Editor’s note: This article is part two of a series examining Vernon Parish Police Jury budgets and road maintenance records.

According to its website, the Vernon Parish Public Works Department is responsible for road maintenance and repairs throughout the parish. 

However, a review of its budget shows that the Sanitary Landfill Fund is also under the public works department.

In 2017 the Vernon Parish Police Jury spent a total of $10,426,943 on public works. This includes $4,266,651 in sanitary landfill expenses.

Road maintenance and construction expenses for 2017 totaled $6,160,292. Of that $2,594,672 was paid through the Parishwide Road Maintenance fund and an additional $1,046,415 paid through the Overlay/Road Construction fund.

Maintenance and construction records received from the Vernon Parish Police Jury show that in 2017 a total of twenty-three asphalt projects were completed and paid out of the Overlay/Road Maintenance fund and an additional two maintenance projects were paid out of the Ward 7 Maintenance fund.

Seven projects were completed by Prairie Contractors, Inc. for a total of $201,860.11 and the remaining eighteen projects were completed by Apeck Construction, Inc for a total of $473, 421.47.

In 2018 a total of $1,431,534.36 was spent for overlay and road construction projects out of the Overlay/Road Construction fund. 

It is important to note that included in this expense is equipment rental fees, professional services fees, parts and supplies.

Asphalt and road construction expenses paid through the Parishwide Road Maintenance fund totaled $40,636.39 and through the Parish Transportation Act fund totaled $619,882.23.

A total of twenty-seven overlay and maintenance projects were completed in 2018. Two of those projects were for overlay completed by Apeck Construction, Inc for a total of $23,166.20. The remaining projects were completed by Williams Equipment Services, LLC for a total of $928,619.58.

A deeper look into the maintenance records for 2018 shows an additional 135 maintenance projects were completed around the parish.

Maintenance projects include regular road maintenance, fixing potholes, checking the roads, and bush hogging.

One parish road, in particular, received the most attention during 2018, Ford Stewart Road.

A total of sixty-five separate maintenance projects were completed on Ford Stewart Road for patchwork, pothole repairs, cutting grass and road grading. However, the bulk of the projects on Ford Stewart Road were to check the road for maintenance.

In part three of this series, the Leesville Daily Leader will take a look at why roads are abandoned and what happens when it becomes abandoned.