In a 4-2 vote, The Leesville City Council voted Monday afternoon in its regular meeting to authorize the mayor to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the Town of New Llano for a joint public works venture.


In a 4-2 vote, The Leesville City Council voted Monday afternoon in its regular meeting to authorize the mayor to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the Town of New Llano for a joint public works venture.
In a press conference earlier this month, Freddie Boswell and Robert Rose, mayors of New Llano and Leesville respectively, signed an intent for a mutual endeavor agreement to create the joint public works venture, which would develop, fund and implement strategies to improve the water, sewage, street and infrastructure systems of the two neighboring communities.
Monday's resolution was Leesville's official go-ahead on the agreement. Councilmen Danny Dowd, district 3, and Mike Elliott, district 4, both expressed reservations about the venture.
"Can we get a written opinion from the Attorney General?" Dowd asked. He further questioned how expenses for each municipality would be accounted for.
Rose indicated that the accounting procedure would have to be worked out and that the venture was based on existing agreements that had already received approval from the state.
Elliott questioned how disputes would be handled as well as the legal and financial ramifications.
Rose explained that a commission, made up of each mayor and a third mutually agreed upon volunteer, would oversee the venture, setting the overall vision for the district, while a paid director, appointed by the commission, would implement the plan with the help of city managers from each community.
Rose also referenced a petition signed by business and property owners and residents on U.S. 171 South, La. 10, and Entrance Road and sent to Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. John Smith, Rep. James Armes, Fort Polk Commanding Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, area mayors and police jurors. The letter accompanying the petition expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of interest in funding infrastructure in that area.
"The governor's aide sent word through LED: 'tell us what it will take to finish'" Rose said, concerning the infrastructure along U.S. 171 South, Entrance Road and La. 10.
"We did not abandon" that area, said Rose. "We're still looking at what it will take to develop that area."
The cooperation of the two communities would greatly improve the chances of getting funding for the project, Rose said. In addition, the document which describes the venture would not remain static. Instead, it would require modification down the road as a "living document."
Both Elliott and Dowd voted against the resolution.
In other business, the council voted to authorize the mayor to enter into an agreement with Turner Teleco to provide telecommunications equipment to the police department. The move will solve several issues at once: provide the department with reliable phone and communication service and sever the final connection between E-911 and the police department. E-911, recently transferred to the authority of the parish, had been prevented from moving to a parish building because the police department was dependent upon E-911's phone system to some degree.
For more on the Leesville City Council's recent meeting, stay with the Leesville Daily Leader.