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Webster Parish Police Jury meeting highlights

by Amber McDown

The April 2 meeting of the Webster Parish Police Jury (WPPJ) proceeded smoothly with all board members in attendance except Bruce Blanton. The session saw unanimous approval on all agenda items.

Following the endorsement of minutes and invoices, the board greenlit a cooperative endeavor involving the WPPJ, the Town of Sibley, and the Saltworks Water System. The WPPJ will serve as the sponsor for the Saltworks block grant, allocating funds towards the construction of a new water well on Sibley-owned property, as Sibley’s water system merges with the Saltworks Water System.

In the committee reports segment, Savannah Jones, representing Webster Parish Libraries, provided updates on the forthcoming Discovery Camp, the digital yearbook project, and a refrigerator upgrade for the Stewart Center.

Serena Gray, representing Webster Parish Tourism, informed attendees that the installation of the anticipated kayak dock launch was postponed due to high water levels. Additionally, she announced an $800 rebate for the procurement of the next kayak launch dock. Gray highlighted April as a bustling month for tourism, inviting individuals to refer to their Facebook page for event listings, including a “Love the Boot” after-party on April 25.

The LSU AgCenter anticipates a busy month ahead with openings in their Master Gardeners class, the Trails and Trellises event scheduled for April 27, and forthcoming activities such as the Northwest Region Wildlife Forum and a homesteading workshop. John Monzingo emphasized the plethora of upcoming events and encouraged interested parties to reach out to the Webster Parish LSU AgCenter for further details.

Brian Williams from the Office of Homeland Security reported progress on a cyber security assessment for the parish and the completion of grants earmarked for the Sheriff’s Office and the Minden Police Department. Additionally, the acquisition of new body cameras for School Resource Officers was made possible through a grant.

Angie Chapman, director of Webster Parish 911, noted a decrease in 911 calls for March while maintaining a 100% rate of calls answered within 10 seconds. She also alerted the public to an upcoming transmission line trimming operation by an energy company utilizing a helicopter and an extended saw from April 15 to 26, anticipating an uptick in emergency calls during this unusual event.

Jessica Gorman of the Dorcheat Museum reported a surge in visitor numbers and increased donations to the museum. She highlighted the “Night at the Museum” seminar on April 15, focusing on cemetery preservation.

The WPPJ convenes on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:30 AM at the Webster Parish Courthouse Annex, located at 401 Main Street.

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