Concordia Parish Council on Aging seeks new home at old courthouse

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — As the Town of Vidalia works to rehabilitate the historic building that houses the Concordia Parish Council on Aging, the group is looking to relocate its administrative office from Ferriday to the old courthouse building in Vidalia.

The Council on Aging provides social activities and meals to senior citizens in the Ferriday and Vidalia areas.

A request to move there came up during Tuesday’s meeting of the Concordia Parish Police Jury, which owns the public building at 405 Carter St. that once functioned as the parish courthouse.

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The building is being considered for renovation to house offices and a tourist welcome center.

The request to renovate it came from the Vidalia Beautification Committee, which in recent years has spruced up the outside plaza for festivals and functions around holidays.

“That courthouse has served us well and has a lot of potential for festivals, tours and a visitor’s center,” Vidalia Beautification Committee member Cassandra Lynch said. “We just need to treat her right and fix her up. I want to make sure people are aware that Vidalia has this historic building.”

In March, the police jury acted to form a subcommittee that would look for grants and avenues to fund its renovation.

In February, the Vidalia Board of Aldermen included $50,000 to renovate the Concordia Council on Aging and historic Masonic Lodge No. 305 building in roughly $3 million worth of allocations of the town’s excess revenue generated by royalty payments from the hydroelectric plant.

The building, located at Texas and North Oak streets, is in “bad shape,” Mayor Buz Craft said at the time. To date, no one has answered the town’s request for bids on the renovation work, he said.

Police Juror Kenny Simpson said Tuesday that the Council on Aging came to him to see if the police jury would consider letting the council move from its other location at 2nd Street in Ferriday to the old courthouse at some point in the future after renovating it.

“There are five women in that administrative office there and there would be enough room for five women (at the courthouse),” Simpson said. “For all that they do, we should consider it because they run both the one in Ferriday and Vidalia. I told her that I would get back in touch with her once we got through the ins and outs of the restoration work.”

The police jury took no action on the matter at Tuesday’s meeting.

In other matters, the board approved a new occupational license for Rockstar Rental Company in Vidalia.

The board also approved alcoholic beverage permits and renewals for Paul’s Grocery in Monterey, 84 One Stop I Ferriday, Sonny’s Food Mart in Wildsville, Illusions in Ferriday, Panola Woods Country Club in Ferriday, and JoJo’s Drive-Thru in Vidalia.

The board also approved hold harmless requests to assist the Concordia Parish School Board with spraying the track field at Ferriday Upper Elementary for weeds, cutting grass on the field adjacent to Vidalia Junior High School, and cleaning culverts at the Concordia Education Center on Kindergarten Road.