Police Jury Acts on Roads, GIS System

The Winn Parish Police Jury took action May 15 to keep local traffic moving despite major bridge damage in two locations.  One of the bridges is on Hwy 84 East at Tullos, while the other is on the Bethlehem Road (1232).

Relating to the Tullos bridge closure, road superintendent Perry Holmes reported that the road crew is doing additional work on the Albritton Road to help alleviate that problem by allowing local traffic to travel by an alternate route.  This will not be available to heavy commercial traffic.  He added that the state has performed a load-rated test on a bridge on the Coldwater Road and posted a weight limit of 35 for two-axel vehicles and 44 tons for commercial vehicles.

The jury also awarded a roadway construction bid along the Douglas Garrett Road and the Joe Frazier Road in the amount of $695,988 to Regional Construction LLC.  The roads experienced extensive damage as traffic has for several years bypassed a damaged and now a one-lane bridge on the Bethlehem Road.  The problem could worsen when the bridge is closed for replacement, a project that could take another three years.  Jury president Josh McAllister made numerous trips to Baton Rouge to advocate the issue and jurors thanked the representatives and senators who secured the funding.

The jury also agreed to grant the Winn Parish Assessor’s Office $68,000 to purchase a Geographic Information System (GIS) from Spatial Net Inc.  This was the least expensive of three bids considered at a previous meeting when action was tabled for study.  The accepted bid from Spatial Net Inc. also includes an annual upgrade fee of $2,000 which Assessor Lawrence Desadier says that office can fund.  Two other bids were around $400,000 and $143,000, with higher annual fees.  

If the parish has GIS capability, connecting local data to online maps, then industries, businesses, real estate, individuals, hunting clubs and more can track all property data online without having to travel to the local courthouse to pore over records there.  Winn is one of only four state parishes that lack GIS technology.

“This is not a knee-jerk reaction,” said juror Tammy Griffin.  She said the jury tabled action in order to study the issue.  The possibility of seeking a grant through Kisatchie Delta was discussed but even if a grant could be secured, it would be several years before the funding would be available.  Spatial Net bid should have Winn online with GIS by year’s end.

The jury also adopted 2023 ad valorem millage rates totaling 22.37 mills.  They are General Alimony 3.94, Health Unit 3.24, Library 5.03, Library 3.03, Road District #1 1.99 and Road District #2 5.12.