Police jury may soon join parish EDA

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 11, 2009

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish Police Jury may soon join the Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District.

District 21 Rep. Andy Anders has filed an amendment to the resolution that created the economic district that — if passed — will place the president of the police jury on the CPEIDD’s board.

The board is currently composed of the mayors of all of the incorporated communities in the parish, plus three at-large members — one of whom is required to be from the Monterey area — appointed by the police jury.

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“We wanted to get the parish involved as much as we possibly could, and it was kind of talked about even before I got there (in August 2008),” Concordia Parish Economic Director Heather Malone said.

“The president of the police jury was kind of an obvious position to put on there.”

Shortly after Malone was appointed to the economic director’s position, she approached the police jury about having a member placed on the district’s board, Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said.

“It would give (the jury) a little more insight on what is going on, and there are some things that go on in the parish that the president of the police jury is aware of at all times, so he could bring that to the table of the economic development board,” Ferrington said.

Having a juror will help round out the board’s outlook for the big picture, Malone said.

“The municipalities tend to focus on their areas, as they should, but having a member of the police jury will focus more on the unincorporated areas,” she said.

Though he has attended CPEIDD meetings in the past, any input Ferrington had was unofficial.

“There is no reason we shouldn’t be working with the police jury,” Malone said. “It’s not that we weren’t working with them before, but now they will have an official voice.”

The revision to the bill will also allow the members of the board to have an alternate, so if that member is unable to attend the board can still have a quorum and meet, Malone said.

The development district is funded by an occupancy tax based on hotel-motel receipts in the parish.