The Vernon Parish Police Jury's Personnel Committee at its regular meeting on Monday, May 18, voted to give all parish and health unit employees a five percent cost-of-living increase in pay, which will take effect June 1.

The Vernon Parish Police Jury's Personnel Committee at its regular meeting on Monday, May 18, voted to give all parish and health unit employees a five percent cost-of-living increase in pay, which will take effect June 1.

The committee also approved two new hires: the parish road manager hired Rodney Self to a full-time position as an equipment operator and Savannah Thomas was hired to join the janitorial staff.

Additionally, the Ways and Means Committee approved a request from the Vernon Parish Water and Sewer Commission No. 1 to appoint Mavis Odette to the board of directors to replace Cecil Thompson, who has resigned.

The jury also moved to authorize police jury president James B. Tuck to proceed with the development of the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant application, taking into consideration views and proposals submitted by citizens who attended the public hearing as well as those who were unable to attend. The latter are encouraged to call, write or email the police jury with their opinions.

The block grant application may be submitted for the following projects, with their ceiling costs in parentheses beside them:

- Sewer treatment ($1,000,000);

- New sewer collection ($800,000);

- Existing sewer collection rehabilitation ($800,000);

- Potable (safe and drinkable) water ($800,000);

- Water for fire protection ($500,000); or

- Streets ($600,000).

The deadline for the application's submission is November 2015.

The jury also moved to allow Tuck to proceed with procuring and selecting professional services to assist in the development of the application and implementation of the chosen project.

In other jury meeting news, the Finance Committee renewed its boiler and machinery insurance, which it carries through Travelers Insurance, for $2,133. For its landfill insurance, renewed through carrier Fertitta Insurance Agency, it approved a payment of $18,597.60. Finally, the jury approved a payment of $214,636 for property and equipment insurance renewal as invoiced by Fertitta Insurance Agency.

The committee also approved payment for invoices received for state capital outlay projects:

- For the Plainview Road improvements project, a total of $423,715.63 was paid;

- For the lift station and force main at the new Vernon Parish jail, a total of $15,275.46; and

- For the Fort Polk Growth Management Infrastructure Improvements project, a total of $24,742.65.

Other invoices presented for payment were from Pat Williams Construction, LLC, for work on the new Vernon Parish jail in the amount of $284,979.18; and two invoices presented by Meyers and Associates, Inc. for the new maintenance building, for a total amount of $9,849.67.

Additionally, a request presented by a trooper from Louisiana State Police, Brandon Edwards, was approved. He asked for six new Stalker radars for use by troopers who work in the Vernon Parish area. Edwards requested two radars be provided immediately and the other four as funds become available. Each radar costs $2,797.30.

Finally, the Finance Committee approved a request to install a security door on the back of the Vernon Parish courthouse, on the Third Street side, to limit public access to the main entrance. Quotes were received from Simpson Security, Inc. for $5,523 and R&S Corporation for $5,671.35.