Police jury gets help with adjudicated properties

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The Webster Parish Police Jury is getting some help with adjudicated properties that will take the large amount of work off of staff without costing them a dime.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the jury approved a contract with Civicsource, a New Orleans-based company that will take care of title searches and getting properties back on the tax roll. The contract is for one year and no money will have to be paid by the police jury.

Parish attorney Patrick Jackson told jurors the way it works is Civicsource will take the adjudicated properties, clear the titles and put them up for auction.

“The biggest issue we were having was just the staff time to do it,” he said. “Then all we could give them was a quick claim deed.”

By doing a quick claim deed, it does not clear up the title thereby making it more difficult for the land purchaser to go to a bank and borrow money against it, say for repairs or rebuilding on the property, he said.

Dax Allen, business development manager for Civicsource, says this is an investment driven model where nothing is done with the property until it can go back on the tax rolls, meaning successfully clearing of the title and selling the property or returning it to its rightful owner.

“We’ve developed a model that follows due process for adjudicated properties, and we allow the market to tell which adjudicated properties are sold,” Allen said. “There’s no cost to the government, we indemnify them and offer title insurance, and the reason we are able to offer guaranteed title insurance is because we follow the strict guidelines and legal requirements for due process.”

Ronda Carnahan, police jury secretary treasurer, says she believes they have about 75 parcels of adjudicated property.

In other police jury news, the jury:

received a settlement check from Regions Bank in the amount of $250,000 for the remainder of the 5-year lease at the downtown branch. The Sibley Road branch is currently under renovation for walk-in service, and the downtown branch will close in November.

approved a cooperative endeavor agreement with the City of Springhill to facilitate a method of acquisition of servitudes,

approved the purchase of a microwave for the Council on Aging at a cost of $160 using District 2 recreational funding,

approved appointments for the board of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. Joan Farrar Roan of Springhill will fill the unexpired
term of Lamar Smith, which expires Dec. 31, 2016, and Etta Jo McCullough of Minden will fill the unexpired term of Mary McKinney, which expires Dec. 31, 2017.

The next police jury meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the police jury meeting room on the second floor of the Webster Parish Courthouse. Committee meetings will begin at 9 a.m., in the conference room on the third floor in the police jury office.

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