A Franklin Parish resident disagreed with the Police Jury’s method of trimming trees, saying it harmed them while also aiding termite populations near residential areas.
Tonda Beaty, a Frenchman Turn Road resident, discussed the measures with Police Jury members Nov. 12.
Beaty was against trimming with a mower leaving trees with ragged edges. The mangled trees are more susceptible to disease and pests, Beaty said. Rather, she would like to see Police Jury workers cut limbs with hand or power saws.
“When you can cut a tree with a saw, you leave a smooth cut,” Beaty said. “That tree has the capability of healing with precision and speed.”
Beaty also said if trees on the side of the road get termites or other pests from being improperly trimmed, properties owner’s trees would be infected.
Police Jury President Ricky Campbell called the trimming of trees a necessity.
“Some of them we have to trim for people to get up and down the roads,” Campbell said. “I looked at French Turn Road Sunday, and it looked mighty good.”
Beaty, displaying debris, acknowledged that the road looked good, but said the leftover trimming remained on the road.
“There is junk like this all the way down (the road),” Beaty said.
Meanwhile, Su Orr Hill, Boeuf River Antique Tractor Pullers representative, said Franklin Parish’s Activity Center was in shambles at their annual tractor pull, Nov. 7.
The arena, located outside Winnsboro on La. Hwy 15, was littered with the broken glass, grass was scattered on side walks and sand bagging equipment was still on one end of the arena.
“It was just a mess,” Hill said. “We were quite embarrassed. I been living in Franklin Parish for 58 years and we had people from east Texas, Memphis down to Crowley. We had a good pull, and we were proud of what we had, but we didn’t have any trash cans. They brought one about 8:30.”
Hill acknowledged her organization’s request to rent the Activity Center came on short notice.
“I’d like to apologize for it,” Campbell said.
Second phase of construction on the Activity Center is forthcoming. It calls for construction of an additional bonnet on the pavilion’s north end, bathrooms, concession stand, bucking chutes, trim event chutes, perimeter fence and a gravel parking lot.
The total estimated cost for the second phase is $1.5 million and will be financed through grants.
The first phase was the pavilion’s planning and construction and totaled some $1.3 million. It was financed through Capitol Outlay money and Chad Parks, of Design Plus Consulting Engineers, was over design plans.
With the first phase completed several years ago, the Activity Center has hosted events ranging from horse shows, tractor pulls and rodeo clinics.
In a related matter, the Franklin Parish Police Jury entered into the cooperative endeavor agreement with Womack & Sons Construction Company for the donation of equipment and labor for digging a water line for the Activity Center.
The Police Jury agrees to use pipe that was left over from a previous project.
Additionally, the Police Jury went into executive session to review the job performance of Road Superintendent Wendell Thornton.
Thornton and Police Jury Secretary-Treasurer Sam Wiggins were involved in a heated argument at the personnel committee meeting, Nov. 5.
The two argued over lack of communication between the public works department and the Police Jury’s central office.
No action was taken in the matter.
An executive session was also scheduled for Wiggins but the under advisement from Police Jury lawyer Mike Kramer, it was tabled.
In a related matter, the Police Jury approved the chain of command for employees to call.
Every operator will have an 811 permit designating the area the operator can dig. If a situation arises that is illegal or could cause harm. the employee should contact their immediate supervisor.
If the employee feels the instruction of the immediate supervisor is unsatisfactory, the employee should contact the superintendent. If the situation has to go higher up the chain of command, employee should contact the office.
In other action, the Police Jury appointed Greg Humphries training liaison to Thornton. Humphries retired from the Police Jury as road superintendent in July 2014.