By PAUL KEDNGER
Several elections dates were set by the Acadia Parish Police Jury during its Wednesday night meeting, June 9.
Special elections to fill the unexpired term of Assessor Russel Benoit, who has submitted his resignation, effective Dec. 31, 2010, will be held this fall. The primary election will be held Oct. 2, with the general election on Nov. 2.
Qualifying to replace Benoit will be held from July 7 to July 9.
Also on the October ballot will be the renewal of a 3.18-mill tax for 10 years to construct and maintain parish roads. The renewal is expected to collect an estimated $860,000 per year.
Jurors also approved the holding of a 4-mill, 10-year tax to operate facilities in the Northwest Acadia Parish Recreation District in the Iota area. The tax is expected to generate about $284,446 to acquire, construction, improve and maintain the ball field and other recreational facilities.
Registrar of Voters Billie Meyer cautioned jurors several steps must be taken to ensure the election will be held.
First, she said the Jury must obtain an Order of No Objections from the Department of Justice.
Once that document is obtained, the registrar said she must received a legible copy of the district’s map, it precincts and property values.
Prior to approving the recreation district election, jurors appointed five men to the recently created district board: Harley Lanthier, Jarrod Breaux, Tran Daigle, Timmy Guidry and Wilbur Parker, who will serve as chairman.
The board members will meet in the coming week to adopt a resolution for the special election.
The board also took the first step toward the construction of a new health unit by requesting the Bond Commission approve a $1.7 million tax bond.
Bonding attorney Alan Offner presented two alternatives, a $1 million or a $1.7 million issue.
Jurors have set aside approximately $1 million in a reserve account, with members indicating those funds would be dedicated to the operation and maintenance of the new health unit.
Secretary-Treasurer Terry Lacomb indicated the Acadia Parish facility would be similar to a health unit under construction in New Iberia.
Jurors asked that a member of the American Legion Hospital Board be invited to the July meeting to discuss the new facility.
In another health issue, Al Leger, regional manager for the V.A. Department, asked jurors to endorse the location of a VA hospital in Lafayette.
Leger admitted, “It’s an uphill battled we probably won’t win.” He noted the V.A is fighting us all the way,” adding the petition currently contains over 8,000 signatures.
Jurors agreed to endorse a V.A. hospital for Lafayette.
Jurors also approved a new ordinance mandating that parish inmates reimburse the parish for medical and dental expenses incurred while they are incarcerated.
In other action, jurors authorized seven parish millages for 2010.
Auditor Frank Bergeron presented the just completed audit in which he noted the fiscal condition “is a tribute to the (Jury’s) management.”
Jurors adopted a notice of intention to construct a road to the Seventh District Pavilion. The road, to be constructed off Highway 90 near the former American Legion Hall, will be paid with a special assessment levied on each lot abutting the road. Before the road can be constructed, Engineer Karl Aucoin noted there is a drainage problem along Hwy. 90 which might be solved with the installation of a retention pond.
Jurors approved a selection criteria for engineering services in the replacement of the chilller at the parish courthouse. The project will be funded by the Renew Louisiana Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.
Jurors accepted the recommendation of D. Hicks Consulting to accept the low bid of $106.000 from H&H Electric upgrade an electrical generator for the courthouse.
Troy Richard and Roland Andrus were reappointed to the
Bayou Plaquemine and Wikoff Drainage District.