The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday went on record to approve a resolution to honor the agreements in place between the parish and Pine Prairie Energy. Also, the jury is asking the Evangeline Parish Assessor to drop any and all efforts to assess taxes on property owned by the Industrial Development Board in accordance with the original payments in lieu of taxes (Pilot) agreement. The action came as a recommendation by the Evangeline Industrial Development Board Number One.
The resolution follows a decision by the Evangeline Parish Assessor to go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the Pilot payments and to assess the property taxes owed by the Industrial Development board in direct contradiction of the agreement between the parish and Pine Prairie Energy.
Industrial Board Chairman Dr. William “Tojo” Ward said Pine Prairie Energy “is an outstanding corporate citizen of the parish”. The company has made: $450,000 in Pilot payments to the parish, $300,000 in charitable contributions, $1.2 million dollars annually in ad valorum taxes and has invested $700 million dollars in the parish facility.
In other business, the police jury approved switching its group health insurance plan to Blue Cross of Louisiana at a savings of $3500 a month. The previous health insurance carrier was the Police Jury Association Group Plan which quoted a 4 percent increase in premiums.
David Broussard with Lemoine Insurance Agency informed the police jury that the Blue Cross quote came in at 4:30 that afternoon.
It was noted during the meeting that the new health plan increases the employee co-pay from $15 to $40.
In other business the police jury:
--called for a public hearing to adopt an ordinance mandating that there must be a tarp or cover on trailers hauling trash and garbage to the dumpster sites in the parish;
--voted to increase the speed limit by 5 miles per hour to 50 miles an hour on Maxie Ray road which makes it the highest speed limit for a parish road;
--went behind closed doors for an hour to discuss legal matters;
--reappointed Nick LeBas, Dr. Tommy Fontenot and Desmond Thomas to another one year term on the Evangeline Parish Recreation District Board.