LIVINGSTON — The Livingston Parish Council approved an updated priority list Thursday for the next phase of the parish’s road overlay program.
The next $3 million worth of work will bring improvements in all but three of the nine council districts, with nearly half of the work — measured both by mileage and estimated cost — falling within the southeastern part of the parish within District 8.
Billy Taylor, of McLin Taylor engineering firm, said roads on the previous council’s list that had not yet been repaved were reassessed and prioritized along with the roads this council added since taking office in January.
The roads scoring the highest — those most urgently needing work — will be improved first, with a few exceptions.
South Satsuma Road, for example, ranked 11th among the 40 scored roads, according to the engineer’s list. But the $2.4 million price tag for the road’s improvements would have more than wiped out the remainder of this year’s overlay budget if it were taken in turn, so South Satsuma is not among the 13 roads that made this year’s work list, Councilman Garry Talbert said.
Other highly ranked roads that will be skipped during this round of work are the north section of Joe May Road, Springhill Drive off Pete’s Highway, Perkins Road between Springfield Road and Arnold Road, and Friendship Road between Walker Road and Cane Market Road.
Talbert, whose Watson-area district will see no improvements during this round of overlay work, said the council should consider limiting the percentage of the overlay budget that a single road project can consume. Otherwise, the next $2.4 million that comes along would be spent solely on South Satsuma Road, he said.
“We’re going to have to create some rules, or we’ll have some roads that will never get fixed,” Talbert said.
District 3, which lies between Denham Springs and Watson, and District 9, which includes Albany and Holden, also will not see improvements during this round of road work.
In another matter Thursday, the council unanimously agreed to increase the parish government fee assessed for most Office of Motor Vehicle transactions. The fee will increase from $3 to $4.50.
Parish government receives the fee for housing the office within a parish building, but the $115,750 in annual revenue is not enough to cover the parish’s costs, Finance Director Jennifer Meyers has said. Those expenses total about $145,000 per year, she said.
The fee increase will make up for the shortfall and allow for upgrades to the telephone system and other equipment the parish provides, Meyers said.
Finally, the council appointed Jared Andrews to replace retiring Registrar of Voters Delmas Taylor, whose last day in office was Wednesday. Andrews previously served as chief deputy registrar.