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|Sterlington delays buying new police cruisers|
Sterlington chief of police Barry Bonner will have to wait until at least July for two new police cruisers.
The Sterlington board of aldermen delayed action on Bonner's request to buy the patrol cars until "at least July" to give the town adequate time to determine whether it can afford to pay some $70,000 for the new units.
The board of aldermen acted on the matter Tuesday night at its regular meeting.
"We're talking about $70,000 for two vehicles, so we want to wait and see what is going to happen with the economy," said Sterlington Mayor Vern Breland.
Breland said too many variables were working against the town buying the patrol cars.
"We will revisit the issue in July," Breland said. "We'll take a look and see how things are then."
Bonner requested at a previous board of aldermen meeting that aldermen approve the purchase of two cruisers to replace aging cars in his fleet.
In other business, aldermen unanimously approved the de-annexation of Sterlington's corporate limits from La. Highway 553 to La. Highway 2.
The move was tabled at a previous meeting because town attorney Kerri Balsamo had not had time to advertise the matter to the public.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, aldermen heard a report about the state of the Ouachita River from Ouachita River Valley Association executive director Bill Hobgood.
During the presentation, Hobgood highlighted recent activities of the association and congratulated Sterlington for taking part in ORVA.
Hobgood said having Sterlington as a member of ORVA was important because the nature of the Ouachita River changes just north of town.
"When you get north of Sterlington, the Ouachita River gets very sinuous," said Hobgood. "There are very tight bends."
Hobgood pointed to increasing navigability above Sterlington as one of ORVA's primary goals.
"Most of these bends can be, with a minor amount of dredging, shaved off where you can't tell anything has even been done to it," Hobgood said.
The Ouachita River is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which spends approximately $8 million a year dredging channels and operating four locks and dams along the river.