At Monday's regular meeting, the Vernon Parish Police Jury approved a motion to abandon a portion of Wright Road, extending from the property line of Brian Wright and extending west to the dead end, by a 12-0 vote.


At Monday's regular meeting, the Vernon Parish Police Jury approved a motion to abandon a portion of Wright Road, extending from the property line of Brian Wright and extending west to the dead end, by a 12-0 vote.
Russell and Barbara Coats, as well as Charles Alderson, who each own property along Wright Road, were present at Monday's meeting to discuss the abandonment during a public hearing. But jury president Jim Tuck (district one) said that the jury needed to "look at the facts," and decide whether the road was providing a service to the public.
"Is it needed for the public?" added jury attorney Terry Lambright.
Residents along the road, including Alderson, as well as on neighboring Ebenezer Cemetery Road, objected to the abandonment at last week's committee meeting, saying that residents would lose numerous services, including trash, mail and bus service.
But Tuck said that he spoke to representatives from the trash department and postal service, and both departments said that service for residents of Wright Road would not be affected.
Police juror Mike Kay (district nine) said that if a road was less than three-tenths of a mile long, a school bus was "not supposed" to travel down that road to pick up children in the first place.
In addition, the jury received a letter from the Hicks Fire Department chief, who said that the water bleedoff, located at the end of Wright Road, would not affect the area's fire rating or the amount of service the department could provide residents.
Russell Coats said that the reason he requested the abandonment is that so he could put a gate across the road to protect his property. Coats said that there were a few instances where he had items stolen from his property, and he wanted to put the gate back up "for a sense of security."
He also said that there were never any problems with allowing public officials through the gate if they needed to conduct business.
"Anything they need to do, I have no problem with giving them acess," Russell Coats said. "I have never denied anyone any services."
Alderson, who was also present at last week's committee meeting, asked why the parish was considering "doing away" with parish infrastructure.
"It's doing away with our services," he said. "You're going to have problems with the mail, and you're going to have problems with the trash."
The jury also announced Monday that updated totals showed parish roads suffered over $586,000 in damages as a result of the March 20 storms. Tuck said that multiple members of the jury would be heading to Baton Rouge next week in an attempt to receive state funding to help with the damages.
"We will explore every avenue before we take it (the money) out of the overlay account," he said.
Various jury members also suggested that the police jury call a special meeting to discuss what roads would be included in the 2012 overlay projects.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office was also recognized by the 204th Military Police Co. for their participation in the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade's Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force (DCRF) mission training in mid-April. The VPSO joined officials from the DeRidder and Leesville police departments in helping the brigade deal with incidents in areas with civilians, such as a city center.