Every since I began my campaign for Natchitoches Parish Sheriff people have asked me if there was anything I could do for the parish roads. My answer has been there was nothing I can do but report issues concerning the parish Road to the parish Highway Department.
I have traveled most of the roads in Natchitoches Parish during my campaign for sheriff and I agree completely that our roads are in very bad shape. I began thinking about our roads and wondered if there was anything I could do as Sheriff to help. After all the sheriffs primary job is public safety. With that in mind I realized the Parish Government was paying the Sheriffs Department for housing inmates at the Detention Center. They are current on what they owe each month but they are paying an additional $5000 per month toward a debt they owe the Sheriff’s Department. This debt incurred because the Police Jury years ago stop paying for housing inmates and that debt reached approximately $1,000,000.
Then I reviewed the Sheriffs Department’s budget and financials and realized this $5000 per month didn’t make a significant difference to the Sheriffs Department’s $17,000,000 budget and the money could possibly be used to improve our roads.
We have school buses, ambulances, firetrucks, elderly people and other vehicles that have serious problems getting up and down a lot of our parish roads. We also have to be able as Deputies to get to people in their time of need
I made contact with the Legislative Auditors office for guidance. Here’s my proposal. I am willing to forgive the debt that is owed to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department by the Parish Government. The law states that I cannot out right forgive the debt which is lawfully owed unless we get something in return. I think better roads will qualify for that.
I will agree to do this providing there are no legal issues with my proposal and that the Natchitoches Parish Government adopts a resolution that a minimum of $5000 a month (which is the amount they are currently paying to the Sheriff’s Department) will continue to be paid directly to the Road Fund and not the General Fund. Therefore this money will have to be spent solely on our roads to make them safer and usable.
I am willing to make this offer and small sacrifice so that we may have safer roads in our parish
This resolution may expire when the total amount owed is met.