LIVINGSTON — The Livingston Parish Council focused Thursday night on saving money.
After discussing the cost of requests by the sheriff and county agent to provide them with additional office space, the council tabled the matter.
Council Chairman Marshall Harris questioned whether it is critical to provide those agencies with additional space before the parish’s new courthouse is finished next year.
The cost would be about $30,000 a year to meet the two requests, Harris said.
Councilman Jim Norred said he would like to hear from Sheriff Jason Ard before deciding the matter.
It would be better to save the money if the sheriff can manage until the courthouse is finished, he said.
The council also agreed to consider a pair of proposals to refinance bonds. Together, the proposals would save about $1 million, according to figures provided by the parish’s financial consultant, Jim Ryan.
The proposals, which will be the subject of public hearings on April 25, are to refinance $24 million in road resurfacing bonds and $9 million in bonds used as part of construction costs for a new jail.
Councilman Chance Parent suggested that instead of saving money on annual payments, the council should consider shortening the time period for repaying the bonds.
Councilman Ricky Goff said saving money is more important, at this point, because that money can be used for maintenance of the jail and the roads.
“This parish has a cash-flow issue,” Goff said. “Until the income returns, we need to put dollars back into the general fund.”
The current interest rate is so low that there is no reason to pay the bonds off early, Goff said.