Parish OKs budget, discusses redistricting

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 9, 2002

VIDALIA &045; Budget and reapportionment matters led the agenda at the Concordia Parish Police Jury’s Monday night meeting.

First, the jury approved a budget with almost $5.36 million in revenues and more than $5.61 million in expenditures for the year 2003. That is up from a budget of nearly $4.49 million for this year.

The figure includes the jury’s general fund as well as its special revenue funds, such as the highway, drainage, solid waste, library, public health and sales tax funds.

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The good news is that &uot;we won’t have to lay anybody off toward the end of the year,&uot; which has happened in past year to cut costs, said jury Finance Committee Chairman Randy Temple.

Later in the meeting, the jury discussed reapportionment of police jury districts based on 2000 Census results.

Three different maps drawn up by consultant Oliver Schultz of Monroe were viewed during the meeting. One plan, opposed by jurors Gene Allen and Carey Cook, would split Clayton between two districts. &uot;Ferriday and Vidalia are both split now, so that (opposition) doesn’t hold water,&uot; jury President Rodney Smith said.

In the end, Schultz reasoned that Clayton could be kept its current district if some of District 5B west central Concordia was put into District 5A.

Jurors directed Schultz to bring more concrete numbers and district lines to next Monday’s special meeting.

After a plan is adopted by the jury, it and the other options that were presented to the jury will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.

After a 45-day public comment period, the Justice Department will let the jury know whether it has any objections to the jury’s preferred plan.

The jury also voted to turn over information on a proposed insurance plan for parish employees with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana to the jury’s Finance and Insurance committees.

The current plan costs the jury about $7,000 a month. Insurance representative Dale Ducote said he will have savings estimates for the jury at its Monday meeting.

In any case, the jury must decide by the end of the year which plan it will choose, Smith said.