Public works biggest issue in jury race

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 18, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – Improving drainage and roads and getting abandoned properties cleaned up would be top priorities for almost all candidates for the Concordia Parish Police Jury’s District 2 seat.

Running in the parish’s most hotly-contested race are incumbent Fred Marsalis, Warren Dewayne Brown, Willie J. Dunbar, L.J. Robinson and Clarence Singleton. Primary elections will be held Saturday.

District 2, south Vidalia and an area west of town, is a low-lying area that suffers from flooding in heavy rains. Some roads in the district – several in Concordia Park, where Brown, Dunbar and Robinson live – are not paved.

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Marsalis said that in the four years he has represented District 2, the jury has worked on such problems. The jury is working to keep vacant lots mowed and abandoned houses boarded up, he said.

Also, they started the Vidalia Canal improvement project and pursued funding for other drainage projects from the Legislature. &uot;They recognized us as an area of need in the last session and hope to get funding next year,&uot;&160;Marsalis said.

But if elected, Dunbar and Robinson pledge to work aggressively to find government money to fix the problems.

&uot;The jury made a promise to fix the roads, and now they say they don’t have the money,&uot;&160;said Dunbar, who would also like to improve sewage service and install fire hydrants in Concordia Park.

&uot;There has got to be some government money for things like that, and we need to be looking for it,&uot;&160;said Robinson, who also ran against Marsalis four years ago.

Brown is aware that the Police Jury is on a tight budget but said he believes the jury could still find the money to improve District 2.

&uot;At least they could spend some of what they do have in this district,&uot;&160;Brown said. &uot;This area needs a facelift. And we pay taxes just like anyone else.&uot;

Singleton could not be reached for comment Monday.