Second tax request for fire protection to be placed on November ballot

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — Concordia Parish voters will be asked a second time whether they support raising taxes to improve fire protection services in the parish.

Attorney J. Hardy Andrews of Foley & Judell LLP, based in New Orleans, came to the Concordia Parish Police Jury on Monday with a tax resolution for the Concordia Parish Fire District No. 2 and a bond resolution for the Concordia Parish Sewer District No. 1.

The first resolution requests a November election where voters can decide whether they support raising the ad valorem tax millage allocated to fire protection in the parish from 6.94 to 10 mills, Andrews said.

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Because fire protection is a subdistrict of the police jury, the police jury must approve the resolution before it can be left up to voters.

A similar proposition to increase the millage for fire protection was previously left up to the voters in April. At the time, Fire Chief Vick Brown said the funding increase is needed to help the department increase its manpower and hire an additional firefighter for each shift.

With a voter turnout of less than 10 percent, this proposal was defeated with 194 “yes” votes and 277 “no” votes.

After the police jury’s approval, the proposal would not be on the Oct. 14 primary ballot but instead appear on the Nov. 18 general election ballot.

The second resolution is for the issuance of $500,000 in taxable revenue bonds for the Concordia Parish Sewer District No. 1 to support sewer updates in the parish.

“This is a DEQ 100 percent forgiveness type of borrowing, which means that it will be forgiven as soon as it is given out … as long as you’re spending the money on the approved project plans,” Andrews said.

Both resolutions were approved Monday by a vote of 7-0, with police jurors Collin Edwards and Brad Adams absent.