"It a major decision that this police jury is going to be making in replacing Mark McMurry. I can tell you that we are going to work to make sure no stone is unturned. We will find the right person for the next administrator for Calcasieu Parish," said Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President, Hal McMillin.
Perhaps, the most talked about item was how the parish plans to spend money from the Louisiana Recovery Authority, granted to Calcasieu Parish in response to hurricanes Gustav and Ike
"The police jury approved a plan for utilization of those funds," said Assistant Parish Administrator, Bryan Beam.
The parish received nearly 18-million dollars of recovery money. 10-million will be spent on several parish wide initiatives. Nearly 3-million will go to purchase generators for public facilities. Just over 1-million dollars will be allocated to hardening several parish buildings. And the rest will go to refurbishing other buildings and funding community programs.
Around 7.5-million will be divided among cities in the parish, and the parish, to be spent on pre-approved plans.
The final breakdown will have to be approved by the L.R.A before these projects will begin. The city of Lake Charles had requested that their portion of the money be spent on a housing compensation program. That was denied and left out of the proposal, approved by the police jury Thursday night.
John Ieyoub was at the meeting to speak on behalf of the city before it went up for a vote. Later he provided 7 News with the following statement.
"It was our position that we felt there was still a need in our community to have funds available for citizens who suffered damage from these storms. We wanted to give the citizens of Lake Charles first priority."
"After meetings with the mayors and several members of the jury, the Police Jury passed a plan that did not ultimately have that component," said Bryan Beam.
According to the police jury, it was there opinion, after months of planning, involving input from many local officials, that infrastructure type projects would be a better way to use the funding. This would help to strengthen buildings, should another storm come our way.
For a complete look at the proposal approved by the Police Jury, click here for a link to their website.