By John Dupont
A state grant will pump additional revenue into much-needed repairs for the aging Pointe Coupee Parish Detention Center.
Parish Government got word from Gov. John Bel Edwards that the parish will receive $1 million to go toward replacement of the HVAC system, Parish President Major Thibaut told the Parish Council during its meeting Tuesday night.
The total price tag of the project is $1.2 million. The parish will budget $200,000 for a full replacement of the system.
The grant will free up another $2 million the parish will get from the state in House Bill 2, the capital outlay bill.
It will allow for other work besides the climate control system for the Detention Center, which was built in the early 1980s.
The parish will hire a professional to determine the other needs and priorities for the facility, Thibaut said.
“When we get the money in our hands, we can put people to work to make those improvements,” he said.
The $3 million the parish received for the project marks the biggest investment in the detention center since its construction, he said.
Work could begin the latter part of this year.
The additional funds came one month after Thibaut and Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux brokered a deal on sharing the costs for the Detention Center.
It eased, to a large degree, the tensions and disagreements that prevailed for years between Parish Government and the Sheriff’s Office on the expenses of the facility.
“Neither of us wanted (the disagreements), but I’m glad at a point now in which we’re trying to talk our way through things,” Thibodeaux said.
The impending work also put to work one of Thibodeaux’s biggest fears.
“State or federal officials could come any day of the week, without warning, to do an inspection on this facility,” he said. “That could lead to a lot of sanctions.”
OTHER BUSINESS …
Disparity in the wording of the legislation forced the council to table action on the proposed zoning ordinance.
The issue will go before a vote at the next regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10.
The parish also adopted the following millage rates for the 2021 tax roll:
• Parish tax: 3.42 mills.
• Parish tax, Town of Livonia: 3.42 mills.
• Parish tax, City of New Roads, 1.71 mills.
• Fire District No. 1 – Maintenance and Operations: 2.99 mills.
• Fire District No. 1 – Acquisitions and Maintenance: 3.51 mills.
• Fire District No. 2 – Maintenance and Operations: 3.81 mills.
• Fire District No. 2 – Additional Funding: 1.35 mills.
• Fire District No. 3 - Maintenance and Operations: 2.97 mills.
• Fire District No. 3 – Additional Funding: 3.00 mills.
• Fire District No. 4 – 5.00 mills.
• Fire District No. 5 – 4.03 mills.
• Library Maintenance Tax – 4.03 mills.
• Sewerage District No. 3A – 18.85 mills.
• Water District No. 1 – 4.52 mills.