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|Jurors ready to put Glenwood money to work|
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury is ready to begin accepting grant proposals from local organizations so it can seek matching funds for drainage and litter control projects.
Police juror Mack Calhoun on Monday requested the parish begin accepting grant proposals for this purpose. The jury unanimously agreed to do so.
The police jury will use the annual interest income generated from the police jury's share of the sale of Glenwood Regional Medical Center to pursue matching funds for projects such as drainage and litter control.
Last year, the parish got $4.1 million from the sale of Glenwood to IASIS Healthcare. In March 2007, the police jury agreed to place $3.8 million of the money in an interest bearing account. Police jurors also agreed to use the interest income generated from the account for drainage and litter programs.
Calhoun's request does not call for the police jury to award any money to other entities or organizations.
Instead, local organizations that are concerned about litter and drainage issues within the parish can inform the police jury about available grants that could help address those issues.
Local organizations interested in improving the parish through litter and drainage projects also can work up grant applications, which would be reviewed by the police jury's staff.
"We just don't have time to sit and look for grants and go after them," said parish treasurer Brad Cammack.
The parish's finance department and legal staff will review each grant application to make sure it is a viable endeavor for the police jury.
"Being awarded a grant doesn't mean it's free money," Cammack said. "Sometimes there can be stipulations where you'll actually end up spending more money than you want."
If police jury staff deems a grant proposal worthwhile, it will present the grant application to the police jury for approval. If approved, Cammack's department would proceed with the grant application.
Thus far, the police jury has accrued $194,200 in interest income from the Glenwood settlement.
"This is something we need to go ahead and do," Calhoun said. "We have money in the bank available for matching funds. I am so proud of that."
"We can do great things in this parish with this money," Calhoun continued. "This has been a long time coming, but we now have something we can work with to clean up this parish.
"This is not for Mack Calhoun; this is for the whole parish. It's everybody's money. I think we should divide it as equally as possible."
Calhoun suggested the parish staff inform organizations such as Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful know that the police jury will accept grant proposals from them.
Parish attorney Jay Mitchell said the police jury basically will solicit organizations to bring grant proposals to the parish for the police jury to consider on an individual basis.
Cammack said groups or organizations can present grant proposals immediately at the police jury office during regular business hours or during a future police jury meeting.