The Washington Parish Council was busy Monday (February 28, 2022) evening. Following meetings of the Solid Waste and Finance Committees and a Public Hearing on redistricting the council election districts, the Council met in regular session. The highlight of the regular session was introduction of Sonnit Ireland, Washington Parish's new Library Director.
After discussion and input from Finance Director Donna Graham, the Solid Waste Committee approved the increase in tipping fees from $35 to $36.75 to reflect an increase in the Consumer Price Index. The increase will be paid by commercial haulers and not affect residents, who pay no tipping fees when disposing of residential garbage at the Choctaw Landfill. The increase will be effective July 1, 2022. (See video of the Solid Waste Committee meeting at https://vimeo.com/683383697.)
The Finance Committee approved placement of a sales tax renewal on the November 8, 2022 ballot. The tax is not a new tax but a ten-year renewal of a 1/3 of 1% sales tax collected in Washington Parish, excluding the area within the Town of Franklinton. (See video of the Finance Committee meeting at https://vimeo.com/683392845.)
During the Public Hearing on redistricting the council election districts, previous actions by the Council and Advisory Panel was reviewed and the public was again given the opportunity to provide input. Plan D has been recommended by the Advisory Panel and a vote by the Council will be held at a late date. (See video of the Public Hearing at https://vimeo.com/683409971 and review Plan D at http://www.washingtonparishalerts.org/files/136703067.pdf.
In their regular session,
- the Council was introduced to Sonnit Ireland, Washington Parish's new Library Director. (see the video beginning at 3:05). She comes to us from St. Tammany Parish and has been actively involved State and National Library Associations
- the Council heard from Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette regarding tax measures that on the April 30, 2022 ballot for Bogalusa voters. (see the video beginning at 5:55). The proposed tax measures are a continuation of existing taxes, the taxpayers will not see any increase in current taxes. The Council indicated they will be in support of the tax measures described by the Mayor
- the Council approved a resolution of declaration of surplus property and a resolution of appointment of Jon Pinell to the Fire District No. 9 Board of Directors
Beginning at 14:10 into the video, Parish President Thomas provided information regarding COVID-19 to include positivity rates, confirmed cases, vaccination rates, locations to get vaccinated, and more. Finance Director Donna Graham and Transportation Supervisor Donnell Merritt provided reports. Of note is the continuing litter problem with 601 bags of garbage picked up in the month of February.