CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury adopted a final plan Monday to lessen the effects of hazards to life and property, whether caused by nature or by humans.
The hazard mitigation plan was drawn up by the parish's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, headed by Director Joseph Moreau.
Drawn up in the wake of the devastating August 2016 floods, the document focuses heavily on drainage issues, Moreau said, although it includes many other hazards, even a possible insect infestation harming local farmers.
The plan also is a starting point for working with state and federal agencies in mitigating natural and man-made hazards.
Moreau told the Police Jury the book contains a variety of information about the parish that was gleaned from data produced by the federal census of 2010 and another in 2014.
He said the census data point to the need for parish officials to begin working toward a more accurate census in 2020. Most officials agree the 2010 census, on which representation in Congress and the state Legislature is based, was flawed in East Feliciana Parish, he said.
The census claimed the parish lost residents, but officials know the opposite occurred, Moreau said.
The plan, which is available for public inspection, must be approved by the parish's municipal governments, he said.
On another matter, the jury took no action regarding an unpaid invoice submitted by the accounting firm that did the jury's 2015 audit.
Garrety and Associates quoted a $20,000 price for the audit, but its contract included a provision that the price could be higher if the auditors found they had to do additional work to produce the audit, District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla said.
The final cost was about $47,000, D'Aquilla said, but the jury declined last year to pay an additional $23,652.60 invoice the firm submitted.
The district attorney contends the jury should not have to pay the extra fee because the firm did not explain the increase before the audit report was finished.
The firm has added a monthly $221.80 "finance charge" to last year's invoice for August through November, bringing the outstanding bill to $24,539.80.
When jurors asked if they could pay the bill "under protest," D'Aquilla said the jury would have to sue Garrety and Associates to recover the money. He predicted the firm will eventually file suit, adding, "And, I'll defend it in court."