A motion to remove 500 feet of Judy Guillot Road from the Franklin Parish road system was tabled by police jurors after residents of the road pled their case and squabbled with each other for nearly 30 minutes during a Nov. 14 meeting.
The portion in question is a gravel road going to Judy Guillot’s home and makes a loop. The gravel roadhas been kept up by the Police Jury for 10 years.
“It is just 500 feet, and there is no land behind my property they cannot get to,” Guillot said. “There is no reason to come all the way to my house for a loop.”
Leading the charge to keep the road public was Pamela Chiasson who along with her husband, plans on opening a crawfish retail business. Chiasson said without the loop, there is no way for her future customers to turn around.
Additionally, living on Judy Guillot Road is two school bus drivers.
“(The loop) is a way for them to turn the busses around,” Chiasson said. “This is the only turn around on the entire road which is about 2,000 feet (total).”
Chiasson went on to accuse Police Jury President Ricky Campbell of having conflicting interest in the matter due to Guillot being Campbell’s ex-wife and his family members farming land in close approximately to the road.
Campbell said, he had no conflict of interest in the matter.
“Please don’t shut this road down until you show me where you are going to give us a turnaround for these school buses,” Sam Neilson said. Neilson’s wife drives a school bus for Franklin Parish school system.
State law prohibits closing of a public road “unless the said roadway is no longer needed for public purposes.”
“You can’t close a public road just because one person wants you to close it,” Chiasson said. “It is against the law. It has to be abandoned and have no public use.”
There is a turnaround for garbage trucks, but it is on Guillot’s property.
“This is a very unique situation,” said Mike Kramer, legal council for the Police Jury. “This is a public road. You can close it or not close it, but you have to go by the same rules we have been going by all along in opening and closing roads. We can’t make a special exception of what we normally do. We got to do it the same way we do it every time.”
Juror Buddy Parks made the motion to table the decision with Juror Rawhide Robinson seconding the measure.
“I’m speaking on behalf of myself and these other police jurors to try to come up with a reasonable compromise,” Parks said.
Jurors Troy Hendry, Joe Lewis, James Harris, Robinson and Parks voted to table the measure while Leroy Scott abstained.
On a related topic, the Police Jury unanimously agreed to annex 1,141 feet of Lee Parker Road. In the past, the Police Jury had been maintaining the road, but needed it in the “system.”
In other public works business, police jurors agreed to install a bus turnaround at 376 ASA Knox Road, a garbage truck turn around at 385 Gill Road but denied to take in a drive off of Fowler Road because it did not meet road requirements.
Additionally, the Police Jury denied a requested from Franklin Parish School Board President Richard Kelly for assistance in filling a hole at Baskin High School.
The hole was dug to bury rubble from the demolition of Baskin High School. Demolition was delayed until spring and approval from Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Meanwhile, jurors reappointed Greg Kincaid to the Franklin Medical Center Board of Commissioners, Leslie Young to the Franklin Parish Library Board and Bill McLemore to the Franklin Parish E-911 Board.