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Parish debates grant, shelter

The Washington Parish Council held a routine meeting Monday evening.

Parish council secretary Sarah Cook said that the meeting lasted about an hour, and the board passed two resolutions and introduced an ordinance.

The first resolution approved an assignment of lease and assignment overriding Royalty Interest by McGinty-Durham, Inc. The second approved the applications for federal funds from the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grant Program.

Barbara Hicks-Collins spoke about the grant, and she said the Robert “Bob” Hicks Foundation is making an application to the National Parks Service to preserve the Robert “Bob” Hicks house. The group has received a National Parks Service grant in the past.

The grant does not require any local contribution, but Collins explained that the National Parks Service does like to see community support and this includes evidence like the parish’s resolution. She added that the money would go toward brick and mortar repairs on the house and Collins said she’s hoping to get $125,000 or more.

After that, the council introduced an ordinance that will limit truck routes on certain parish roads.

The agenda also indicated that Wendy Williams of Project Save Bogalusa would speak to the council, but Cook said she had to cancel. However, Cook said Ginger Corkern addressed the board over her concerns with management of the new shelter.

In particular, Cook said Corkern wanted to know why an earlier plan for establishing a shelter at the correctional facility was abandoned. Cook said Parish President Richard Thomas explained the plan was a state plan, not a local plan, and it proved unpopular because anyone who wanted to visit the shelter would have had to have been frisked and the warden at the prison did not want to manage an animal shelter, too.

Thomas also explained the state spent $42,000 on architectural drawings for the proposed shelter at the prison, but it would have been too costly for the parish government to build.

In addition, Thomas said money for the current shelter also came from the state.