The Vernon Parish Police Jury has increased its monthly allocation to the Coroner’s Office to help cover higher rent at a new location.

Dr. Shawn Granger asked the jury in September to boost the stipend by $500 a month. The jury’s Finance Committee recommended an increase of $350.40, which the jury approved at its Monday meeting.

The increase brings to $1,350 the amount the parish pays monthly.

Granger told jurors that when he moved from former quarters in Byrd Memorial Hospital his rent doubled.

The coroner’s office operates out of the same facility as the physician’s private practice, with the coroner billing jury for a proportionate share of the costs.

Vernon spends between $150,000 and $200,000 for coroner services.

On an expense request from a different agency, the jury Monday approved spending about $9,000 to replace the existing phone system at the health unit.

Executone of Louisiana’s price is about $5,000 under that offered by Carousel Industries, a difference mostly due to Executone being the unit’s current system, some of which will be retained with the new system installation.

Jurors authorized sale of adjudicated property to a couple that bid $1,500 for it at a public sale.

This is the last such sale to be scheduled by the parish, as all such parcels are not being marketed by a vendor through an online service.

A change order for about $14,000 in the Catfish Hut Road Improvement project was approved by the jury, as were two cooperative agreements relative to the Fort Polk Growth Management Improvements Project, total billing about $1,500.

Jurors re-appointed Gaye McKee to the Library Board for another five-year term and appointed Karen Skinner to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Otis Biggs.