"Recently, news media accounts have reported issues concerning the use of the Bayou Dorcheat Watershed," a WPPJ press release reads. "These reports have caused unnecessary confusion and concern among Webster Parish Citizens about the preservation and use of water resources in our community."
Assistant District Attorney Patrick Jackson, who will lead the hearing, said he believes all of the citizen concerns are due to not being properly informed, and the hearing should clear up all issues anyone might have.
"We met with a couple of concerned citizens here," Jackson said. "Once we showed them the information – 180 – they completely flipped."
The hearing will be held at city hall in Minden in the council chambers at 6 p.m. on Tuesday March 13. WPPJ encourages any concerned citizen to attend the meeting, so any confusion may be cleared up and any further issues may be addressed.
"We encourage anybody that has concerns about the water, you need to attend," WPPJ President Charles Walker said. "We have some people that are familiar with this program, and they will inform us what we can do and what we can't do with Dorcheat."
WPPJ's hiring freeze established in October is taking its toll on parish road crews. Pothole machine operator Bobby James has his last day Friday and will leave open a position that is essential to road maintenance.
Road Superintendent Teddy Holloway requested permission to replace James, but no action was taken on the agenda item pending further discussion.
"We've got to look at the big picture," Walker said. "We have a responsibility to the citizens of Webster Parish to do the best we can with we've got to do it with. If you think it needs to be done, we'll support it. I don't think anybody in here would not support it."
Since the economic downturn, as WPPJ employees have left for various reasons many have not been replaced. The south end road crew has dwindled from 20 to 15 and the north end has dropped from 17 to 11.
Parent, parish citizen and 4-H Shooting Program volunteer Richard Desadier has taken up the project of finding a central home for the shooting program. He is working with juror Charles Odom to get permission to use around four acres near the parish landfill to set up a shooting range.
Desadier and AgCenter 4-H Agent Lisa Holmes said the program utilizes teachers from across the parish and it would be beneficial to have a central location where the various shooting activities could take place. Archery, BB and shotgun ranges are planned.
Holmes said they have all of the necessary equipment and are not looking for money, only permission to use the unused parish land. Odom said he would work with Jackson to determine how the project can move forward legally.
In Road Committee and jury business:
The speed limit on Miller Briarwood Road was reduced to 15 miles per hour.
Discretionary funds will be used to help with a town-wide clean up in Sibley on April 14.
Dubberly received $500 for lights on a water department service truck.
Springhill received $1,000 toward a City Court audit expense. Odom made a rare "against" vote because he said the money was not needed for the given expense.
The resignations of Fire District 8 board members Hershel Jones and Darwin Parker were accepted.
Odom said a new Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day would be scheduled in the near future. He said after the success of the October 2011 day, he has had many requests for a new one.