The Winn Parish Police Jury certified the 2023 parish tax roll (taxable value) at $86.7 million, up from $81.4 million last year, following a presentation by Assessor Lawrence Desadier at their Sept. 18 meeting.
Desadier explained that during the 15-day period in August when the rolls were opened for public viewing, there were six inquiries concerning assessed values but the Police Jury secretary/treasurer received no appeals. He pointed out that the total assessed value of Winn properties is $104.5 million, up from $99 million in 2022 but that total is reduced through homestead exemptions totaling $17.8 million, up from $17.6 million last year.
Road Supt. Perry Holmes informed lawmakers that FEMA-funded road repairs related to Hurricane Delta (October 2020) has been completed on the three Sikes-area roads, Rabbit, Fire Tower and Peppers. Work is now under way on the Hurricane Laura-affected roads which could include up to 40 roads across the parish. Currently, McGinty Road work has been completed while work on the Campground Road and Old Alexandria Road are about 80% complete.
Holmes explained that while Delta came hit later, FEMA declared that damage “minor” so funding to the parish was up-front, though not speedy in arriving. Assessment of Laura, on the other hand, took some time and help from Baton Rouge before FEMA declared damage here “major” (in the $6 million range). This federal funding is on a reimbursement basis requiring the parish to perform repairs before the money is provided.
Due to the extended dry spell, the superintendent reported that work on parish roads has been active over the past few months, bushhogging along roadsides has made the complete rounds of the parish and pothole patching is going as quickly as it can.
The jury also agreed to a recommendation by Frank McLaren to appoint Mrs. Penny Stangle to serve as Constable for Ward 6 to fill the vacancy of Ricky Vines who has moved. The jury then adopted a proclamation calling for a special election to be held Nov. 5, 2024, to fill that post.
Jury members took the opportunity for two special presentations. Josh McAllister read a presentation describing how 2019 WSHS graduate Justin Lawson played baseball here four years. He went on to Bossier Parish Community College, then to North Carolina State where he made 46 appearances pitching for 108 strikeouts. On July 11, Lawson signed in the 15th round of the MLB draft with the New York Mets. The lawmakers declared July 11, 2023, as “Justin Lawson Day.”
A second photo opportunity came when Keith Reichardt of Wooden Life presented flags to the jury, explaining that apart from insurance, goals of the organization include scholarships and presentations of American flags for public places.
Kirk Miles also won approval by fellow lawmakers to assist the Village of Dodon by grading and road repairs to the gravel section of E. Gresham Street.