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APPJ takes steps to reopen closed bridge

CROWLEY - A plan to reopen the bridge on West Northern Avenue in Crowley that was closed several months ago was put into place Tuesday night.
On the recommendation of its Road and Bridge Committee, the Acadia Parish Police Jury agreed to repair the bridge, contingent upon sharing the cost with the City of Crowley and Capitol Manufacturing.
The City of Crowley last week pre-approved a cooperative endeavor agreement committing $38,500 toward the bridge repair. The city council was meeting Tuesday night for final consideration.
In a letter dated July 14, Capitol Manufacturing’s Ron Lormand, manager, said the firm “is willing to make a one-time donation of $50,000 to the Acadia Parish Police Jury to be used toward the repair” of the bridge.
“Capitol Manufacturing Co. would very much like to make it more comfortable for our employees to drive to and from work,” Lormand said. “But, we also have a great concern for the safety and security for all the community in relation to response times for emergency support units such as medical, fire departments and law enforcement.”
The police jury will obtain proposals from interested contractors for the pre-engineered piling repair project and will pay the remaining $50,000 of the estimated $138,500 price tag.
In other business, jurors heard from Grant Ancelet, operations manager for St. Landry EMS, who inquired as to the status of a permit request to operate an ambulance service in Acadia Parish.
According to Ancelet, all the required documentation was turned in to the police jury office “probably six months ago.”
Ancelet explained that St. Landry EMS has been in business in St. Landry Parish for 13 years and expanded to Avoyelles Parish seven years ago. The company currently operates six ground ambulances in St. Landry and two in Avoyelles.
He noted that personnel from his company often work side-by-side with EMTs from Acadian Ambulance, and that is the scenario he would like for Acadia.
“We’re not trying to take over. We don’t want to be the only ambulance service,” Ancelet said.
He said competition would make for better service for citizens and better working opportunities for area EMTs and paramedics.
Ancelet added that he had the full support of “all the nursing home administrators” he had talked to in the parish, as well as many fire and police officials.
If the permit is ultimately approved, St. Landry EMS would initially operate three ground units in Acadia, first out of the Crowley area, then spreading out across the parish.
“This can’t not benefit everyone,” he said.
The jury took no action on the permit request Tuesday night.
In other action, the police jury:
• authorized the purchase of a rubber-tire excavator through state contract with Louisiana CAT for $230,260;
• re-appointed Jeff Fontenot to Fire District No. 5 (Branch);
• waived the alcohol permit ordinance location restrictions for Joshua and Elaine Dupre, owners of “The Museum” to be located at 125 Duson Ave. in Iota;
• authorized the president to execute a cooperative agreement between the Acadia Parish Police Jury and the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

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