Police Jury stalls call for a new Acadia-St. Landry Hospital millage
A request to call a special 10-mill tax election on May 9 to fund construction of a new Acadia-St. Landry Hospital in Church Point was put on hold Tuesday night.
Cindy Walters, CEO of the hospital, appeared before the Acadia Parish Police Jury to make the request.
She explained that the 10 mill being requested included the renewal of an existing 7.64-mill tax with an additional 2.36.
The existing tax expires in 2022, she said.
But Juror A.J. “Jay” Credeur recommended that, instead of asking voters to approve a single 10-mill tax, the hospital district present the proposal in two parts — the renewal of the existing tax and the additional tax needed for the new hospital.
“We have to protect the hospital as it is and where it is for the people of the district,” Credeur explained. “Voters are most likely going to support and pass the renewal and, if they want to support the tax for the new hospital, it will be right below the renewal to vote on.”
Credeur said he had expressed that sentiment to Walters two weeks ago when he and fellow juror Pat Daigle (who was not present for Tuesday night’s meeting) met with Walters, Rep. Phillip DeVillier and Sen. Bob Hensgens.
But Walters contended that Jason Akers, bonding attorney with Foley and Judell, had recommended combining the two into a single proposition.
She reminded that “the current millage doesn’t expire until 2022,” giving the district time to set another renewal election should the May 9 proposition fail.
Credeur said he would not vote in favor of calling the election if it remains a 10-mill proposition and added that he “would feel a lot better if Mr. Daigle was here.”
Daigle’s district encompasses a large portion of the hospital service district.
Administrative staff warned that, in order for the proposition to appear on the May 9 ballot, certain criteria, including publication of the call in the parish’s official journal, had to be done by Feb. 28.
Jury President Chance Henry said he would not be opposed to calling a special meeting if need be.
Walters said she would meet with Credeur and Daigle in the near future to discuss the matter.
The request was tabled.
In a somewhat related matter, a resolution was adopted approving the holding of a May 9 election in the Fourth Ward Drainage District to renew a 6.32-mill property tax.
Also, a request from the Bayou Mallet Gravity Drainage District to call an election on May 9 to renew a 5.04-mill tax was withdrawn from the agenda.
In other business Tuesday night, the police jury:
• accepted the low bid from Exterior Cleaning Services, Inc., of Church Point, to provide preventive services to the building exteriors and sidewalks on the Court Circle at a cost of $4,800;
• approved a resolution certifying that the parish will be responsible for $957 toward the design cost for repairs to the two courthouse elevators;
• authorized the purchase of three flex-wing rotary mowers from Abell and Son of Welsh at a cost of $6,525;
• accepted the low bid from Stars Stripes Traffic Systems, LLC, of Alexandria for 6.4 miles of reflectorized raised pavement markers on Evenezer Road at a cost of $4,642;
• authorized the president to sign a agreement with Southern Security of Crowley for security guards for the courthouse at an annual cost of $73,000; and
• approved the final payment of $16,962 of retainage to Southern Contractors, LLC, for the Retriever Road Bridge Replacement project.