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Story Archives: Jury salvages wind proposal
|Jury salvages wind proposal|
In an unusual windows-for-roads scheme, the Franklin Parish Police Jury was able to salvage over $1 million in work to parish buildings during a special session Tuesday morning.
The jurors were called together to face the task of cutting more than $200,000 from its application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Jury treasurer Sam Wiggins informed the jury members they would have to cut entire projects from the eight-project proposal because FEMA would not allow for only partially completed projects.
The grant application was submitted with a total cost of $1.2 million but the jurors were told to get the grant total to $1 million or under or face losing the entire project.
Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Kevin Cobb was the first to start the compromise ball rolling with Franklin Parish Schools Supt. Lanny Johnson offering a final solution.
The two agreed to forego the addition of storm windows for buildings in their departments.
While dropping new storm windows to sheriff's office buildings saved the jury $60,098, the school opted to drop $233,762 in window work to give the jury a total reduction of $293,860 in the grant application—below the $1 million limit.
However, Johnson called for a deal, which the jury found acceptable.
In return, Johnson asked the jury "blacktop the road leading up to and surrounding the football stadium," at Franklin Parish High School.
The sudden offer had jury members quickly calculating the cost.
When costs of improving roads around the stadium were estimated at between $20-30,000, the jury quickly passed a motion to accept the sheriff and school offers.
Jury members were quick, however, to assure that paving around the school stadium would not have an affect on the current road building and maintenance program.
"You might have to move some more money into the Capital Outlay Program," Superintendent Greg Humphries told the jury, "but, it can be done."
The jury first learned about the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program in June of 2008 which was designed to provide "wind retrofit" for public buildings.
Wind retrofits include installing window protection, such as shatterproof glass and shutters, replacing outer doors with wind-rated, storm-proof doors and installing roof straps.
The Baton Rouge firm of Higher Ground received a $150,000 grant to study the needs of the parish and to recommend steps to upgrade wind damage prevention.
The six wind damage prevention projects which will now make up the parish's application include:
Gilbert Police Station—$15,454.
Franklin Parish Courthouse—$341,725.
Franklin Parish Hospital—$433,651.
Winnsboro Police Station—$32.191.
Winnsboro Fire Department—$69.969.
Norheast Louisiana Ambulance—$51,856.