BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer
More parish-wide financial assistance will potentially be required during 2024 inside the boundaries of two taxing districts involved in separate property tax millage elections last Saturday, according to elected parish officials.
Although voters living in Sub-Road District 1 of 11A approved the 10-year continuation of a 9.56 millage, which brings in an estimated $304,000 annually, their decision came too late during 2023 for their property taxes to be appropriated and used for any projects next year, said parish council member Wayne Ardoin.
Residents in District 1 will have to wait until 2024 property taxes are mailed so that the millage funding can be utilized in 2025, Ardoin said.
The outcome in the same election was different, however in Sub-Road District 2 of Road District 11A.
Those casting ballots affected by the road property tax in District 2, defeated a proposed 10-year 8.43 mills continuation that previously generated $228,000 each year.
A large amount of mileage inside District 2 is located within the City of Opelousas and west of the municipality, while the demographics for District 1 impact areas of south Opelousas and around Sunset.
Dexter Brown, who represents Council District 10 and Road District 2, said he hasn’t decided whether to place a District 2 renewal proposition on the ballot again in 2024.
Since 2014 parish government has been funding through Smooth Ride Home revenues, parishwide road maintenance and overlay projects derived from an extra two-cents on items purchased inside unincorporated areas of St. Landry.
Ardoin and Brown both said, following a special Council meeting ratifying election results last week, that they will use the remaining revenues in each of the taxing districts and combine those with requests for Smooth Ride Home assistance with the consent of parish president Jessie Belllard and the Council.
Bellard indicated after the meeting that he is aware that Districts 1 and 2 will be meeting with him for revenue assistance.
Both road districts will include bridge repair and reconstruction projects in the Opelousas area. The bridge construction projects, which involve the Frilot Street bridge in northwest Opelousas and the Ducharme Road bridge in the south area of the city, are expected to be financed primarily from state funding obtained by the city, Ardoin and Brown both said after the meeting.
Ardoin said there is still money remaining in District 1 to help with road improvements. Brown said that there is probably nothing substantive left for making improvements in District 2.