Ferriday voters to consider two tax millages

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Nobody likes taxes, but without them public bodies could not fix their crumbling roads or pay police officers to patrol them.

Ferriday residents, who are beset with bad roads and a rapidly shrinking police force, will have the chance to voluntarily surrender a bit of their hard-earned money for the benefit of their town in a special election set for Saturday.

From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., two millages will be up for voter approval.

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The first is an extension of a tax passed in 1996 for road improvements.

Mayor Glen McGlothin said the town has done a good deal of work filling in potholes and repaving roads since then, but much more needs to be done.

During the 10-year period the millage would be in effect, McGlothin said 17 roads would be brought up to snuff.

A few of those, he said, were fixed in the previous round of improvements.

&uot;There are roads that were completed that have already begun to deteriorate,&uot; McGlothin said.

The other proposed tax is intended to raise money for law enforcement salaries and equipment.

In the past 14 months, five Ferriday police officers have left the force in search of greener paychecks.

While Ferriday has given its police officers two raises in the past two years, McGlothin said the police department’s pay still fails to measure up to that of neighboring agencies like the Vidalia and Jonesville police departments.

&uot;We’re still below many towns our size,&uot; he said.

The only way to retain officers, McGlothin said, is to pay them more money.

&uot;I’m trying to do something about these salaries so we can keep qualified people,&uot; he said.

Ferriday accountant Myles Hawkins said each proposed millage would raise between $110,000 and $120,000 for the town.

The average homeowner, he said, would pay approximately $120 to $130 dollars a year for both.

But, as Hawkins noted, the road millage isn’t a new tax, so ratification of both millages would only add about $65 in taxes.

&uot;They won’t be paying anything extra for it,&uot; he said.