Roof repairs to the Head Start building in Cullen and issues with maintenance responsibility have been under discussion.
For the last few months, the Webster Parish Police Jury has discussed an area of the roof that is leaking at the Jack and Jill Head Start Center.
The police jury owns the building, but Head Start is responsible for the maintenance. Juror Jerri Lee, District 9, said the roof damage is from recent heavy rains but until now had been in workable condition.
“Head Start leases that building from us,” Secretary Treasurer Ronda Carnahan said. “They use it as an in kind lease. We own it but they essentially lease it from us.”
Lee said the children are not in the area underneath the damaged roof. Juror Allen Gilbert brought the issue to the jury during the Community Services Committee meeting in January. It has been turned over to the buildings and grounds committee and OCS Director Mary Whitaker.
In other buildings and grounds news, the Pleasant Valley Community House is no more. Demolition came about when the voting precincts were moved to the Pleasant Valley Methodist Church fellowship hall to make it more comfortable for voters to cast their ballots.
The police jury entered into an agreement with the church several months ago as the fellowship hall offers better amenities, such as handicapped parking and entrance, air conditioning and more space.
There were several infrastructure issues that were not financially feasible to fix. There is no word on what will become of the property remaining.
The old Shongaloo community house will be demolished as well. It was used as a polling place many years ago, Carnahan said, and the police jury has been paying utilities on it, costing the jury about $1,000 per year.
Improvements to the Webster Parish Women’s Jail continue, Buildings and Grounds Chair Steve Lemmons said. Some plumbing issues are being addressed, he said.
The jail is antiquated with its lock and key cells, but it has been modernized over the years. The jail has a capacity for about 60 women, with cell sizes ranging from two to a cell to eight to 10 to a cell.
Other improvements already done on the fourth floor include some welding, painting and the renovation of the outdoor area.