Police jury member Charlie Walker comments on an agenda item during Tuesday’s meeting. Pat Culverhouse/Press-Herald
Police jury member Charlie Walker comments on an agenda item during Tuesday’s meeting. Pat Culverhouse/Press-Herald

A burn ban is still in force on Lake Bistineau, but fires on the dry lake bed which originally caused the ban to be enacted two weeks ago are still causing headaches for undermanned local fire departments.

“We are in the eleventh day of our burn ban and each day we’ve been called out to fires in the lake bed,” parish Office of Homeland Security Director John Stanley reported to members of the Webster Parish Police Jury Tuesday.

“The little volunteer department in Doyline has responded to each of those calls. These few people are doing a wonderful job but they’re just about worn out,” Stanley continued. “We really need the rain that has been forecast. That would be a big help.”

Stanley said the fires are smoldering on higher ground which ordinarily would be surrounded by water when the lake is at normal levels.

“Until we can get them extinguished, these fires will be an ongoing problem. But, no homes in the area are in any real danger,” Stanley said.

Webster Parish Library

Anyone in Webster Parish who possesses a library card has access to thousands of movies, old television shows, music albums and videos and audio books.

Parish librarian Beverly Hammett unveiled to jury members a new service available through the parish’s libraries. Hoopla Digital will hopefully help the library “stay relevant,” she said.

Library card holders can download the free Hoopla Digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device, or visit hoopladigital.com, Hammett said. Thousands of titles will be available for patrons to borrow for instant streaming or downloading to their Smartphones, tablets, computers and Apple TV.

“Once they are downloaded, the patron can have the opportunity to enjoy them for a designated period of time. When the time expires, the item will remove itself,” Hammett explained.

In her report to the jury, Hammett said the parish library locations had checked out 274,000 items to date.

Community Services

An energy assistance program run through the police jury’s Office of Community Services has given aid to 146 families who faced a crisis situation and to 663 other families, director Mary Whitaker reported Tuesday.

LaHEAP, the Louisiana Heat Emergency Assistance Program, has distributed approximately $312,000 to date, including helping families who were in danger of having their utilities cut off, Whitaker said.
In addition to accepting reports from other parish agencies, the police jury:

Convened a public hearing on the abandonment of 135 feet at the end of Walker Road, located off Diamond T. Road. No individuals commented on the issue. The road abandonment was approved.

Called for a December 2 public hearing to accept comments concerning the abandonment of 440 feet of roadway at the end of Heflin Ranch Road. Just over 600 feet will remain in the parish road system.

Voted unanimously to reappoint Mike Andrews to a new term as a commissioner on the Sarepta Water Works District, pending formal action by the board of commissioners on November 11.

Agreed to spend $700 to purchase a pole saw for the Town of Cotton Valley.

Voted their support of a 2015 Capital Outlay application for the remainder of the courthouse HVAC renovation funding.

Leave a Reply