It took place a day later than originally scheduled but when the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) did meet this past Wednesday, the lion’s share of agenda items involved personnel decisions ranging from JPPJ employees to various committee and board appointments.
The session held at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center opened with Charles Hopkins making a public comment to the panel of Todd Culpepper (President), Amy Magee (Vice President), Lewis Chatham, John McCarty, Tarneshala “Niki” Cowans, and Regina Rowe. Lynn Treadway was absent.
Hopkins, representing the Ward 2 Fire Protection District, requested that Jury members consider including full-time fire department employees under the umbrella of the JPPJ insurance program citing the difficulty being had in staffing their department.
“We are looking to expand and would like to hire employees as volunteers are hard to come by these days,” said Hopkins. “We are having difficulty though in finding good people without having benefits to offer them so I am asking you to consider including firefighters in the parish insurance program. I feel residents of our parish will benefit by you doing so.”
President Culpepper replied that the suggestion would be relayed to the respective committee for consideration.
After Finance and Personne Committee Reports were approved the panel agreed to increase the budget for asphalt in the Road Maintenance Program from $200,000.00 to $300,000.00 and post for hiring a Mechanic 1 with a Class CDL in the Road Department. It was also agreed to announce the upcoming vacancy of the Road Superintendent, change the designation of the vacant position of Solid Waste Laborer to Operator 1, and allow the Maintenance Dept. to receive quotes for a new roof and associated repairs at the Cooper St. Building.
Brad Roller followed with the Operations Manager Report where he indicated another meeting with Optimum regarding the Broadband Project in Jackson Parish was held where it was learned that all residents that currently have cable through Optimum now have Broadband access.
Road Superintendent Jody Stuckey was next to report that $24,409.37 was spent on emergency call-outs last month and that all the tornado clean-up was completed. Solid Waste Superintendent Robin Session then took the podium to note that tonnage was up by 131 tons this month.
Attention then turned to approve appointments/re-appointments to various boards and commissions as follows:
Chris Womack – Recreation Board
Brent Barnett – Recreation Board
Wes Harvey – Watershed Board
Tracy Rusing – District 4 Fire Protection Board
Sharon Satcher – E911 Commission
Jeff Carpenter – E911 Board
Israel Smith – E911 Board
Aaron Blalock – E911 Board
In final action, a waiver for travel was approved for Brad Roller and Robin Sessions and the cost of engraved bricks at the Veteran’s Memorial Park was raised to $45.00 per brick. It was also agreed to contract with Folden and Associates for $125.00 per hour for bank reconciliations until March 21st when this would be revisited and to add Brad Roller to the Watershed Initiative Steering Committee.
The session adjourned following comments by each juror and a request to keep member Lynn Treadway, who is experiencing health problems in prayers.