Police Jury seeking citizen input on strategic planning efforts

Published 9:34 am Friday, September 16, 2022

Tony Stelly, president of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury closed the Thursday, Sept. 15, meeting with an invitation.

“I want to encourage all residents of Calcasieu Parish to participate in our annual citizen survey,” Stelly said. “You can go to the Calcasieu Parish Government website to see and complete the survey, which helps us stay in touch with our citizens and helps guide strategic planning efforts.”

Earlier in the meeting, 20 addresses were read aloud where structures could eventually be demolished in an effort to clean up the parish. Owners of structures in Moss Bluff, Westlake, North Sulphur, Lake Charles/Ward 3, East Lake Charles, Deatonville, Bell City, Vinton and South Lake Charles will be officially notified to contact the CPPJ or speak up at the Nov. 3 meeting to show just cause why properties should not be condemned. The list is compiled when neighbors report abandoned structures that haven’t been maintained, secured or repaired to parish administration or police jurors. Many of the properties were damaged after the 2020 hurricanes.

Police jurors approved the bid of $5,761,377 from Triton Construction for the Louisiana Avenue Regional Detention Basin Project in Ward 3.

District 12 Police Juror Judd Bares noted that this accepted bid was $1 million dollars higher than the low bid, which was not approved because the contractor was non-responsive for failing to submit mandatory documents.

“The last bid is $9 million more expensive,” Bares pointed out. “That’s quite a range. Are we going to get this done right?”

Allen Wainwright, CPPJ director of public works, assured Bares.

“We’ve met with this company,” he said. “There’s a wide discrepancy in the bids, but as you know, we’re in a time right now where we’re expecting to see that in a lot of things. Also, this detention pond, to my knowledge, is the first one we’ve built here. But in speaking with the company, they are familiar with the work, and they are solid on their bid. I think we can look forward to a good job.”

The CPPJ approved rejecting all bids for the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services and Adoption Center Project at the staff’s recommendation due to budgetary constraints. Staff requested permission to advertise a revised scope of work.

Ryder and Ryder was the low bid winner for the Old Courthouse Repair Project with their bid of $3,655,400.

According to a press release from the parish earlier in the day, CPPJ will be using the citizen survey to identify service areas that citizens think need improvement such as litter, drainage, traffic, transportation, infrastructure and disaster recovery. The survey is anonymous.

“During our parishwide strategic planning process, our police jury set priorities and adopted multi-year goals after receiving feedback from hundreds of Calcasieu Parish citizens,” said Parish Administrator Bryan Beam. “This brief survey will add value and help to improve how our departments and Police Jury prioritizes and responds.”

“It’s critical to hear directly from citizens,” Stelly said. “Our community’s feedback is valuable and beneficial to improve how we respond to their needs in a more innovative, effective and efficient way.”