ST. LANDRY PARISH COUNCILADMINISTRATIVE/FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4th, 2020
DELTA GRAND THEATRE, 120 SOUTH MARKET ST.OPELOUSAS, LOUISIANA
ADMINISTRATIVE/FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
1. Chairman Wayne Ardoin called the Administrative/Finance Committee of the St. Landry Parish Council to order.
2. Roll Call:
Present: Nancy Carriere, Gil Savoy, Dexter Brown and Timmy Lejeune.
Ex-Officio Coby Clavier. ABSENT: Alvin Stelly.
Councilwoman Nancy Carriere led the Pledge of Allegiance & Invocation.
3. Persons to Address the Committee.
Lena Charles addressed the council with an update from the Opelousas Downtown Development District regarding the Vine Street Project. She stated, “I am asking the council for a letter of support for the Vine Street Project. I have contacted the Senator and he assured me that he would meet with the Parish President Jessie Bellard whom represents the Parish and Mr. Alsandor whom represents the city to explain further. I want to explain that this letter of support is just to make sure that our parish and our city and the ODD is aligned and that they would like this project for Vine Street to go forward. This infrastructure project is a project of the DOTD. It is a state highway that does not come under our Capital Outlay at all. If I had talked to Jessie about it before I had come to the meeting…..but I had explained to Mr. Taylor, but I did not have the opportunity to come before you all because it was Tabled by Mr. Taylor. It is not anything that is going to interfere with you all putting into Capital Outlay for the Parish Courthouse or any other things that you would want. This Highway pass thru the City of Opelousas. It passes thru the seed of our parish. It has been on the list forever and ever and ever with DOTD. Administration from Administration always trying to get something done. We took it upon ourselves for the Opelousas Downtown Development District as your partners with the city. We are sure that if we could push DOTD to push this project forward, it could happen in our lifetime. We have to get it off the list to actually get something done. Shawn Wilson, the Secretary has meet with us on numerous occasions and figured out the way he could do it within the DOTD. Because as I have said, it is a State Highway. I wanted to ask you all for a letter of support, it is not sponsoring any Capital Outlay. We don’t have anything on the books, actually the dates to submit Capital Outlay was November 2nd, for the year anyway. I would like to entertain any question, if not, I would like your support as a Parish Council that we would let DOTD move forward with this project.”
Councilman Harold Taylor stated, “Ms. Lena, I support your project, unfortunately we need to be a part of the Resolution that you are asking for because we have projects with the Governors and the Legislative Capital Outlay Project. Not all of your money is coming from DOTD. You need over $30,000,000.00 and you have 19 committed. We are not going to get 20 million dollars every year to do these projects, but we have some roofs on some building that we put in for last year and we did not get anything. If you don’t have any objections, I would like to amend your resolution where it will include that we will jointly support the project of Vine Street and the Capital Outlay Improvements for the building that we have. Do you have any objections to that?” Lena Charles stated, “I do, it is not really an objection, it is an observation. First, I would like to clarify that it is our project. We are working for the Parish and the City. It is our project. Lena Charles does not own Vine Street, you don’t own Vine Street, but the Parish and the City have to do something about Vine Street. The reason why I am saying this is because it is not coming out of St. Landry Parish. There is only one pot and it is the Tax Payers Pot. The Tax Payer pays the taxes and the taxes goes into the State. The DOTD has a budget and DOTD has accessed the budget. I am just trying to move it forward. If it would read that way, it would become one of the Parish Projects. It you would put it like “and” it would become one of the Parish Projects. What I am trying to do is try to work it out where it was not a City Project or a Parish Project. It is where it is supposed to be, a State Highway. DOTD is responsible for our road, bridges and Infrastructure. I just want to call it to your attention that you would not want it to become a Parish Project if you put it that way.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin stated, “You do not want to put Vine Street?” Ms. Lena Charles stated, “It is just a letter
of support. Mr. Taylor wanted to put Vine Street and also name some of the other Parishes Projects on the same Resolution.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin stated, “That is what he was saying. We have some buildings that we are trying to get some money for to put some roofs on. We were supposed to get some stuff at the last session. We did not get anything if I understand correctly. If we ask for all of these things, don’t you thing we would be better off that just to go with Vine Street.” Lena Charles stated, “Not really, I would say probably a better way served. You put in Capital Outlay for all of those other projects. If you want a Resolution of support from the ODDD or CSLED we would be able to do that to support that Capital Outlay Project. If you put Vine Street all together with your projects, it will seem like it is your project.”
Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin stated, “We are all working for one main goal, which is for the Tax Payers of St. Landry Parish. We got left out in the last session. We fell real hard. We were promised, just like a lot of people get promised, they were going to get something out of that basket and they did not get anything.” Lena Charles stated, “I am not here to represent the State, I am here to represent St. Landry Parish just like you.”
Councilwoman Nancy Carriere stated, “I would like to make a motion that we bring it to the full council meeting.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin questioned, “What will it have on her situation. Will you have Vine Street, the Infrastructure and her project?” Councilwoman Nancy Carriere stated, “Her project which would be Vine Street.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin questioned, “You want to add in the Infrastructure Part?” Councilwoman Nancy Carriere stated, “Yes, I am just hearing about it tonight. I yield to Mr. Lejeune.” Councilman Timmy Lejeune stated, “Did she add that to her motion? Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin stated, “She yielded that to you. No action taken.
Councilman Dexter Brown stated, “I would like to make that motion on how it is written on the agenda. Then make another motion to add the infrastructure. We will have two separate items to approve when it comes to the full council.” Councilman Timmy Lejeune stated, “That could be done in the full council. We could do a sub-motion to that motion. If you want to move just that forward and we can connect the sub-motion in the full council, I will support that and we can make that decision at the full.”
A motion was made by Councilman Dexter Brown, seconded by Councilman Timmy Lejeune to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 the approval of Resolution No. 038-2020. St. Landry Parish Council supports the proposed infrastructure improvement to Vine Street in Opelousas, Louisiana also known as U.S. Highway 190 Eastbound.
On roll call vote: YEAS: Nancy Carriere, Gil Savoy, Dexter Brown and Timmy Lejeune.
NAYS: None. ABSENT: Alvin Stelly. ABSTAINED: None.
Gregory D. Frost addressed the council regarding Acadian Hospital. He stated, “I am Greg Frost. I am an Attorney in Baton Rouge. I represent Allegiance Health Management. Allegiance owns the Hospital in Eunice. When The Affordable Care Act passed and Governor Edwards expanded the amount of Medicaid Illegibility, the losses from providing that care escalated dramatically. There are fifty some rural hospital in Louisiana who get cost base reimbursement for their Medicaid. Unfortunately the Hospital in Eunice is not one. The point of Act 330 was to create a way to bring that rural hospital in line with the others. Act 330 allowed the state to set up a system for the state to pay the hospital the cost of providing its services to these Medicaid Patients providing that the hospital could work with the parish to get the state match. I assume everybody knows that Medicaid is about 2/3 Federal and 1/3 State. The state puts up one dollar and the Federal Medicaid Funds puts up two and that amount gets paid to the Hospital. We created a system which is done in Texas all time, we created an opportunity for the Parish to oppose a tax on assessment on the operating revenue of the hospital in the parish. The Non-Governmental Hospitals, Opelousas General is not included, and use that money to move to the state. The state then uses that to draw down the Federal money and pay the hospital the cost of providing the services. The Parish has been asked to impose a tax on the operating revenue of the Hospital. Importantly the statue specifically prevents the hospital from passing that on to the patients. The patients are not going to pay this tax, it is literally like an Income Tax on the Hospital themselves. That money will be used to help the state pay the hospital the cost of providing this care to the Medicaid Patients. That is the very high level explanation. I am very happy to answer any questions.” Councilman Harold Taylor stated, “Thank you Mr. Frost, originally when we talked about this we talked about MPH and they were included in the Legislature, is that correct?” Mr. Frost stated, “In the original version they were. Then
they and the Parish asked us to exempt Governmental Hospitals and we did that. They are not included now. There is a separate section in the Legislation which creates an opportunity for them to get similar reimbursement. Because they are Governmental, they can actually put up the money themselves. It does not have to be a Tax. We can get them to the same place, it is just two different routes.” Councilman Harold Taylor questioned if they are alright with that. Mr. Frost stated, “Oh Yes, I have talked to Mr. Cochran on several occasions.” Councilman Harold Taylor questioned what is the net patient revenue projected. Mr. Frost stated, “I don’t have that number handy but I can work backwards from it. The assessment ends up being 3% and 4% of that patient revenue. I did not bring those numbers but I can e-mail them to you.” Councilman Harold Taylor stated, “You may want to touch on how it is collected, how it is imposed by us and how we reimburse for collection.” Mr. Frost stated, “The Parish is being asked to pass the Ordinance which would establish a fund and the assessment. They gather the data to figure out exactly the amount of the assessment. It can’t be more than 6%. I ran the numbers today and I think it is between 3 and 4. The Sheriff will then collect that and the Sheriff will get his normal fee for tax collection. The Parish will get a fee, I think it is 3% or 4%, I am not sure. They get this fee to manage the process and this fee comes off the tax. There is an agreement between the Parish and the Louisiana Department of Health where you agree to send up that money and they will get the Feds to approve the higher reimbursement and they pay it back with the Federal share. The Sheriff collects that tax, he gets his normal fee. The Parish manages the funds and get 5% of the funds and the rest goes to the state. It gets matched and paid to the hospital.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin questioned, “Mr. Frost, do you have any idea what other parishes have collected?” Mr. Frost stated, “No Sir, this is new in Louisiana, they have been doing it in Texas for a number of years. I expect that we will do more next year. It is a parish by parish situation. There is one other point. The Federal Rules that make these tax revenues useful for this purpose requires that the tax be imposed on more than one hospital, which is not a problem here. You have Oceans, LHC Group, all of them are in support of this. The issue is in Evangeline Parish, there is only one hospital other than Savoy, which is Governmental and exempt, what we are asking that you do is essentially a two parish tax. If you and Evangeline do this together, you will administer your own funds but you will impose the same tax and it will look like and it will be a joint tax so that the tax revenue in Evangeline qualifies for this purpose as well. You and Evangeline are the first parishes to do this. We meet with their committee Monday. They are very supportive of it as well.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin questioned if Eunice Hospital was in this program. Mr. Frost stated, “Yes, it will be the prime beneficiary of this.” Councilman Harold Taylor asked Mr. Frost to explain how we will participate with Evangeline Parish. Mr. Frost stated, “Basically it will be a tax passed by both of you on the Hospitals in the two parishes. You are creating sort of like a district. You will both tax the hospitals in your parishes at the same rate and the same tax. That will be enough to get CMS to approve that tax revenue.” Councilman Harold Taylor asked if we would actually administer for both hospitals. Mr. Frost stated, “Each parish will administer its own money. They will create a fund just like you will create a fund. The Ville Platte tax revenue will go in their fund and yours will go in yours.” Councilman Harold Taylor stated, “Forgive me for being so picky but why don’t Evangeline do it?” Mr. Frost stated, “Because they only have one hospital that they can tax. The idea is to make sure that the tax applies to more than one hospital.” Councilman Harold Taylor stated, “In section 12417C2, Local Provider Participation Fund authorizes use under C2 to pay Administrative Expenses of the parish associated with exclusively activities authorized by the subpart in an amount not exceed 5% of the hospital assessment payments. Does the 1-1/2% percent that the Sheriff collects part of the 5% total?” Mr. Frost stated, “No Sir.” Councilman Harold Taylor questioned the net patient revenue for the last year. Mr. Kevin Clink, CEO Acadian Medical Center answered by saying, “The net revenue specific to Acadian Medical Center would not be allegiance in all the hospitals together. It would just be Acadian Medical Center. It is about $24,000.000.00 Net Revenue per year. Councilman Timmy Lejeune questioned, “Will the price of hospitals adjust their patients cost? Mr. Frost stated, “They are already losing money on these patients. We are reducing the amount of the laws. That 5% effectively is just a cost of doing business. The overall reimbursement will cover the patient care and the 5% is just the cost of doing business. The idea here is to reduce the loss on these patients.” Councilman Timmy Lejeune questioned, “Is there a special group of people that will be able to collect that revenue for the parish? Mr. Frost stated, “The Sheriff will do it.” Mr. Don Cameron, COO of Allegiance stated, “We manage the Hospital in Eunice and Ville Platte. This is just a way for us as the hospital company to offset the cost. Right now we are losing money on the Medicaid Patients. This is the way for us to
get dollars back in the system from the Federal match. It is just off setting the cost. It allows us to take care of our patients. You guys get a piece of the fund that circulate around. You think 5% of $24,000,000.00 just in this hospital is pretty good. Not having to add any extra people or any extra cost. We have to run it this way to make it effective and make it work. We appreciate you guys listening and your help. We are all about taking care of patients.” Mr. Frost stated, “Opelousas General Hospital is not subjected to the tax. There is a way for them to get the same level of reimbursement because they are governmental. They can put the money up directly. I am not part of structuring this for Opelousas General. I don’t know what the structure would look like.” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “I have not sat with Mr. Cochran since our last visit. I wanted to wait until they would do their presentation. We will be setting up a meeting with Mr. Kenneth so we can get to that phase. We have to introduce Ordinances to get their stuff in place. If you all are ready to start this process, I can get with Garett and Mr. Frost and start the process at the next council meeting and go from there.” Councilwoman Nancy Carriere question why isn’t Opelousas General included. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated this is specifically for the Eunice Hospital, not for the OGH. Eunice Hospital has to be done by itself. OGH is something that we can discuss with them if they want to come on board, they don’t have to. It benefit the Parish Government if they would. This is just specifically for the Eunice Hospital.” Mr. Frost stated, “The Ordinance that you all have been asked to consider is not necessary for Opelousas General. They are not behind in the process.”
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Dexter Brown to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 approving the introduction of an Ordinance regarding cost base reimbursement for Medicaid Tax Revenue at Acadian Medical Center.
4. Parish President and Finance Reports.
a. Forward approval to award the Construction contract project to Bihm Construction Company.
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Gil Savoy to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday November 18th, 2020 authorizing the Parish President to award the Construction Contract Project to Bihm Construction Company.
b. Contract Renewal for January 1 – December 1, 2021 for Mowing and Litter Removal along I-49 in the CSLEDD District.
A motion was made by Councilman Dexter Brown, seconded by Councilman Timmy Lejeune to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday November 18th, 2020 authorizing the Parish President to sign the Contract Renewal for January 1 – December 1, 2021 for Mowing and Litter Removal along I-49 in the CSLEDD District.
c. Audit Engagement Letter
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Dexter Brown to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday November 18th, 2020 authorizing the Parish President to sign the Audit Engagement Letter with Darnell, Sykes and Fredericks.
d. CEA between the Parish and the City for Wastewater Treatment Facility and Associated Improvements.
Mr. William Jarrell addressed the council with concerns about the Linwood Subdivision. He stated, “The Wastewater Treatment Facility is on a two acre site that is on the West Side of Clois de Bois Subdivision. It is not on any public road, we are actually going to build a limestone access road to access that plant for construction and maintenance.” Administrative Finance Chairman Wayne Ardoin stated, “It is located on the West side of I-49 and North of Harry Guilbeau Road. It is not in Linwood.” Mr. Jarrell stated, “No, in Linwood there was a small parcel of ground that CSLED purchased to rebuild a pump station. It is behind the subdivision on property that was purchased from Mike Richard who was a Developer of the Clois de Bois Subdivision. There is an existing pump station where there was no right of way or owner ship on that pumping station so CSLEDD purchased that property and cleared that title for the work that is going to be done on that pump station. That pump station is one of the areas that is going to pump sewerage to this Waste Water Facility.” Councilman Dexter Brown questioned the Linwood Subdivision. Mr. Jarrell stated, “You know where the skating ring is by Opelousas High School? That is Linwood Subdivision. There is a Linwood East which is on the East Side of 49 and a Linwood West. The one we are talking about is on the West Side of I-49.”
A motion was made by Councilman Dexter Brown, seconded by Councilman Gil Savoy to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday November 18th, 2020 authorizing the Parish President to sign the CEA between the Parish and the City for Wastewater Treatment Facility and Associated Improvements.
e. September Budget to Actual Financial Statements
Amanda Cain, Finance Director stated, “The Revenue as of September 30th, for: General Fund $4,682,673.69.
Net Income: $413,938.69.
They are still waiting on the Severance to come in.
Road and Bridge Fund: $1,341,233.66,
Net Income of $31,318.70.
Racino have come up but not where it is expected to be due to COVID-19. It is about 10% short.
Health Unit: $1,552,733.50,
Net Income is $475,634.43.
Jail Fund: $644,095.45
Net Income: $271,061.14
Net Loss: -$14,787.12
Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “A pump was down at the airport, it is repaired and everything is now working. On Tuesday November 24th, 2020, I would like to call special meeting to introduce the budget. We are hoping to introduce it on that night and have full layout of what is going on with our 2020-2021 budget. Not much have changed since we last met, but we want to get the actual numbers. It will be introduced on Tuesday November 24th, 2020 and passed on Wednesday December 16th, 2020. On next Tuesday November 10th, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. I will be having a town hall meeting at the Delta. We are having questions regarding the Smooth Ride Home Program and where did the money go. We will have that information for the public. We will have a detailed list of every dollar spent from the time it was passed until the last phase. We will have a copy of the budget that will be close to what we will be presenting. We will also be pushing our Jail Tax. They can ask any questions that they may have regarding the Jail Tax and its renewal in December. We will start going other places. We will be going to Eunice on the beginning of December. We will begin moving around the whole Parish.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr; questioned if the budget will show the 10% decrease that we have. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “Yes, It will be the actual projected numbers that we have.”
A motion was made by Councilman Gil Savoy, seconded by Councilwoman Nancy Carriere to accept the Parish President and Finance Report.
5. Discuss and forward to full council the Supplemental Agreement between St. Landry Parish Government and Morgan Goudeau & Associates Inc. for Professional Engineering Services in Connection with the St. Landry Parish Airport.
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Dexter Brown to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday November 18th, 2020 authorizing the Parish President to approve and sign the Supplemental Agreement between the St. Landry Parish Government and Morgan Goudeau & Associates Inc. for Professional Engineering Services in Connection with the St. Landry Parish Airport.
6. Forward to full council to appoint Luke Leger to Constable Justice of the Peace from January until Election Day. (Councilwoman Mildred Thierry).
Councilwoman Mildred Thierry stated, “Mr. Luke Leger is presently serving in the position of Mr. Eve Malveaux. That time expire on December 31st, 2020. In order for him to continue serving, we need to pass it before this council and the he can go and qualify to be on the ballot in March.
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Dexter Brown to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 approving the appointment of Luke Leger, Constable Justice of the Peace.
7. Discuss and forward to full council a variance from St. Landry Parish Government to install a P.C.C.T.-Turnaround at the end of the roadway, instead of a permanent or temporary Cul-de-sac in Country Ridge Estates.
A motion was made by Councilwoman Nancy Carriere, seconded by Councilman Gil Savoy to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 approving a Variance from St. Landry Parish Government to install P.C.C.T.-Turnaround at the end of the roadway, instead of a permanent or temporary Cul-de-sac in Country Ridge Estates.
On roll call vote: YEAS: Nancy Carriere, Gil Savoy, Alvin Stelly, Dexter Brown and Timmy Lejeune. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.
8. Review and forward to full council introduction of Resolution No. 038-2020.
St. Landry Parish Council supports the proposed infrastructure improvement to Vine Street in Opelousas, Louisiana also known as U.S. Highway 190 Eastbound.
This Agenda item was discussed earlier in the meeting.
9. Update on Ordinance No. 2020-020.
AN ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT MOBILE HOMES, HOUSE TRAILERS AND MANUFACTURED HOMES FROM BEING LOCATED IN EVANGELINE SUBDIVISION IN ST. LANDRY PARISH.
Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “As you all know, I Vetoed the last Ordinance that had passed at the last meeting. The only reason I did this is because we have to have some kind of mechanism in place to track these Ordinance to follow the pieces of property. I am working with the Clerk of Court’s Office now. Lisa and I are trying to get some type of protocol to follow. Whenever you all pass an Ordinance dealing with Properties or with a Subdivision it follows the Properties. Whenever the Permit Officer get a permit request, we can follow up with it and do it in accordance of what the Ordinance calls for. The way the others were passed, it was just left open and there was no way to track it. We will put something in place in the Ordinance to track it and I will bring it back to the council so you all can pass another Ordinance and we can go from there.
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Dexter Brown to forward Ordinance No. 2020-020 to the next Regular Meeting held on Wednesday November 18th, 2020. An Ordinance to Prohibit Mobile Homes, Houses Trailers and Manufactured Homes from being located in Evangeline Subdivision in St. Landry Parish.
10. Discuss any other business properly brought before this committee.
Councilman Dexter Brown asked Parish President Jessie Bellard for assistance in moving two Voting Precincts that are located at Southwest and Momentum Street. He would like the precincts to move to the Living Water Community Church located at 946 S. Bullard Street. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated he will speak to Ms. Sheryl Milburn, Registrar of Voter Office regarding the transition. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “The phone lines have been tied up with request for assistance with the LIHEAP Program located at the Community Action Office. We are making changes over there. We will fit the program like it needs to be with 60 and over. If you have a kid five years or younger and that kid has a disability that is the priority. We will make changes to accommodate these certain groups of people. The rules changed July of this year and we are going to get one time assistance thru the LIHEAP Program, it used to be twice a year. You also get a winter program and a summer program for heating and cooling. Really you get three different programs in a year’s time. We are having some issues with the phone system. The calls are forwarded to Lake Charles, but we are addressing those issues and we will start taking more applicants in the building. I will ask that we form a committee. Whoever would like to come on the committee can help with the interviews. We are restructuring the Community Action Agency to be a better service to the people. We are working on that this week. Next week we will begin setting up interviews and I will encourage anyone from the council to come and sit on the interviews. I would like your input on our Director’s position.” Councilman Dexter Brown questioned Parish President Jessie Bellard about the availability of funds to assist constituents with their light bill. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “Under the new construction we will be able to list the amount of people that will receive help. I cannot list the people but we can release the amount of people and the amount of money that was given out for their particular session. That will not be a problem.”
A motion was made by Councilman Timmy Lejeune, seconded by Councilman Dexter Brown to adjourn the Administrative Finance Committee Meeting.
I HEREBY CERTIFY THE FOREGOING TO BE EXACT AND TRUE
KAREN BARLOW, ASSISTANT COUNCIL CLERK
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