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Parish Council opposes idea to charge higher registration fees

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 4, 1998

LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Council voted Tuesday to opposea bill by state Rep. Robert Faucheux that would add a $20 per car and $25per truck registration fee on all vehicles in the parish.

The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives by Faucheux on the behalf of Parish President Arnold Labat. The money from feescollected would be dedicated for road funds.

Labat said fees are needed because the current 3/8-cents sales tax levied for roads is not enough to fund all the projects needed in the parish. Labatpointed that streets in the Riverlands subdivision are getting up in age and that interconnecting roads are going to be needed throughout the parish.

“Where will the money come from?” Labat asked the council. “I don’tknow. The 3/8 will not do it.”Labat said the fees could bring $650,000 to $700,000 and asked council members to just look at the streets in their districts that need work.

“Look at the roads that need to be built,” Labat said. “That is why I amasking for it. Look at your districts and what will need to be done in thenext several years. You know the streets that will have to be done in yourarea.”Councilman Richard Wolfe said Faucheux should have come to the council before proposing the bill.

“There is something wrong with Mr. Faucheux,” Wolfe said. “He representsa certain part of St. John Parish. He should have called a meeting with theother representatives and met with the administration and council.”But Labat said Faucheux shouldn’t be criticized for introducing the bill, saying it was on his behalf.

Councilman Joel McTopy, who introduced the motion to send a resolution opposing the bill, said he is concerned about street congestion but that the public needs to be better informed before the bill is introduced.

“It is all talking,” McTopy said. “No one has sat down and drawn a picturethat will be shown to the public. We want to show them exactly what theyare paying for.”The motion to send a resolution opposing the bill passed 7-2 with councilmen Nickie Monica and Steve Thornton voting no.

The council also voted to send a resolution opposing a proposed oil and gas processing tax. Monica, who introduced the resolution, said the tax wouldcost the River Parishes jobs and a lot of tax money. The River RegionCaucus had met March 19 and approved the need to oppose the tax. Theresolution passed unanimously.

In other matters, the council heard a presentation from Temple Resource Management, Inc., as it continues to try to search for a way to dealefficiently with the equalization of salaries for parish employees. TempleVice President of Operations Margie Ford gave an overview of the company and how it works with other entities in their human resources departments. The council unanimously approved a motion by councilmanPerry Bailey to authorize Temple to get with the administration, develop a scope of what needs to be done and report back to the council within 30 days.

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