Documenter: Carl M. Ambrose Jr.

Meeting: Calcasieu Parish Police Jury

Date: Sept. 1, 2022

Summary

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury met on Sept. 1, 2022. On the docket was a public hearing about condemning local properties, and some hurricane repair approvals. 

The Scene

I arrived a few minutes early for Thursday’s monthly Calcasieu Parish Police Jury meeting. The room was noisy as people talked in small groups while the last few jurors who were not there when I arrived took their seats. The noise dissipated as Mr. Stelly slammed the gavel down, calling the meeting to order. All 15 police jurors were present.

Attendees were mostly connected to the parish in some way; the only members of the public besides me were witnesses for some of the issues on the agenda. I’ve been watching these meetings on television for years, but it’s a very different experience being in person. You can see who is talking to who, and see side conversations that are not apparent on television. 

Notes

First agenda items

The first order of business was to allow former police juror and current candidate for La. Public Service Commissioner Shalon Latour to speak. 

Jimmy Meaux, Calcasieu County Agent on activities at the LSU Agricultural Center, out near Burton Coliseum, thanked the police jury for “pushing through everything so we can get our construction going again.” 

Mr. Meaux then spoke about the 4-H clubs and their involvement with youth activities in the schools, with 60 different 4-H clubs in the parish, both private and public. He introduced Kendal Goodwin, a sophomore at St. Louis Catholic, a Junior Leader, and Vice President, to present how the 4-H clubs have helped her develop leadership skills and other aspects of her life and thanked them for their continued support of the 4-H clubs and programs.

Engineering and public works (9:40 in video)

These items were taken up for consideration and approved. 

  • Meyers and Associates – to include additional utility relocation services for Task II- Moss Gully Improvements as part of the clearing and snagging of various drainage laterals in Calcasieu Parish (District 1 Mr. Richard)
  • Manchac Consulting Group, Inc. for professional engineering, the design and construction of monitoring services for the Mallard Junction Water Treatment Plant Well No. 4 & Associate Improvements Project. (District 2 Mr. Smith)
  • C.H. Fenstermaker & Ass, LLC services for Coach Williams Dr. Extension project 
  • PBA Properties, LLC for the Purchase of property for the Gauthier Road/Lake Charles Regional Airport Sewer Transportation System Project, Phase 2. (District Mr. Hayes)
  • Community Center and playground District for Temporary servitude and Rights of Use for Sara St. bridge replacement project
  • Renewal of a cooperative agreement with the La. dept. of Natural Resources, for the 2022-2023 Calcasieu Parish Local Coastal Program.

Planning and Development (12:19 in video)

The jury approved applications for liquor and beer permits. PJ Staff recommended one (1) new application and two (2) renewal applications be approved for liquor and beer permits. No other information was provided.

Administration (12:41 in video)

The jury approved the minutes of the police jury meeting on August 4, 2022.

Juvenile Justice Services (12:58 in video)

The jury approved a renewal with the state office of Juvenile Justice Funding for Detention Program for $150,000.

Human Services (13:18 in video)

  • The jury approved a resolution for a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with La. Housing Corporation for $333,418, for the grant term of August 1, 2022, to July 31, 2023. They noted that should residual funds become available, a grant adjustment can be filed to increase grant award.       
  • They adopt a resolution approving an application/sponsor agreement with La. Dept. of Education for family day care home food program (FDCHFP)
  • They acknowledge submittal of minutes from the Calcasieu Parish Human Services Advisory Board for the meeting held on April 19, 2022.

Procurement (14:30 in video)

  • Approved payment of all current invoices
  • Adopted resolution on proposals received by the parish Purchasing Agent on August 3,  2022, for Community Partners for Services in Education, Employment, Income management, Senior Services, Health & Fitness Services, and other services. (RFP- 2022-CSBG-171) 
  • There were three proposals received. Staff recommends accepting and awarding the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) grants—a program that distributes funds to local agencies to support activities that have a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty—of $70,000 to three nonprofits (15:10 in video).

Adopted resolutions on bids (15:38 in video)

Staff recommended acceptance of the following bids received on August 16, 2022:

  • Alfred Palma, LLC. Prien Lake Park Hurricane Repair Project $2,900,500

Juror Bares asked if insurance money was being used on these repairs, though there was no complete answer and said he could give more details later. This was during the minute-long break before the 5:45 public hearing for condemned properties.

Public hearing: 5:45 p.m. (17:00 in video)

Condemning properties

At this time, people were allowed to seek extensions on properties slated for demolition following hurricane damage. (At city and parish meetings, properties about to be demolished are brought up in meetings so demolition can be voted on.)

The most animated part of the meeting was the exchanges concerning condemning one property. According to Juror Chris Landry, the owner purchased the house after the hurricane, who said it was salvageable and noted the housing shortage here. A staff member spoke with the owner and relayed that information to the group. Multiple jurors were concerned about the house being in disrepair. Juror Judd Bares said,”I take Mr. Wangs’ [the owner] absence as an insult…he doesn’t know who we are, he’s about to find out.” (see the 32:50 mark for this interaction) One witness for the owner said that one of the contractors didn’t know who the police jury was. 

Three properties, including the one above, were voted to be condemned and will be demolished within 30 days. The decision on another property was deferred until Oct. 6 meeting.

Repair projects

The police jury adopted a resolution accepting the Fire Stations Hurricane Repair Project as substantially complete (DB-2021-W3FD2-206). Tony Guillory asked if demolition was paid for by some of the storm money used. It was paid for by insurance money, so he answered yes. 

Two other repair project bids were approved after recommendations by staff:

  • Trahan Construction, LLC. Office of Juvenile Justice Services Hurricane Repair Project: $549,000 
  • Ryder & Ryder, LTD. Carnegie Library Hurricane Repair Project: $760,400

The jury passed staff-recommended bids for:

  • RJ Thomas Manufacturing co, Inc. for BBQ Pits and Fire Rings
  • Bliss Products and Services, Inc. and RJ Thomas Manufacturing CO. Inc for Picnic Tables at various parks
  • Vulcan Signs for Spring Base Sign Post
  • Bliss Products and Service, Inc. for Storage Containers and Dollies.
  • ConServ Company and Douglas Food Service, Inc. for Tables and Chairs
  • RJ Thomas Company, Inc. for Trash Receptacles
  • Vulcan Signs for Sign Faces
  • Alfred Palma, LLC. for Demolition project includes Old Bud Building, building adjacent to Allen August Center, Epps Library Annex $309,900
  • APeck Construction, LLC. for Curve Drive Bridge Replacement Project $4,443,269.96 ( Cal. Parish Project. No. 22-303-0004 Ward 4)

Board Appointments (1:05.00 in video)

The following people were Reappointed unanimously to boards

  • Mrs. Michelle McInnis- Ward One Development Board Mr. Richard 
  • Mr. Ronald R. Harmon- Ward One Fire Protection District Mr. Richard
  • Mr. Stephen Smith- Ward Seven Fire Protection Board Mr. Bares
  • Mr. Joshua Thomas- Waterworks District No. One Ward One Mr. Richard
  • Mr. Doug Fleming- Waterworks No. Four Mr. Burleigh
  • Mr. Robert “Binky” Barrentine Waterworks No. Eleven of Wards 4 and 7, Mr. Andrepont

Video

https://www.calcasieuparish.gov/Home/Components/News/News/4958/252?backlist=%2f

Follow-up questions

How does this demolition process work and how does it impact the housing stock in the city and parish? We could use an explainer on this and plan to follow how it unfolds in future police jury meetings.  

What’s going to happen to out of state owners who don’t know what a police jury is? 

That is a strong possibility if they don’t live in Louisiana. Louisiana is the only state with parishes and police juries. Still, even in Louisiana, only 38 of the 64 parishes have police juries. If you do a google search for “police jury,” you come up with information involving the justice system and juries.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.