Building code changes coming

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

VIDALIA — A public hearing about changes to the building code in Concordia Parish will be conducted at the next police jury meeting.

The jury voted to advertise the changes to the ordinance at their meeting Monday.

The changes to the ordinance will bring the jury fully in line with new state construction guidelines that have been mandated in recent years, Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said.

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“These (changes) were imposed on us,” Ferrington said.

Those changes require all new structures to be international construction code compliant, which includes being able to withstand hurricane-force winds.

The jury has elected to use the Rapides Area Planning Commission to conduct building inspections in the parish following the adoption of the changes.

A representative from the commission, Matt Johns, was present at Monday’s meeting.

The jury will still have the authority to appoint another inspector to review construction projects after the changes are adopted, and the RAPC inspector will accept written reports from any certified inspector, Johns said.

The jury also voted to add three telephone lines to their system at the courthouse, one for the district attorney’s office, one for the indigent defenders’ office and one for the Office of Homeland Security.

The system is currently taxed, and some offices — including the district attorney’s office and the indigent defenders’ office — are forced to share lines.

“Nothing is more disconcerting than when someone calls to speak to their attorney and they get the district attorney’s office,” Assistant District Attorney Ann Siddall said.

Likewise, the homeland security office would be using the same fax line as the police jury office if they hooked into the phone jack that is currently in their office.

If an office needs additional lines after this, the lines will have to be independent of the existing internal phone system, Juror Randy Temple said.

In other news:

The jury voted to advertise for land leases on two properties it holds on Black Lake.

The leases are for a five-year period, and the current period is ending, Ferrington said.

The jury voted to approve a two occupational licenses, for T-Papa’s Kajun Kitchen Seasoning in Monterey and Miss-Lou Pawn Shop near Vidalia. They also approved beer and liquor licenses for on-premises consumption at The Landing on Black River Lake.

The jury voted to transfer $45,000 from the sales tax fund to the solid waste fund.

The jury voted to pay a $1,480 bill to Dixie Roofing for services rendered.