Jury approves 2022 budget

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Webster Parish Police Jurors will start 2022 with a $19.8M budget, slightly higher than the one for 2021.

Following a public hearing Tuesday, where the balanced budget was introduced, the jury voted unanimously to accept it.

“We’ve been talking about this for a couple of months,” jury President Jim Bonsall said.

The budget for 2021 was $19.7M. Proposed general fund revenue is down more than $430,000 for 2022, however, special revenue funds are up more than $580,000.

Another public hearing was also held to hear any comments concerning the Local Provider Healthcare Participation Program for Webster Parish.

Minden Medical Center CEO Jim Williams thanked the jury for its support.

“It will be a great thing for Minden Medical Center as we continue to serve the community,” Williams said. “It helps us continue that journey.”

Williams told the jury the ordinance creating a Local Healthcare Provider Participation Program will levy an occupational license tax on MMC.

“While it would seem unlikely that any business would support a new tax, the result of this tax is an enhanced Medicaid reimbursement for medical care in the parish,” Williams said. “The enhanced reimbursement will exceed the cost of the tax.”

Police Jurors approved the request unanimously.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda included the following:

  • Approve project funding for the Town of Sarepta, Dorcheat Historical Museum and the Town of Cotton Valley;
  • Approve the appointment of Dr. Grady Smith to replace Truvesta Johnson and reappoint Ray Brown to the Webster Parish Communications District for four-year-terms each;
  • Approve the reappointment of Gary Greene to a three-year term on Webster Parish Fire District #7;
  • Approve the appointment of Melinda Davidson as Director of Webster Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services for 2022; and,
  • Approve cooperative endeavor agreement between the Webster Parish Police Jury and select fire departments for conex boxes for sandbag locations. Public Works Superintendent Teddy Holloway said the boxes are already packed with sand and are stored in Doyline, Sarepta and Sibley.

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