On May 18th the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) was able to hold a public meeting for the first time in several months but the requirements of the “social distancing” was starkly evident. Instead of their usual side-by-side positions around a large meeting table each juror sat a full six feet apart at individual round tables that spread wall-to-wall across the floor at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro.
Despite the inconvenience it didn’t stop Jurors: Todd Culpepper, Lewis Chatham, John McCarty, Tarneshala “Niki” Cowans, Regina Rowe, Lynn Treadway and President Amy Magee from holding a spirited discussion to begin the session about the proposed postponement of all projects slated for2020.
The result was that by a roll call vote of 5-2 it was decided to immediately begin to move forward with the 2020 planned construction projects submitted by the Road Department while, instead of cancelling all other projects until 2021, suspending them until a later date. Additional approval granted by jurors involving the Jackson Parish Road System included:
1. Adoption of the Road Capital Improvements Policy for 2021-23 which determines how roads in the Jackson Parish Road System are classified, rated and prioritized.
2. Hiring of the Riley Company of Ruston to rate and prioritize the roads in the system.
3. Adoption the 2020 Road Program and authorize the Parish Engineer to advertise for bids.
4. Adoption of the 3 year Road Program for 2020-2022.
5. Adoption of the revocation of the Public Road Policy.
6. Authorization of Parish Engineer to review issues on Hatten and Bert Road.
7. Hiring of a 4 person crew dedicated to drainage work.
It was further agreed to reassess each of the projects shown below once, or if, the Police Jury receives COVID-19 stimulus funding from the Federal and/or state government. Projects that were temporarily postponed:
1. Construction of model bin sites for Solid Waste
2. Maintenance projects unless there is a safety issue
3. Construction improvements on the Industrial Drive building
4. Funding for the Pinebelt Summer Worker Program
5. Inclusion of an Operations Manager position
6. Municipal appropriations including special projects
7. Annual municipal allocation
8. Dedication of funding for an Industrial Development board
Ordinance 0608-2020 which is in regard to Flood Damage Prevention was introduced for adoption in June meeting and department heads: Jody Stuckey – Road, Robin Sessions- Solid Waste, Robert “Bubba” Anderson- Maintenance and Gina Thomas – Secretary/Treasurer gave their reports.
Visitors to the meeting included Mr. Trae Brashear (JPPJ Insurance Agent) who presented the 2020-21 coverage program that was approved by unanimous decision and Mr. Ronald Bradley (Mayor Pre-tem of East Hodge) who requested the JPPJ assist with road repairs in the village. In final action before adjournment Ms. Judy Cooper was re-appointed to the Library Board of Control representing District 2 for a five year term effective 1/1/2020 – 12/31 2024