Watershed Discusses Finances, Public Concerns
MICHELLE BATES, Editor Guardian-Journal - 2012-03-29
The quarterly Claiborne Parish Watershed District meeting was short and sweet last Thursday, March 29, 2012, as they discussed a few things, like finances and a few public comments.
The good news, they said, is with the recent rains, Lake Claiborne is full and has peaked. Everything seems to be operating normally now.
“Everybody seems to be reasonably happy,”?said Commissioner Chic Hines. “We are operating back at normal right now.”
Also to note, the dam inspection was postponed until Thursday, March 29 because of the inclement weather over the first part of last week.
In the finance report, Commissioner Phillip “Butch” Fincher said that as of March 22, cash balances show $155,883.93 in the checking account. There are some checks still out, he said, but these were not figured into this balance. After all the remaining checks clear, he said the balance would show approximately $150,000 in the bank.
As of right now, sales tax collections revenue is averaging about $16,000 per year.
“We have paid our notes down on the permanent marker project, so the outstanding balance over the next two years is a $9,000 note per year without interest,” he said. “We have about $18,000 left on that, and we won’t owe another note until 2013.”
Also in his report, Fincher said they have a $100,000 CD (certificate of deposit) coming due on Wednesday, March 28. He received bids from four banks including Capital One, Gibsland Bank and Trust, First Guaranty Bank and Citizens National Bank. Bids from each bank are as follows: Capital One offered a CD with a one year lock for .25 percent interest, Gibsland Bank and Trust offered a 12-month CD for .3 percent, First Guaranty Bank offered a 12-month CD for .8 percent and Citizens National Bank offered a 12-month CD for .5 percent.
Fincher recommended renewing First Guaranty’s offer and it was approved unanimously by the commission.
He also recommended using approximately $75,000 out of the general account and putting it into another CD at First Guaranty for the same interest rate, which would leave about $75,000 in the checking account. The balance will increase as the year goes on, Fincher said, because there are no major projects in the works at this point.
This was also approved unanimously by the commission.
In other watershed news, Dr. Haynes gave a report on the Homer Lions Club meeting he attended, because representatives from the Louisiana Tourism Scenic Byway spoke, talking about the scenic byway through Claiborne Parish, which includes Lake Claiborne at Lisbon Landing.
While a kiosk has been built at Lisbon Landing, it has yet to have an informational panel put on it or a place to insert brochures for the public. The representatives passed around an example of what will be at the kiosk when it is completed. It will include information on the scenic byway and why it is called the “Boom or Bust” scenic highway.
It is expected to be completed in May.
Also, Dr. Haynes gave a report on the fishing pier project, which will be done by the Claiborne Parish Police Jury and completed by the end of next year.
In the public comments portion of the meeting, a concerned citizen mentioned duck blinds that had been placed in the boat run from Darbonne and Beaver Creek. It is a safety issue, he said, and they need to be moved. As of Monday, The Guardian-Journal received information that the blinds had been moved.
Also of concern is the lack of cleats at Lisbon Landing for boaters to tie up their boats while the boater moves their truck or vehicle from the boat launch or to the boat launch for loading.
The problem is, Commissioner Chic Hines said, the cleats have been put out time and time again, but they keep getting stolen.
“We need some good ideas,” Hines said. “We’ve talked about it and tried to come up with something [to stop it].”
It was suggested cementing in metal cleats and epoxy the screws in to keep them from getting stolen.
The next meeting of the Claiborne Parish Watershed District Commission will be held in June. Look to upcoming editions of The Guardian-Journal for the date and time. The commission normally meets on the fourth Thursday of each quarter (every three months) at the police jury complex in the conference room. For more information, please call their office at 318-927-5161.