$30 million in bonds up for vote in St. John

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 31, 2013

By Richard Meek
Contributing Writer

LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish voters will be asked to approve a $30million bond in a special election Nov 16. If approved, the funds will be used for improvements in a number of areas, Parish President Natalie Robottom told council members Tuesday night.
But the issuance of those bonds will not increase taxes on local residents, Robottom and bond attorney Jason Akers of Foley and Judell said. Robottom said the parish has been able to free up about $30 million by retiring past debt and refinancing bonds at lower interest rates.
“It is continuing the tax levy that currently exists,” Akers said in response to a question from Councilman Larry Snyder. “There will be no increase in taxes. The tax of 12.5 mills will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Robottom said the bond money would go toward capital projects in the areas of facilities, drainage, levees, waterworks, recreation and road and bridges.
“Those are the type of items we typically include in our bond issue,” Robottom said. “Obviously we have great needs.”
If approved, Akers said the parish would issue $20 million in bonds in the spring of 2014 and another $10 million in either late 2014 or early 2015.
Also during the meeting the council approved lowering the adoption fees for cats to $80. The request for the reduction came from Rachel Sance, director of the St. John Parish Animal Shelter, who said the reduced adoption fees will allow the shelter to be more competitive with surrounding facilities.
In other parish news, Torri Buckles, director of economic development for St. John Parish, said the Andouille Festival is looking for a band from the parish to perform Saturday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Additionally, the deadline for craft vendors has been extended until Sept. 6. Anyone wishing to inquire about performing or securing a vendor booth should call her office at 985-652-9569.
She also revealed that students in St. John Parish schools would receive one free ride and one free concession item to be determined in a promotion Friday, Oct. 18.