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Millage election called by sheriff

L’Observateur / March 12, 1998

LAPLACE – St. John Parish Sheriff Wayne L. Jones plans to call a taxmillage election on Saturday, July 18, for the renewal of the present16.08 mills for general operation of his department.A 10-minute meeting was held Tuesday of the Law Enforcement Districtof the St. John the Baptist Parish. Jones is the sole voting member of thedistrict.

This millage, last approved 10 years ago, is also being bumped up to 17.08mills to provide for locked-in coverage of the department retirementprogram for deputies.

Another change is there is no end-date to the proposed millage renewal,meaning once renewed the matter will never again come up unless thesheriff wishes to one day change the amount of the mills being levied.

The current millage generates $2.6 million per year, making up half thetotal budget of the department, Jones said. The one-mill addition willgenerate $142,000 per year for the retirement program which, at present,comes from the sheriff’s general fund.

This frees up that portion of the general fund for law enforcementpurposes, Jones added.

Chief Civil Deputy Burton Ory commented as to the open-endedness of themillage proposal that other sheriff departments, including AscensionParish, are doing the same thing to insure a secure source of funding forlaw enforcement purposes.

The next step is approval of the millage election by the State BondCommission at its next meeting scheduled March 19, then approval by theLouisiana Secretary of State to place on the July 18 ballot.

Also in attendance at the brief meeting in Jones’ office were bondattorney Hugh Martin and Chief Deputy Assessor Whitney Joseph.

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