“It’s a never ending battle,” said Chester Granger, parish public works supervisor. He said the beach house should be replaced. “There’s no longer any use for it.” He said it had been used for storage until it was broken into.
Granger said vandals flush rolls of toilet paper down the toilets in the public bathroom, and that workers had found beverage cans forced down toilets. People also have removed shower heads, faucets and other fixtures.
Law enforcement does patrol the area, “but it doesn’t take long,” to damage the facility and leave without being noticed, Granger said.
The police jury voted to have the restroom facility locked between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. That schedule will be included in a brochure visitors receive when they enter the park and a sign specifying when the facility will be locked will be placed there. The sign “probably won’t stay there long,” juror Kevin Veillon said.
Grant money is available for a new pier at the Crooked Creek Reservoir, and after that project, a grant is expected to be available for construction of a pavilion there.
Granger also told the police jury there have been unfounded complaints that he either favors certain vendors in the parish or makes too many purchases outside of the parish.
He said of 45 purchases last month, more than 30 have been made from vendors in Ville Platte, three others were outside Ville Platte but inside the parish, and 10 purchases were made from vendors outside of Evangeline Parish.
Granger said state auditors, and state legislation, require quarterly comparisons of what vendors charge.
Juror Veillon cautioned the police jury that when purchases are made outside the parish, “we get zero tax back to our parish.” Vendors in Evangeline Parish “buy gas, buy food here and send their kids to schools in the parish,” he said.
Veillon also said if the price of a vendor outside the parish is lower, vendors offering the same product or services in the parish should be asked to offer a price “in the ball park.”
Eric Soileau, police jury president, said a quick review of purchases shows “it looks like 90 percent,” of the money spent remains in Evangeline Parish.”
Granger repeated that he is “being accused of not buying from local” vendors, “and it aggravates me when I know it’s not true.”
Doug Deville, parish secretary/treasurer, said Granger “goes out of his way to keep business in Evangeline Parish.”
Juror Kenny Burgess asked if the parish can legally make purchases from vendors in the parish even if the price is higher than the price offered by outside vendors.
Deville said he will examine state guidelines about whether local vendors could be allowed to offer prices at certain levels higher than outside vendors.
Soileau said he believed recent state legislation allows parishes to set those allowances.
The police jury also discussed complaints of flooding along Highway 167 west of Ville Platte, near the intersection of Alamo Road.
Heavy rain often causes water to cover the highway due to a concrete wall or dam that jurors said was placed there years ago as part of a planned subdivision that was never built.
Juror Rocky Rider said area residents have complained of collapsed culverts in the area. He said even if the cause of the flooding was found and corrected, the problem may be reduced but a permanent fix probably could not be found because of the topography of the area.
The parish consulting engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, said state transportation officials may need to be consulted to evaluate the problem and determine the best solution.
In other business, the police jury voted to reimburse a person whose vehicle was damaged by a parish bush hog operator. Deville presented the police jury with bids for replacing the passenger-side window. The low bid was $480.
The police jury has denied other requests for reimbursement because there was little evidence that parish crews were responsible for the damage.
This time, Granger said he was notified, by the parish equipment operator, of the damage when the vehicle and the equipment were still at the location where the damage occurred, so he was able to evaluate the damage claim. “It’s legitimate,” he said before the jurors voted to approve payment of the claim.
The jurors also voted to:
•Appoint Dena Lacaze to fill the unexpired term of Jeremy Gourdon on the Ward 4 Water District, at the request of the district.
•Appoint Belle Deshotel to replace Emily Frazer, Rhonda Butler to replace Heather Cloud and Terry Savant to replace Danette Cloud on the Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission, at the request of the commission.