Concordia Police Jury seeks grant for bulldozer

Published 12:31 am Tuesday, August 28, 2018


VIDALIA — Members of the Concordia Parish Police Jury on Monday night applied for a $77,800 Louisiana Government Assurances Grant to help purchase a bulldozer they say is necessary to improve drainage.

The jury oversees 747 square miles of drainage, states a resolution seeking the LGA Grant that jury members unanimously approved Monday night.

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Proper drainage is hindered, the jury contends, by debris and overgrown brush.

A bulldozer currently owned by the parish has a bad transmission and repair would outweigh the equipment’s value, police jury president Jimmy Wilkinson said, noting a backhoe also is needed.

The requested amount of $77,800 is the maximum amount the state would allocate to Concordia Parish based on its population, Wilkinson said.

If awarded the grant, the parish must pay a 25-percent match, but Wilkinson said the jury would seek other grant money to help purchase the new equipment (estimated at $170,000).

“‘Project Dozer’ encompasses the need for a bulldozer by the Parish to continue efforts to improve drainage,” the resolution states. “… With Concordia Parish being surrounded by levees, preventative maintenance of our ditches and canals is key to keep the water flowing to prevent flooding in homes, businesses and farmland. The bulldozer is a key element to move and clean debris and refuse from these ditches and canals.”

Until funding is attained for new equipment, the jury plans to manage the drainage problem with leased equipment, Wilkinson said.

In addition to the “Project Dozer” grant application, the Jury also unanimously approved a resolution to accept a $400,000 Louisiana Community Development Block Grant announced in June to resolve sewage problems in the Washington Heights subdivision.

The subdivision’s oxidation system is in disrepair and plans are to replace it with a new system. Wilkinson said the process could take a little more than a year.

In other matters at Monday’s police jury meeting, the jury:

  • Announced its intention to seek an extension on funding for the $4.6 million Brushy Bayou Project, which is intended to improve drainage in the central area of the parish. Engineering plans for the project await approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Approved a letter of support for LaSalle Community Action Association Headstart program. Dorothy Oliver directs the program with the goal to make at-risk children up to age 5 more prepared for kindergarten. The support is needed to help her vie for a grant, Oliver said.
  • Agreed to request signage stating that parish maintenance buildings can only accept household debris. Large debris from construction is said to jam the parish trash compactor.
  • Gave reminders that Catahoula Parish will host a Region 8 meeting Sept. 20 and that the parish offices will be closed Sept. 3 for Labor Day.
  • Approved an occupational license for Phipps Pro Window Cleaning on Pete Davis Road in Jonesville.
  • Adopted new and revised job descriptions for two employees who otherwise might have been laid off, jury members said. The two new positions are a barn office assistant at $10 per hour and a project foreman at $14.90 per hour.