St. James Council changes street name to honor Jones

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 1999

By WALTER SMITH / L’Observateur / April 13, 1999

CONVENT – The St. James Parish Council voted unanimously Wednesday tochange the name of Bend Street to Rev. Dr. Samuel Jones Street. Thestreet, located in District 4, will honor the memory of the late Rev. Jonesbecause of his dedication and services to that community and to the River Parishes at large.

Parish Council Member Ralph Patin Jr., who represents District 4 said, “Ican’t think of anyone more deserving of having a street named after him.”The late Rev. Jones had served as pastor of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church aswell as other area churches. He was a representative to the state Board ofElementary and Secondary Education, president of the St. James ParishMinisterial Alliance, served on the St. James Parish Housing Authority andwas a counselor and mentor to hundreds of young people throughout the parish.

In another action, the parish council voted unanimously to uphold parish President Dale Hymel’s veto of Resolution 99-50. That resolution adoptedby the Council on March 17 would have appointed Vivian Folse as a commissioner on the Housing Authority Board.

Hymel informed the council that according to the Federal Housing Regulations, one member of the St. James Parish Housing Authority Boardmust reside in public housing. “It is my understanding that the fourmembers who presently serve on the Housing Authority board are not residents of public housing,” said Hymel. “Therefore, because Ms. Folse isnot a resident of public housing either, she cannot be appointed to serve.”Hymel also reported the parish is studying the feasibility of developing a Business Incubator in Vacherie.

“We find we have a growing number of ‘home-based’ businesses in that area which could benefit from the help provided in a Business Incubator,” Hymel said. He explained that the old River Region Hospital is beingconsidered as a possible site for the Business Incubator, which would bring small business owners together with experienced professionals who would help mold and develop a business during its development years.

In other business, the Parish Council: Heard an annual report of waste recycling efforts from Waste Management of South Louisiana. Kirk Harrison reported that 61 tons ofplastic was recycled last year.

“That would be enough plastic to more than fill this council chamber,” he said.

Harrison explained that plastic is one of the most important products to recycle because it does not decompose in landfills. An education programplanned to promote recycling will be conducted through the parish schools.

“We will educate the children on the importance of recycling,” said Harrison. “Our hope is that they will bring the message home to parents.”Harrison reported that recycling in St. James Parish is still not paying foritself just yet. “In some cases we are still having to pay to have thematerials removed,” he explained.

Reached a decision to create two permanent staff positions for the Parish Council. After a lengthy discussion the council agreed to make theposition of council secretary a full-time job and to appoint the present secretary, Gerard Schexnayder, to that position. Councilman Oliver Cooperabstained from the vote.

First District Councilman Elwyn Bocz suggested that the council stop using personnel from the parish president’s office for administrative support. Councilman Elton Aubert agreed, and said: “I think we have enoughwork to keep a full-time secretary busy.”Council members further agreed to advertise for a second position, that of council clerk to assist Schexnayder in his duties. It was decided to seeksomeone from inside the parish staff first.

Voted unanimously to authorize Hymel to apply for loans through the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program. These moneys will be usedfor improvements to the Parish Utility East Bank Treatment Plant. TheLouisiana Department of Health and Hospitals operates the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program.

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