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Police Jury deem house health hazard

Published 12:08am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish Police Jury declared a residence at 511 Concordia Park Drive a health hazard, approved an audit report and approved tax millage rates for the 2013-2014 fiscal year during its Monday meeting.

The police jury turned the Concordia Park Drive house over to the district attorney’s office after deeming it a health hazard.

The house, surrounded by overgrown grass, has been a problem for several years, according to Vidalia High School teacher Damus Smith.

“Since 2006 this house hasn’t had any utilities — water, electricity or gas,” Smith said. “The grass has been overgrown, and he uses the bathroom behind his house. This is a serious matter, especially because there is a lady next door that has a baby.”

The police jury previously cut the grass outside of the Concordia Park Drive residence. Neighbors have also reported the man for minor crimes, Smith said.

But Smith said time in jail isn’t helping to fix the problem.

“He gets out and just goes right back home,” he said.

To find a more permanent solution, the police jury voted to turn the matter over to the Concordia Parish District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s a health hazard,” Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said. “We should go through all the right legal channels to make sure he gets some kind of mental help or the problem is solved.”

The police jury also reviewed a report from Silas Simmons Public Accountants of Natchez.

The report included no findings. The police jury spent $144,000 less than its budgeted amount for the 2013-2014 fiscal year and also generated $146,000 less in revenues than its budgeted amount.

The police jury also voted to keep tax millage rates the same as the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Tax rates include:

• 42.270 mills for general alimony property tax.

• 48.5 mills for library tax.

• 410 mills for drainage works buildings tax.

• 1.8 mills for health unit tax.

• 4 mills for the council on aging tax.

• Eight cents per acre on timber land in Concordia Parish.

The police jury’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 22  in the Concordia Parish Courthouse.