A new lease contract if passed from Brogal, Limited Partnership would close Baker’s Cutoff Boat Ramp from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31 and have Franklin Parish Police Jury assume all expenses in building a fence around the property.

The contract was introduced at a Police Jury public works committee meeting, Aug. 26.

Additionally, the Police Jury would be responsible for all maintenance, upkeep and provide “sufficient gravel” at the landing, pay all utility charges and maintain liability insurance, according to the lease contract agreement.

The contract also requires the Police Jury to pass an ordinance prohibiting overnight camping and littering by the general public on the premises that can be enforced by civil and/or criminal penalties.

In June, Police Jury members tabled a previous Brogal LP contract that called for the Vicksburg company to share fencing costs.

If the Police Jury agrees to enter into the current contract, they would have no lease payments.

Police Jury officials have sent a request for a Louisiana Attorney General’s office opinion on the legality of closing the ramp’s access road.

In the past, the Police Jury annually leased the property surrounding the boat ramp from Bogal, LP for $1,000. The previous lease ended March 31, 2019.

The move to temporarily bar ramp users began when members of Brogal, LP accused hunters of trespassing on their private property and excessively littering. Officials representing the group requested the Police Jury close the ramp and Bakers Cutoff Road to the public for the specified period. Police jurors dismissed closing the road in their regular June meeting.

According to the original proposal to the Police Jury, “There has always been a trash problem in the boat ramp area as well as people camping overnight in the area. Adjoining landowners as well as Brogal, LP have had continuous problems with hunters trespassing on their private property. The trespassers access the property by boats launched at the Bakers Cutoff Boat Ramp. They pose as fishermen and do fish but have a gun in case they see a deer on the banks of the lake. This has been an ongoing problem for years.”

The Police Jury originally leased the tract of land where the boat ramp is located on May 20, 2010 and renewed the lease on March 31, 2015 for an annual payment of $1,000, according to the proposal.

Meanwhile, public works committee members recommended to continue with original improvement plans for Hurricane Bayou Crossing. The move was approved by the Police Jury last year.

A proposed revised plan called for three 10-foot diameter culverts and one eight-foot diameter culvert to be installed costing $68,992. Original plans call for two eight-foot diameter pipes along with 2,500 yards of dirt.

Hurricane Bayou drains much of Richland Parish.

Police Jury officials have cleaned the crossing’s current culverts which is only lightly traveled.

“So far they have done pretty good,” Wendell Thornton, Police Jury road superintendent, said. “We haven’t had no hard rain, so it hasn’t washed out.”

In other action, public works committee members recommended putting children at play signs at Robinson Dairy Road and Wilderness Lane. The group also recommended giving permission to land owners to place ATV signs on Wilson and Ellington roads.

Police Jury members will also hear hardship drive requests for Parish Line and Ross roads and a drive on La. Hwy 15.

Additionally, a public hearing will be held at the Police Jury’s 5 p.m. Sept. 10 regular meeting on a no parking ordinance for School and Woods streets in the Abe Lincoln community.

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