Parish Council managing housing

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, December 24, 2014

During Monday’s Washington Parish Council meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a resolution to assume all managerial authority of the Housing Authority of Washington Parish.

“Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the Council will take over all power and duties,” Council attorney Wayne Kuhn said. “The only difference is that the Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will be dissolved. This is the result of a year-long discussion with Housing and Urban Development. In 1978, Section 8 housing began in Washington Parish with a contract between HUD and the Washington Parish Police Jury.

Kuhn said funding for Housing Authority employees will derive from a self-sufficient account.

In other business, the Council unanimously adopted resolutions to adopt the proposed 2015 operating budget and amended 2014 operating budget for the Washington Parish Tourism Commission.

The amended 2014 budget is $43,852, including total expenses. The proposed 2015 budget is $42,000. The largest expenses in both budgets are $15,000 for salary and $12,000 for rent.

An ordinance was introduced to grant Cleco Power a non-exclusive franchise to do business within the unincorporated area of the parish for distributing electricity. The renewal agreement is for 25 years. The ordinance has been tabled since October. The parish government added the franchise fee to the ordinance. The proposed ordinance will have public discussion and face a vote at the next meeting on Jan. 12.

Also, Washington Parish President Richard Thomas recognized Ben’s Ford Christian School fourth-grader Vivian Talley for her report on Louisiana government history.

In personnel moves, the Council:

• Reappointed David Miller to another three-year term on the Washington Parish Tourism Commission;

• Reappointed Cynthia August to the Washington Parish Communications District 911;

• Accepted the resignation of Washington Parish Communications District 911 board member Jason Verret. The Council voted to accept Willie Cook Byrd as Verret’s replacement; and

• Reappointed Washington Parish Fire District No. 3 Board President Justin Porche and Dudley Nielson to the board.

During his report, Washington Parish Director of Public Works Leo Lucchesi said 26 miles of parish roads were blacktopped this year.

Lucchesi also said 95 percent of the concrete walking trail at Poole’s Bluff is complete. A fishing pier at the Pearl River Nature Park is in the works, and materials for the project are slated to be delivered in mid-January.