The Evangeline Parish Police Jury learned Crooked Creek Recreational Park operated in the black for the month of April during its meeting Monday, May 12.
Public Works Superintendent Chester Granger, who was placed in charge of the park in March, when it was operating at $19,000 in the red, said the park’s finances came into the black toward the end of April. According to Granger, the park’s budget was operating at a positive $2,700.
“It’s going really good,” Granger said. “We’ve dropped costs considerably.”
In April, Granger said only 197 gallons of gasoline were used. This was compared to the 400 gallons he claimed were used each month prior to his appointment.
Another major factor in the positive financial change was payroll expenses, Granger said. This was alleviated by balancing the number of staff on hand with the number of park visitors. Granger said he often saw four to five employees in the office when he was given oversight of the park regardless of how busy the park was at the time.
“We’ve made great strides,” Granger said.
He also added the park is attempting to obtain a grant to upgrade the electrical system in the park and replace old electrical boxes at campsites. He said some of the electrical boxes are 33 years old and cause some campers trouble when their RVs draw more power than the aging boxes can handle. The cost would be approximately $143 per unit. Granger said he would bring the issue back before the jury if and when the grant materializes.
The jury also called a special committee meeting for Monday, May 26, at 5 p.m. after Parish Building Inspector Barney Deshotels requested to be named parish building official, as he was already performing the duties of that office.
Juror Sidney Fontenot asked that Deshotels provide his request in written form to the jurors and the decision to appoint him building official and the matter of his pay would be discussed at the special committee meeting.
In other business, the jury:
•Approved the minutes of its May 5, committee meetings, which included approval for placing a three-way stop on the corner of Ninth Street and Thib Road near Pine Prairie.
•Approved the appointment of Rev. Tillman Ben to replace the late Matthews Thomas on the Industrial Development Board, Number One.
•Ratified a resolution to apply for a grant for a weather radio transmitter.
•Agreed to review the City of Ville Platte’s alcohol ordinance to mirror it for the rest of the parish. An amendment to the parish’s existing ordinance will be proposed at the next meeting.
•Called a public hearing for Monday, June 9, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss amending the parish’s 2008 budget.
•Heard from Jimmie Fontenot regarding the Stock Law in Ward Four. Fontenot said Ward Four currently has no law to control cattle and other livestock and asked that the jury create an ordinance to eliminate the “open range” in Ward Four. The loose cattle, according to Fontenot, are destroying feeders at the Boggy Bayou Hunting Club. Juror Lamar Johnson said it was not the jury’s place to enact a stock law on Ward Four, but said it should be up to the citizens. He stated citizens need to sign a petition calling for it, and then an election would be held to let the people decide.
•Agreed to discuss voting precincts with less than 300 registered voters at its committee meetings Monday, June 2.
•Retracted the appointment of Opal Johnson to the Evangeline Parish Tourism Commission. Lamar Johnson stated he was unaware Pine Prairie Mayor Terry Savant was discussing the appointment with someone else when Opal Johnson was appointed. The jury then appointed Danette Cloud.