Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

COA is squeaking wheel

"The squeaking wheel always gets the oil is what I have always heard," said Dathene Brown, director of the Webster Parish Council on Aging, while addressing jurors and those present during the regular meeting of the Webster Parish Police Jury Tuesday.

Brown's statement was in reference to her persistence in trying to secure funding to build a new senior center.

"I want to bring you up to date of where we are with the building project of the new senior center. It has gotten through the capitol outlay process in Baton Rouge, and now we are working to get it on the agenda of the Bond Commission," Brown said.

If the project application of $1.5 million is placed on the state Bond Commission meeting agenda, it will be voted on at the next meeting, which could be at the end of September or October, she said.

Police jurors also learned about a new program that can help those who need assistance to purchase medications for themselves or for a young child in their home. WHIP of Webster, is a program to help with Wellness, Health, Information and Pharmaceuticals, according to Patsy Dees, of the council on aging.

"This is the first time in 23 years that I have worked with the council on aging that we ever have been approved to serve someone under 60 years of age," Dees said. The large number of grandparents in the parish is the reason the program has been approved according to Dees.

"Webster Parish is the highest parish in north Louisiana with grandparents raising grandchildren and it is a struggle for some of our seniors to do that," she said.

"So we will be offering this program to all ages," Dees said. "The program will be for someone who has small children and can't afford to buy medicine or their income level is low and they don't qualify for Medicaid," Dees said. "With this program, we can bring them in and help them get medicine for their kids as well as helping the seniors."

This program, according to Dees, is for the whole parish and it has also opened the door for anyone eligible through the program to use the exercise equipment available in the senior centers. It also provides information about local programs and helpful hints from a registered dietician.

Through WHIP, the council on aging can also aid a qualified applicant in getting medications directly from a pharmaceutical company.

Also voted on during the jury meeting were resolutions to remove certain bridges off the System Bridge Program and put them back into the system. North Giles Street Bridge and Nursery Road Bridge over Brushy Creek were accepted. Kings Orchard Road Bridge over Lick Creek was not accepted back into the system.

According to Brad Graff, parish engineer, "no deficiencies were found with new construction," during inspections of the North Giles Street and Nursery Road bridges.

However, that was not the case when inspecting the Kings Orchard Road Bridge over Lick Creek.

"It would be my recommendation not to accept the King Orchard Road back into the system at this time," he said.

When Graff presented his report during a road committee meeting held prior to the jury meeting Charles Odom, district 8, asked for a vote to declare the bridge problem an emergency. He and the other jurors were concerned for safety especially for children and buses.

"Let's do whatever paperwork to run it through the state quick as possible to get the work done," he said. The vote was unanimous.

In other business, jurors approved the following:

n make a request for $25,000 form the Office of Community Development for Bistineau Water System to replace old water meters.

n make a request for $21,385 from the Office of Community Development for Doyline Waterworks District to replace 84 25-year-old water meters.

n make a request for approximately $25,000 for Bistineau Water System to replace old water meters.

n apply for the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant- Public Facilities application for Streets.

n Approve new board appointments for the Webster Parish Fire Protection District #4.

The next meeting will be October 4 at 10:30 a.m.






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