Would finance public facilities' upkeep

Police Jury President James Tuck appealed to residents Monday to approve re-dedication of a parish-wide property tax to finance much-needed work on Vernon Parish’s inventory of public facilities.

The 4.25-mill proposition is on the Oct. 14 primary election ballot. Early voting for the primary begins 30.

The tax was originally approved in 1992 to provide funding for construction of the parish library. When that was paid off, voters in 2009 approved rededicating the millage to finance construction of the new Sheriff’s Office and Jail.

Tuck said Monday that the millage is producing revenue sufficient o meet the bonded debt payments on that construction and to allow the parish to take on additional debt to finance the facilities’ work.

“This re-dedication would allow the parish to perform much-needed maintenance, repairs and improvements on aging parish-owned buildings and facilities, including mechanical and electrical systems that already have exceeded their life expectancy,” Tuck said during Monday’s monthly jury meeting.

He reviewed the inventory of parish structures and noted some of the increasing problems at them, including aging, if not work out, heating and cooling systems and roof issues.

Even the “new” courthouse has some problems, it was noted. For the record, the “new” courthouse is now 18 years old.

The re-dedication proposition also allows construction but there are no such projects on the planning board at this time, officials said.