Parish coroner still waiting for office space

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — More than three months since the beginning of the new coroner’s administration, the Concordia Parish Police Jury is discussing purchasing or leasing a new office building for her use.

Pamela Poole was elected Coroner of Concordia Parish in 2023 and sworn in on March 1, but has yet to receive a space for her new office, Police Juror Genisia Allen pointed out during Monday’s regular meeting.

“She’s been in office since March and she still has no office, nor has the protocol been followed to change over the files,” Allen said. “She is going on her fourth attempt (to meet with us.) She needs an office. … I made a suggestion that maybe we should just buy a building and let that be the coroner’s office from now on.”

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Allen recommended that a police jury committee meet with Poole to discuss their options.

Former Coroner Dr. Dennis Laravia shared a building with the Vidalia Fire Department, which now occupies the whole building, Poole said Tuesday.

Poole said the case files kept by his administration are still there locked away and cannot be moved until she has a space to secure them.

“I’ve been working out of the police jury office until I find a place,” she said Tuesday. “They have paper files — not electronic — that need to be stored where the new office is going but I’m not going to move files over yet because they need to stay under lock and key.”

Poole added she expects to be meeting soon with the police jury committee to discuss a new office space.

In other matters on Monday, the Rev. Troy Thomas of Bethel Church in Vidalia requested a letter from the Police Jury as proof that he has made members aware of renovations he is making to Bethel’s old church property to house a transitional program for the formerly incarcerated persons trying to “get jobs and get their life straight.”

Thomas said he received a permit to remodel an old church building for the program in 2002 and it requires no business license because it is a 501(c)3 organization. However, he still wanted to make the police jury aware of the project to ensure that it meets requirements and zoning restrictions.

“The state fire marshal approved our building and inspected it and all that stuff, so all I would need is a letter from you all saying you are aware of what we’re doing,” Thomas said.

The police jury also discussed ordinance violations for tall grass in Concordia Park and work orders for the road manager on Eagle Road.

The police jury also approved advertising bids for leasing a track of water and a track of land on Black Lake, which has to be done every five years.

The police jury approved a support letter for the United Hands Youth Center on Doty Road to secure a grant to purchase three air units for the building.

Police jury president Collin Edwards and member Maurice Bachus were both absent from Monday’s meeting.