Home » WPPJ approves special election for Council on Aging millage proposition

WPPJ approves special election for Council on Aging millage proposition

by Amber McDown

The Webster Parish Police Jury (WPPJ) held its regular meeting on July 2, with all members present and unanimous approval of all agenda items.

The meeting began with a public hearing to address comments regarding a millage proposition for the Webster Parish Council on Aging (COA). The proposition proposes a 1.75 mills tax on all taxable property in the parish, expected to generate an estimated $500,000 annually from 2025 to 2034. The funds will support the construction, improvement, maintenance, operation, and programs for the elderly through the Webster COA. No public comments were made during the hearing.

Routine matters were handled before moving to the approval of a contract between WPPJ and Carlisle Thompson, LLC, effective June 23, 2024, through June 22, 2025. The jury also approved a cooperative agreement and ordinance for the Webster Adjudicated Property Program with E&P Consulting Service, LLC, to manage the sale of adjudicated property. This service aims to return these properties to the tax rolls for economic benefit. “We’re still going to have some part in this. Anybody who has questions about a particular property, we’re still going to be able to do what we’ve been doing. They’re just supposed to be experts at selling,” said WPPJ President Jim Bonsall.

The board then approved a Call for Public Hearing for September 3 at 10:30 AM to discuss proposed millage rates for WPPJ. Assessor Denise Edwards explained the impact of reassessment, stating, “Whenever the assess-value goes up, the millage rate goes down because you’re supposed to stay revenue neutral.” Edwards noted that the jury could opt to roll forward to the previous year’s millage rate, potentially providing an additional $157,000 to offset high inflation. “This period behind us, expenses have grown faster than any other time that I can remember. I’m a taxpayer too, so I can see both sides of it,” Bonsall added.

The jury approved funding of $350 spent on water sampling at McIntyre Road creek bank. While initially proposed to be funded by District 6, Steve Ramsey of District 11 suggested it come from the general fund. The board unanimously decided to fund it from the general fund.

Cothren, Graff, Smoak Engineering, Inc. will start the bidding process for the new Webster Parish Women’s Jail.

The final item approved was Resolution 003-2024, ordering a special election to authorize the millage increase for the Council on Aging.

The meeting concluded with brief committee reports. The next WPPJ meeting is scheduled for August 6 at 10:30 AM at 401 Main Street, and the public is invited to attend.

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