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Grass cuts costing police jury

Published 12:11am Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VIDALIA — Grass is green and so is money, and Monday the Concordia Parish Police discussed how much of the latter the former is costing the parish.

The discussion arose after the jury approved the payment of a $1,200 grass-cutting bill for an overgrown lot on Doty Garden Circle. A parish ordinance allows the police jury to have overgrown properties cut and bill owners for the work.

Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said the jury was going to have to consider other options in the future.

“On this stuff, we are going to have to put the brakes on,” Ferrington said. “On this property, we were able to put (the bill) on the tax rolls for next year, but (the payments) are coming out of our general fund, and our general fund can’t handle it.”

Juror Willie Dunbar suggested on future properties the police jury seek quotes to see if other grass cutting services might be able to do the job cheaper.

“We may have to start getting our prison crews and start doing (the job) ourselves,” Ferrington said.

Juror Whest Shirley asked Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Friloux to check with other parishes and see what they do about overgrown grass.

But even as the jury discussed its concern about the costs, Dunbar said he wanted to ensure that a particular overgrown lot in the Vail Acres area get taken care of in a reasonable amount of time.

Friloux said the owner of the lot had asked for an extension because the grass cutting services she had contacted had told her they did not have enough time to cut the lot right away.

“Count down the days between what she said she needed and when they are over, and if it isn’t done we will find someone who will do it for us,” Dunbar said.

In other news:

• The jury adopted two resolutions honoring Florence Matthews and the Rev. Robert Lee. Lee recently turned 100, and Matthews will be 100 Sept. 25, Juror Joe Parker said.

• The jury voted to change the structure of the printed agendas for its future meetings. Meeting agendas will now no longer list individual interfund transfers.

“This is something that we have done for years, and we are not really required by law to do it,” Juror Randy Temple said.