New Roads won’t get share of sales tax for trash collection

The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury rejected a request Tuesday by New Roads that the parish share a portion of a 1-cent sales tax dedicated to residential trash service.

The Police Jury also decided to suspend once-a-month collection of residential bulk waste and white goods within the city limits effective March 1.

The jury’s actions come in an ongoing battle with New Roads, the parish seat, over the city’s decision to pull out of the parish’s five-year contract for trash service with Progressive Waste Solutions.

New Roads brokered its own garbage contract in January with Republic Services to provide collection services to approximately 1,800 households within the city limits.

The tension between parish and city leaders took center stage Tuesday night as New Roads Mayor Robert Myer attended the jury’s regular meeting for the first time since notifying the parish of the city’s intentions to walk away from the parish’s garbage deal.

“This assault that’s going on against the city has got to stop,” Myer told jurors.

“Quite frankly, it’s probably because some of y’all don’t like me. Don’t let (New Roads) households suffer because y’all don’t like me. This thing can’t keep going back and forth.”

Myer chided jurors for the parish reneging on previous agreements with the city and for raising property taxes for his residents.

Myer also referred to legal advice the Police Jury’s attorney gave the jury on Jan. 30. The attorney told jurors not to allocate sales tax funds to New Roads without first entering into an intergovernmental agreement with city leaders.

Before making an abrupt exit, Myer said he agreed with the parish’s attorney.

But he said he would only entertain the idea of an intergovernmental agreement after first seeing a proposal from the Police Jury.

The Police Jury reached a consensus to deny the city’s request, in part, because of the advice from its attorney but also after a report from the parish financial adviser showed that giving up a portion of the $600,000 in revenue the tax annually generates for solid waste would cripple the parish’s efforts to rebuild its coffers.

Police Jury President Melanie Bueche said part of that money goes into a rainy day fund the parish is trying to build for the next natural disaster.

“We have to have our money because we have to help the people,” Bueche said.

Bueche also urged the Police Jury to support the measure to suspend the bulk good trash service within the city limits because New Roads residents would no longer be paying into the service once their garbage contract takes effect March 1.

The $1.87 per household rate the parish pays Lionel Boudreaux Trucking is padded into the $18.50 monthly fee the parish charged for residential trash service, officials said.

The jury voted 8-2 to stop the bulk trash service in New Roads. Jurors Glenn Ray Cline and Justin Cox voted against the measure. Juror Ted Nelson abstained and Juror Kyle Olinde was absent during the vote.