Louisiana truck school coming to Ferriday

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FERRIDAY — A Louisiana truck driving school will be making a pit stop in Ferriday after receiving the green light from the town’s Board of Alderman to occupy an administrative office and training site locations in town.

During the Town of Ferriday Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday evening, the board approved to give Coastal Truck Driving School an office location in downtown Ferriday and a training site on Louisiana 15.

James Skipper, Ferriday special projects manager, said the school enrolls students in a full-time four-week program and a part-time eight-weekend program to allow students to receive their commercial driver’s license.

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During the course, Skipper said Coastal also brings in recruiters from transportation companies like Werner Enterprises and KLLM Transport Services to find students to place in full-time jobs upon completion of the course.

“Currently, the students are having to go to Alexandria or Monroe to get this kind of training,” Skipper said. “By bringing this here, we’re giving people the opportunity to not travel and go to school right here.”

The company’s administrative office will be located at 201 Texas St. starting Aug. 27.

But Skipper said residents wanting to get a head start can stop by Ferriday Town Hall at 1116 Second St. to pick up an application.

As part of a continued effort to bring more businesses to Ferriday, Skipper said he has also been in contact with a restaurant and a hotel that are interested in locating to Ferriday.

Skipper said the town signed confidentially agreements with the businesses, so the names of the establishments could not be released.

“I have a conference call with the restaurant people tomorrow,” Skipper said. “I feel confident that both of these business have a strong interest in Ferriday.”

In other news from the board meeting:

– The board voted to renew and roll forward two of the town’s mills for fire and police protection and general alimony.

The tax for the fire and police protection was rolled forward 0.01, increasing to 9.350 mills from the previous 9.340 mills.

The tax for the general alimony was rolled forward 0.01, increasing to 4.660 mills from the previous 9.650 mills.

-The board approved a resolution to submit an application requesting $35,000 in grant money through the State of Louisiana Division of Administration’s Local Government Assistance Program.

Funds are allocated each year for towns, cities and parishes in Louisiana. A town with a population between 1,000 and 4,999 can apply for up to $35,000.

Ferriday’s population is approximately 3,519 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Mayor Gene Allen said an exact use for the funding would be determined before sending the application.

The deadline to submit an application for the grant funding is Sept. 14.

-With bills piling up at city hall, Allen said the time was not right to pay old lawyer fees to attorneys who represented the late Ferriday Mayor Sammy Davis Jr.

Alderman Elijah “Stepper” Banks put the issue on the agenda for Tuesday’s regular meeting.

In January 2011, the board voted in favor of paying $129,000 to the attorneys.

Davis was convicted of malfeasance in office, but that conviction was later overturned in the early 1990s. Davis died in 2006. Louisiana law allows for the compensation of legal fees of an elected official who proves themselves innocent of charges related to their conduct in office.

“If you take note, I’ve only been here 40 days, and we had to borrow money to keep the lights on and to keep paying our employees,” Allen said. “When we get money I can understand, but not when we’re borrowing money to keep the lights on.”