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Police Jury talks Bossier partnership

Support of economic development property passes

Caleb Daniel
caleb@press-herald.com

The Webster Parish Police Jury met Tuesday, passing several resolutions that had been passed on from February’s meeting, among other items.

This was the first meeting to fully incorporate the police jury’s new digital voting and display system. Rather than a show of hands, jurors now vote by pressing a button on a screen at each of their seats in the jury meeting room.

The results of each vote are displayed to audience members on a large flat screen monitor.

The first less-than-unanimous vote on this system involved the approval of a letter of support for an economic development property in coordination with the Bossier Parish Police Jury.

The roughly 2,000-acre property, covered at length in last month’s police jury article, is strategically situated near Interstate 20 and railroad tracks, on the Bossier Parish side of Goodwill Road.

The joint letter of support would be sent to the state government to request that infrastructure be built at the site to make it ready for a potential business to establish a facility there. The letter would also be shown to site-selection committees who would help recruit businesses to the area, according to the Bossier Press-Tribune.

Two jurors expressed some hesitation about the collaboration. Daniel Thomas, District 3, said he would prefer to wait until the parish’s ongoing water research study could be completed.

“I’m for this, but as far as the water is concerned, I really wish that we would wait until our water study and plan was put together so we could apply to the state to obtain the water source at Camp Minden for the parish infrastructure and future needs,” he said.

Dustin Moseley, who expressed opposition to the collaboration in February’s committee meetings, said he was now in favor of the letter of support but wanted to know more about future plans before continuing any further.

“I’m one hundred percent in favor of an economic development partnership with Bossier Parish,” Moseley said. “But before anything moves forward further than this current resolution, I’d like to see us do a cooperative endeavor with Bossier Parish to get something on paper showing what the partnership is and who is getting what out of it.”

Other jurors expressed support for the collaboration, calling it a “win-win” for both parishes.

In the end, the vote was 11-0 in favor of the letter, with Thomas abstaining.

The police jury unanimously approved a resolution to support an endeavor by Claiborne Electric Cooperative to provide broadband internet service to the areas they currently provide electricity. Read the corresponding story in Thursday’s issue for more details.

The jury also approved a resolution to “contract with attorneys to provide services related to damages sustained by the abuse of opioids.” The resolution had been discussed at some length in February’s meeting, but Tuesday it was passed without discussion.

A cooperative endeavor with the Village of Dixie Inn to allow for trash pick-up at the Interstate 20 exit was also approved by the jury. Juror Bernard Hudson, District 5, explained the necessity and execution of this endeavor.

“The plant out here at Fibrebond, when they bring the people from the northern plants, they get off at Dixie Inn, and then they go around Dixie Inn around Highway 80, and they complain about the trash,” he said. “I talked to the mayor of Dixie Inn, and she said that they were going to get some type of endeavor from the state to use prison labor to pick up the trash. The only thing they wanted the police jury to do is to make sure it won’t charge them anything to dump trash in the landfill.”

Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson said the parish is allotted 550 tons of residential dumping per month. The jury unanimously approved this endeavor.

Several other measures were also passed without discussion, including an advertisement for a sealed bid on a Dogwood Trail property with a minimum bid of $3500.