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|Jury seeks lawyer over road dispute|
The Concordia Parish Police Jury plans to hire an attorney to initiate legal proceedings against Blain Companies of Natchez concerning the construction of roads during the first phase of the Jury's hardsurfacing program two years ago.
Jurors met in executive session with 1st Asst. Dist Atty. Brad Burget Monday night for 40 minutes to discuss the matter.
"We discussed possible litigation," said Jury President Melvin Ferrington.
At its regular meeting Monday night, the Jury emerged from the executive session and authorized the District Attorney and Melvin Ferrington as Jury president to negotiate a contract with an outside attorney to discuss possible litigation against Blain.
"We have done everything we know to do to keep this out of the court system," Ferrington said concerning its dispute with Blain over many of the roads constructed during the Jury's Phase 1 hardsurfacing program. This work was financed through a parishwide sales tax approved by parish voters. Blain was the low bidder for that work.
"We have met with contractors and engineers and this has been going on for two years," said Ferrington. "The Jury has come to the point where we feel like we have to take a stand and bring this to a head."
Ferrington said many Phase 1 roads do not meet specifications as outlined by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
"Our contract calls for a 12-inch soil cement base with lime and in some cases this standard is not there," said Ferrington. "We owe it to the public that our roads come up to standards."
In other business, the Jury:
• Agreed to hold a public hearing to set a five-ton load limit on Doty Road Circle.
• Took under advisement seven bids for gravel.
• Voted to advertise for a bookkeeper and for two employees at the maintenance barn.
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