The Town of Ferriday introduced its budget Tuesday after it had been amended to reflect COVID relief money.

“New items had to be added,” said Ferriday Mayor Rydell Turner.

The budget will run twice in the Concordia Sentinel before it is voted on by alderman at a Jan. 26 special meeting

The budget reflects an estimated total revenue of $3,042,604 with $2,823,750 in total general government for excess in revenue of $293,854.

The mayor’s salary is $44,000.

Total salaries are $1,210,000.

Sales tax revenue is $1,200,000

The budget reflects ad valorem taxes at $275,000.

In other business, Ferriday resident Katie Warner questioned the board about a new restaurant and lounge she has heard opening on First Street where Stepper’s Lounge used to be.

“That is close to where I lived and my concern is with safety, noise, loud music and security,” Warner said. “Are the people who own the building going to be responsible for anything in and out of the building. I want peace and quiet when I come home.”

Alderwomen Gloria Lloyd stated that a church is across the street and if there was an ordinance requiring so many feet for a lounge to be from a church.

Elijah “Stepper” Banks, who owned Steppers, said the state approved the former lounge, but Lloyd said the church is now closer.

Ferriday Tax Clerk Deborah Elaine-Jones said no license has been applied for at that location. 

“I have talked with her, and she is unsure about what she wants to do there,” Elaine-Jones said. “And it will be subject to approve by the council.”

“We will take the most appropriate action,” Turner said.

Banks asked about the pay for Marchelle Donnelly, who was named Town Clerk last month.

“She has a big job and everyone but the mayor answers to her,” Banks said.

“She also needs to be able to do her job, and she answers to the board,” Lloyd said.

Turner said Donnelly is still on a 90-day probation period and the board will discuss her pay after the 90 days is complete.

Elaine-Jones also presented the board with a revision of mobile trailer policies to look over and vote on at the February meeting.

“The revision is to help clean up our area,” Elaine-Jone said. “I have made some amendments to eliminate 25-foot lots. These are for safety, and also must face the street to help 911 and emergency officials. They can be no close than 20 feet from streets and property lines.”

In other business, Turner told the board he has been in contact with Concordia Parish librarian Amanda Taylor about the work being done on a water line on Third Street in front of the library that has blocked most of the road for several months.

“We have been at the mercy of the companies that are backed up and behind,” Turner said. “I have also talked with Womack about assisting.”

Jack Turner approached the board about opening a tavern on E.E. Wallace next to Family Dollar.

“It would be for people 30-and-up,” Turner said. 

Turner was just informing the board of his intentions.

The board also approved an occupational license for MedCentris Specialty Group, which will operate out of the former Riverland Medical Center building.

Banks also informed the board he has written a letter to the attorney general for an opinion on removing alderman Andre Keys from the board.

Keys was sentenced after pleading guilty to an amended charge of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student.

Keys, working as a teacher’s aide in 2020, was booked on charges of third degree rape and sexual battery following an incident at Ferriday High School involving a student of the age of minority.

Afterward, the Concordia Parish School Board placed Keys on administrative leave before firing him on June 10, 2021.

On Oct. 20, Keys received a six-month suspended sentence and two years of probation from Judge Kathy Johnson, who ordered him to pay a $500 fine and $260 in court costs.

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