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Parish road barn drama took center of attention at the Franklin Parish Police Jury public works agenda meeting April 2.

Parish operator Dewayne McMann accused a foreman of “swatting paperwork” from him and arguing who the “boss” was.

“I tried to hand him my paperwork,” McMann said. “I ain’t your boss. You take them to Wendell (Thornton, road superintendent).”

McMann then described two other confrontations with him and the foreman.

“It’s a lot of that stuff going on out there,” McMann said. 

Public Works committee members, Ricky Campbell, Rawhide Robinson and David Deblieux, did not comment on the matter but Police Jury Secretary Sam Wiggins informed McMann a formal complaint had been filed.

Meanwhile, Franklin Parish will receive $3.8 million from the American Rescue Act, said Cinnamon Gooding with McManus Consulting Engineers.

Money will be received through American Rescue Act and can be used in balancing negative economic impacts brought on by COVID-19, emergency equipment or water and sewer infrastructure.

“You get your first half of money in May 2021 and second half 2022,” Gooding said. “You have to have to spent it by the end of 2024.”

Committee members suggested buying upgrades to sewer systems to keep trash out of the pumps particularly Abe Lincoln /  Horace White sewer treatment plant.

Abe Lincoln / Horace White sewer treatment plant project was recently completed earlier this year. The project called for inspecting, cleaning and repairing lift station components as well as new pump suction / discharging piping, floats and control panels.

The nearly $600,000 project was funded by a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) loan.

But, people have continued to flush items like clothes, wash clothes and mop heads, clogging the pumps and potentially burning them up.

Gooding told committee members Womack and Sons Construction of Harrisonburg, contractors of the project, can install mounting brackets on the screens to keep trash from entering into pumps.

There is money left over from the grant but will not cover the entirety of the cost.

“This is causing problems with what we spent all this money for,” Campbell said.

There is also automatic mechanisms which take out trash coming into the station, Gooding said. Money from the American Rescue Act could be used to purchase and install the mechanisms.

Additionally, Police Jury members continue to research roads for a possible revamped road improvement plan.

Three Police Jury members have submitted to the list so far: Campbell, Keiona Wesby and Rawhide Robinson.

Repairing of roads would be based on a point system under the proposed list. Road projects would receive points if connected to a state highway, high road population, estimated cost, project length and cost effectiveness. The more points a road receives, the higher up on the list it would be placed.

To develop the proposed list, Police Jury members would submit roads to Thornton. Engineers, with Thornton’s input, would then rank the roads using the point system.

“You don’t get every road you turn in, and every road is not in one district,” said Ken McManus, engineer at McManus Consultants in a Feb. 4 public works committee meeting. “You can recommend any road whether it is black top or gravel. I think it is a good plan.”

Different parish roads can be repaired due to new roads being added on the list, McManus said.

The current road priority repair list was compiled in 2006. Proponents for the new list said data for many of the roads on the current list are out of date due to population changes in areas.

“We want to get away from the 15-year old road priority list,” McManus said. “It is outdated.”

With the current list, there are some parish roads that are in need of repair but are too far down the list, Thornton said.

Planned 2021 chip seal projects will go forward.

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