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Nov. Police Jury Meeting

by Will Phillips

The November Webster Parish Police Jury Meeting took place Tuesday morning where the jury met to discuss the business of the Parish for the upcoming month. During the meeting the discussions of note were that of a development in the potential repair of Frontage Road, Benson Environmental Services now offering free tire pick up for individuals, and near end a small preview of what Christmas in Minden will look like for this year. 

Craig Watson, of Impressions Advertising made an odd request of the Jury to agree to adopt the road in the case that funds are raised for it’s repair and the repairs take place. This would make it so the Police Jury wouldn’t have any financial stake if the road repairs were not to take place, and only requires that they take ownership of the road once it is completed.

Watson is planning on funding the repairs in part through a $300,000 matching grant, but states that a resolution from the Jury is what he needs to go ahead and move forward with the project. 

“If I can get that, then I can at least get that ball started, and then I can at least tell these two developers who are interested in moving out there,” said Watson. 

Initially the Jury seemed hesitant to accept, but once Watson had clarified that there is no financial stake that would somehow leave the Jury fronting the bill, they seemed more than willing to pass a resolution.

“I think all  of us want to work with you, it’s just a matter of getting the legalities down,” said Juror Daniel Thomas of Dist. 3. 

Soon after, representatives from Benson Environmental Came in order to update the Jury on the status of their permit. They stated that in April, Benson Environmental became permitted as a collection center. The importance of this change means that they now have the ability to accept tires from individuals, something they weren’t able to do until the change.

“One important change, as of April this year, our permit has been modified to allow us to accept up to 5 tires from individuals. Previously we couldn’t do that. 

5 per individual per day. No fee, bring ID, sign a log book, and they can deliver up to five,” said the representative from Benson Environmental. 

Tires being left out alongside the road has long since been an issue that the Police Jury regularly faces. “Just last weekend, I saw where somebody dumped out about 10 tires on the side of the road, just last weekend,” said President of the Police Jury Jim Bonsall. Needless to say, they were elated to hear the news that a new tire pick up service was available to residents in the Parish. 

In order to dump tires, call Benson Environmental services at 318-371-6692 or email at [email protected] for more information. They are located at 326 Crichton Road in Sibley, LA.

Near the end of the Regular meeting, Serena Gray of Webster Parish Tourism and Jana Morgan of the Greater Minden Chamber provided the Jury with a glimpse of what Christmas would look like this year in Minden. Luckily some events that took place last year are going to be happening again, but obviously with the COVID-19 pandemic taking place on top of flu season, some adaptations are being made to account for social distancing. 

Gray announced that the Holiday Trail of Lights hayride is one of the events returning to Minden on the second Friday and Saturday of December. To account for social distancing, more tractors are being used this year so people are able to spread out more.

“We are doing our best to make this event social distance friendly. Instead of just one tractor, we will have 3 for 4 tractors. Instead of loading each hayride with 40 people, we’ll load it with 20 people per ride,” said Gray.

“We saw a great turn out last year. We had people waiting in line for up to 40 minutes and they weren’t even mad about it. We hosted 440 people last year, so we hope for a similar turn out this year.”

Morgan announced the date of the Minden Christmas Parade would be taking place on Saturday Dec. 12. This route is going to be a bit longer to accommodate for social distancing. 

“We did that to allow people to space out a little bit more and to include a bit more houses that have families wanting to stay in their own area. We are also asking that anyone participating in the parade throw items to wear a mask,” said Morgan.

A Treelighting Ceremony will be taking place after the parade in front of City Hall. 

Daytime festival activities will be reduced from years past. The three that are currently announced are arts and crafts City Art Works, hot chocolate with Buddy the Elf at the Broken Bean, and the Webster Parish Library putting on a Twas the Night Before Christmas story production on their lawn. 

Santa will be there as well, but parents who were looking forward to getting a pic of their child on his lap may need to reset their expectations. Santa, for his safety and that of the elves, will need to take pictures from six feet away.

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