Police Jury appoints new president, approves budget

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish Police Jury appointed a new president from among its members during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday evening.

Monday was the first meeting of 2022 and marks the beginning of the jury’s third year of their four-year term.

Juror Joseph Parker opted not to serve a third year as the jury president, which he said was “a hard decision” to make. Instead, the jury unanimously voted for Collin Edwards to be president and Adam Probst to continue being vice president.

Email newsletter signup

“I want to take this time to thank my fellow jurors who thought enough of me to head up the parish for the past two years,” Parker said. “I don’t want you all to think I’m bailing out on you. I’m not a quitter and I’ll still be here whenever you need me.”

After holding a public hearing, the jury also approved a resolution adopting their operating budget for the 2022 fiscal year. There were no public comments offered during the hearing.

Based on the prior year’s numbers, the budget reflects an estimated total revenue of $7,123,006 with $1,672,436 in the general fund and $5,540,570 in the special revenue fund with the bulk of the parish’s revenue coming from grants, taxes and permits.

Ad valorem property tax collections are estimated to be $325,000 from general property and $425,000 from public buildings.

The parish also projects it will receive $253,500 in licenses and permit applications and $300,000 in severance taxes. Total expenses are estimated to be $7,019,749 with $2,053,914 of expenses coming from the general fund and $4,965,835 from the special revenue fund.

The parish’s three largest expenses come from public roads and highways totaling $1,606,695, grant projects totaling $1,005,110 and the solid waste program totaling $969,555.

Officials said due to property values going up, ad valorem taxes are slightly up even though the parish chose not to roll up millage rates. However, other revenues saw shortfalls expected to carry over into this fiscal year. Specifically, the parish saw a decrease in severance tax and an increase in insurance costs, according to the parish’s consolidated budget report.

American Rescue Plan funding provided by the federal COVID-19 stimulus has been transferred to the General Fund to help offset budget shortfalls and ensure the parish has a balanced budget, the report states.

In other matters, the Concordia Parish Police Jury, the board:

  • Unanimously reappointed Sandi T. Burley as secretary and treasurer.
  • Juror Genesia Allen moved to table discussion of hiring reapportionment and redistricting services until a later board meeting. After the 2020 Census, the parish is required by law to determine whether population changes would affect the balance of voters in each of the parish’s districts. To do this, the parish is considering hiring redistricting services of Strategic Demographics LLC for $14,000.