Council: Parish moving in positive direction

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Washington Parish President Richard Thomas said that the parish is on sound financial footing, during Monday’s meeting of the parish council.

Thomas made the positive remarks after Finance Director Donna Graham read off the interim financial report through July 31. The parish’s beginning fund balance was $9,401,921, while the ending fund balance was $10,056,183.

“Our Fund Balance has increased over the year at about $600,000. It’s in a positive direction,” Graham said. “At the next meeting, we’ll be looking at the actual numbers to amend the budget and prepare the 2016 budget.”
Thomas was pleased with the report.

“Within five or six months, we’ll have paid off our bond and we’ll have no debt,” Thomas said. “The parish is in good shape. I commend the council and Donna Graham. We’ll be paying off another bond 18 months early.”
“We’re paying off debt and progressing,” Council Chairman Michael Fussell said.

Before the Washington Parish Council meeting, officials took time to remember slain State Trooper Steven Vincent.

He was shot in the head Sunday and later died of his injuries.

“It’s a sad day when the people who stand up for us are murdered,” Thomas said.

The council also lauded the accomplishments of Franklinton’s Katherine Haik, who won Miss Teen USA on Saturday while competing in the Bahamas.

In other business, the council:

• Approved an ordinance to authorize Thomas to sign and execute any and all contracts and purchase agreements necessary for the application, administration and closeout of any fiscal year 2016-2017 Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Public Facilities application for the Bogue Lusa Water Works District.

• Approved an ordinance authorizing Thomas to sign and execute any and all contracts and purchase agreements for the application administration and closeout for any fiscal year 2016-2017 LCDBG application for street improvement for the parish indicating the parish’s intention to allocate funds for the procurement of professional services for the 2016-2017 LCDBG street improvement project.

• Accepted the resignation of Bob Bateman from the Zachary Taylor Parkway Commission.

• Accepted the resignations of Ronnie Seal and Barry Coco from the Washington Parish Fire Protection District No. 1. Sammy Sylvest and Ginger Panvelle were appointed to the District.
• Heard from Perry Talley, who is running for the Washington Parish Council District 1 seat. Current District 1 representative Kenneth Wheat is not seeking re-election.

• Heard from District 3 Councilman Dr. Chuck Nassauer, who noted that Aug. 29 is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“I think our scars are not as deep as others,” Nassauer said.

• Thomas noted Washington Parish offices will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 7.