Parish council fills boards

Published 4:48 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Washington Parish Council took care of routine business at their final meeting of 2016 Monday evening.

Fifteen minutes prior to the meeting, the council held a public hearing for opinion on whether the parish should accept Silverado Lane as a parish road. There was no public opinion expressed and the hearing was quickly closed.

At the meeting itself, the council approved their 2017 meeting schedule, they approved accepting Silverado Lane as a parish road and they accepted the 2017 annual operating budget without comment.

The council also adopted a resolution seeking state funding for senior transportation services.

Donna Graham, the parish’s finance director, said the money goes toward the Washington Parish Council on Aging’s busing program.

“It’s $250,000 and it funds their busses and transportation,” she said.

“This is a good thing for them,” said councilman Michael Fussell.

The resolution passed.

There was no public participation.

Just prior to the president’s report, Reginald McMasters, who was helming the meeting, asked to amend the agenda to add some items.

McMasters asked the council to approve Richard Watts and Edward Nichols as members on the hospital board representing Ward One and Ward Six respectively. The board approved these members.

The parish president’s report consisted mostly of seeking approval for a raft of new board members for a handful of public boards and committees.

The board approved Betty Jauan King for the board of Fire Protection District No. 1; Ginger Panvelle for the board of Fire Protection District No. 1; Freddie Jefferson for the board of the Washington Parish Water Works; Gary Pierce for the board of the Washington Parish Gas Utility District One; Jimmy Willis for the board of Bogue Lusa Water Works; Clinton Miley for the board of the Fire Protection District Seven; Ruth Corken for the board of the Fire Protection District Seven; Ronnie Manning for the board of the Fire Protection District Seven; Marilyn Bateman for board of the Washington Parish Tourism Commission; James Coleman for the board of the Washington Parish Communications District; Michael W. Stogner for the board of the Washington Parish Communications District; Steven “Clay” Richardson for the board of the Washington Parish Communications District.

In addition, parish President Richard “Ned” Thomas reported that Paul Harrington and Larry Terrell were resigning from the board of the Fire Protection District Four.

McMasters asked whether the board needed to vote to accept the resignations, but attorney Wayne Kuhn said that wasn’t necessary.

“Some organizations do, but if you don’t accept it he’s still not going to stay,” he said.

Finally, Graham wanted to alert all area businesses in unincorporated areas of the parish that they needed to renew their occupational licenses.

“It’s time to renew your occupational license and it applies to all businesses, whether you collect and pay sales tax or not,” she said.

Graham said a number of businesses don’t have up to date occupational licenses and she hopes that trend does not continue.

“There are several, probably many, businesses that have not registered with us, so

we urge all businesses to come in and register with us,” she said.

Parish public works director Leo Lucchesi said his department will be advertising for the parish’s bridge and culvert repair program soon.

“Feb. 17 will be the bid day,” he said. “We’ll keep you posted at the next meeting as we progress to bid time.”

President Thomas said the parish’s government offices would be closed Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26, for Christmas and on Monday, Jan. 2, for New Year’s. The landfill will be closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Finally, Fussell said the planning commission would meet quarterly because there is not enough business to warrant monthly meetings. However Karen Watson, who is on the planning commission, said she believes the commission has to schedule monthly meetings but then cancel them if there is no business. At this point, the commission has not ironed out exactly when it can meet.

Watson also asked why more members of the parish council were not at a recent planning commission ethics training, and Kuhn said council members do not have to attend those trainings.

The next meeting will be Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, at 6 p.m.