NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury moved Tuesday to resolve issues that have cropped up recently between it and New Roads over management of the William H. Scott Memorial Civic Center.
Police jurors voted to form a four-member committee — two representatives from the parish and two people representing the city — to work on a new agreement.
The vote came just one day after the New Roads City Council voted to opt out of the city’s 50 percent stake in the building after 90 days.
The Police Jury and the New Roads City Council each contribute 50 percent of the Civic Center’s operating budget, with the parish designated as the managing partner.
But on Monday, New Roads Mayor Robert Myer asked the City Council to end the partnership after describing the Civic Center as “mismanaged,” dirty and a drain on the city’s finances.
The Civic Center has been a point of contention dating back to last month when Myer asked the Police Jury to swap their respective roles and let the city manage the building.
Police Jury members voted for the swap, then reversed course two weeks later and rescinded their earlier vote, a move that prompted the city to drop its involvement in the center.
The issue was back on the front burner during Tuesday night’s Police Jury meeting, where jurors and Myer aired their respective grievances in a polite but tense 90-minute discussion.
One sticking point was the mayor’s contention that the city had contributed $265,000 to operate the Civic Center during the past three years, while the parish chipped in $148,000.
Myer said he came up with those numbers from the parish’s own auditing firm.
But Joey McClendon, one of the parish’ accountants, presented a different set of numbers Tuesday showing that each entity has paid an equal $371,000 toward the Civic Center’s operations between 2005 and 2010.
After a lengthy discussion, Police Juror Willie Olinde suggested that the two sides go back to their original agreement as it stood on June 14.
At that point, the Police Jury had agreed to let the city manage the Civic Center starting Oct. 1, contingent on working out some staffing issues.
But Olinde’s motion was brushed aside and the Police Jury voted to form a committee to negotiate a new agreement beneficial to both sides within 90 days.