VILLE PLATTE — The Evangeline Parish Police Jury took the first steps Monday toward the construction of a new main branch of the Evangeline Parish Library.

Upon the recommendation of the parish Library Board and discussion with bonding attorney Eric Lafleur, the jury approved having Lafleur and the Library Board solicit quotes from parish banks to fund the construction of the proposed $1.5 million library.

The proposal will be submitted to the state Bond Commission seeking permission to sell $1.5 million in bonds to be repaid over a 15-year period from the revenue of a library millage tax.

The Library Board will build the new library in the middle of Ville Platte on West Main Street — formerly the site of Ville Platte Medical Center.

In other business, the Police Jury received the official audit report from Vic Slaven of Kolder, Champaigne, Slaven and Co.

The jury voted 8-1 to approve the report with only juror Lamar Johnson voting no. Johnson said he wanted more time to review the 92-page report.

Slaven said the jury is operating in the black and has shown improvement in following recommendations from his firm and the legislative auditor.

Among recommendations made in the audit were ensuring management is presented with accurate monthly financial statements and better control the use of credit cards, travel and expense reimbursement, contracts, personnel and payroll.

The Police Jury also adopted a written handbook on policy and procedures upon the recommendation by its auditors.

In other action, the Police Jury:

• Authorized meeting with the Ward 5 Fire District Board to review an Attorney General’s Opinion that prohibits a fire department from going outside its taxing district to fight fires. The area in question is the Lone Pine community that is outside the Ward 5 district.

• Reappointed Joey Ardoin to another five-year term on the Ward 5 Water District Board.

• Reappointed Katy Marcantel to another five-year term on the Evangeline Parish Library Board.