Vernon Parish Coroner Dr. Shawn Granger wants the Police Jury to help with the increased rent at his new office location.
Dr. Granger asked the jury at its agenda-setting committee meeting on Monday evening to pay another $500 monthly toward the rent.
According to parish records, that would bring the jury’s share of the coroner’s rent to about $1,500 monthly.
Granger said when he moved from former quarters in Byrd Memorial Hospital his rent doubled.
Under state law, the parish is required to pay operating expenses for the coroner’s office.
In most parishes, as in Vernon, the coroner’s office operates out of the same quarters as the physician’s private practice, with coroners’ billing parishes for a proportionate share of the costs.
Parish Administrator/Treasurer Rhonda Plummer said the parish annually spends $150,000 to $200,000 for coroner services.
Jurors took the request under advisement, saying Plummer would huddle with Granger’s staff to review costs and funding requests.
Plummer suggested the parish might want to reopen consideration of asking legislators to amend state law to add a check-off for the coroner’s fund to traffic court costs, much the same as fees are levied on each case now for various dedicated funds. Some parishes already have a fee added for the coroner.
Jurors also heard from Stanley Fletcher, on behalf of the Vernon Historical & Genealogical Society. Fletcher appeared some time back and opened discussion of the parish assisting the Society in its search for a place to call home.
He returned Monday with more details.
The Society needs a building, or room in a building, in which to house its growing collection of irreplaceable documents, records, histories and such.
“We don’t need a big space, perhaps 640 square feet (16x40),” he said, though the space must meet standards that are protective of the materials involved.
Plummer told Fletcher, who said his group has funds with which to operate a facility, that the jury is restricted by law on what it can do for nonprofits such as the Society. She told jurors she would confer with Fletcher and talk about what could, and could not, be done.
The jury heard several committee reports. Those, and public hearings on a couple of road resolutions, will be included on the Sept. 18, 10 a.m., meeting agenda.