Police Jury Million $$$ Commitment Questioned
December 23, 2021
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury may have rubbed some people the wrong way when members of the Jury voted unanimously to support a West Monroe venture to the tune of $1 million. West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell spoke at the Police Jury meeting recently and got Jurors to make a commitment. Her administration is proposing to build an indoor sports complex next to the Ike Hamilton Expo Center. Mitchell, who is running for re-election, said that the sports project would also drive economic activity benefitting the parish. She said that a million dollars given by the Police Jury would help with the cost of the 18-million-dollar complex slated to be built by Lincoln Builders of Ruston. The complex will have indoor courts to host tournaments in hopes of boosting tourism and sales tax revenue in the area. Though the complex, if built, will be in West Monroe, it drew widespread support from District B Juror Jack Clampit and District E Jury President Shane Smiley, who both agreed that the project is a wise investment. Some residents in unincorporated areas of the parish like Bosco are questioning why Jurors are willing to commit so much money when there is a pressing need for good roads where they live. Residents said that roads such as Ford Lane and Hooter Road are in serious need of repair/upgrades because driving on those roads and some others is like driving through an obstacle course. Holes in the roads can severely damage automobiles, as in some spots, the ditches are just about even with the roads, causing flooding that makes it more difficult to drive if one can’t see where the holes are. Those residents said some work had been done, but work crews didn’t finish what they started. They feel that the million-dollar commitment could have been put to better use. They would like for their representative, District F Juror Lonnie Hudson, to explain the vote and how it will affect those in the Bosco area.