of approval or denial of the $99,320 request.
Of eight applications for Energy Efficiency grants from the state Public Service Commission, only one has been approved, according to Broussard.
The contract has been signed for the $7,313.42 project to update and upgrade the lighting in the Registrar of Voters’ Office.
Applications that were deferred to 2021 include:
• $1,717.68 to update and upgrade lighting systems for the animal shelter;
• $18,628.97 to update and upgrade lighting systems for various parish maintenance facilities ($13,504.38 for the Branch Barn; $2,060.34 for the Iota Barn; $3,064.25 for the Industrial Facility);
• $247,261.75 to update and upgrade lighting systems at the Acadia Parish Rice Arena;
• $2,305.10 to update and upgrade lighting systems at the jury’s Administrative Building;
•$100,000 to update and upgrade the existing chiller and its system for the courthouse;;
• $70,835.12 to update and upgrade lighting systems at the Acadia Parish USDA Building (AgCenter); and
• $10,287.03 to update and upgrade lighting systems and the Acadia Parish Recycle Center.
Broussard also reviewed the State Treasurer’s annual Fire Service Unit Certificate distribution of funds to individual fire service units based on the July 1, 2018 estimated population of each parish
Acadia Parish received a total of $247,326.90 for fiscal year 2019-20.
Funds were disbursed as follows:
• Acadia - Evangeline Fire Protection District: $5,094.28
• Acadia Parish Fire Protection (APFP) District 1 (Richard Volunteer Fire Department): $10,694.61;
• APFP District 2 (Egan VFD): $6,973.13;
• AFPF District 3 (Evangeline VFD): $9,627.78;
• APFP District 4 (Eunice VFD): $4,341.72;
• APFP District 5 (Estherwood VFD): $5,108.26;
• AFPF District 5 (Mermentau VFD): $5,149.61;
• APFP District 5 (Morse VFD): $5,600.32;
• APFP District 6 (Branch VFD): $9,019.94;
• APFP District 7 (Mire VFD): $13,098.83;
• APFP District 8 (Lyons Point VFD): $7,072.37;
• APFP District 9 (Rayne VFD): $50,021.98;
• APFP District 10 (Church Point VFD): $29,099.03;
• Iota VFD: $17,010.61;
• APFP District 11 (rural Crowley): $17,167.74; and
• Crowley Fire Department: $52,246.59.
Broussard also noted that Acadia parish had applied for a number of grants through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, a $25 million statewide program commissioned by Gov. John Bel Edwards to redefine how Louisiana manages flood risk.
However, each of the nine applications was determined to be ineligible for round 1 funding.
“And the Acadia Parish Police Jury not only applies for grants, it awards them,” Broussard said.
She explained that the jury has awarded the following grants:
• Acadia 4-H Foundation, Inc.: $12,000 to support Acadia 4-H programs;
• Acadia Soil and Water Conservation: $2,500; and
• Department of the Army: $600.
President Chance Henry said reports of the various parish grants would be presented to the police jury on a quarterly basis “so all the jury members can keep abreast of what we’re doing.”

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