GREENSBURG — St. Helena Parish will pay a $4,500 flat fee to have a legal consultant draft ordinances to regulate adult businesses in the parish, but it will cost more if he explains those laws in person, according to a contract the Police Jury approved Tuesday night.
The Police Jury voted 4-2 to approve the contract with the Law Office of Scott D. Bergthold, of Chattanooga, Tenn., in response to a public outcry against two strip clubs operating in the southern end of the parish.
While Bergthold will craft the laws for a flat fee, the police jurors would have to approve an additional $500 per visit if they want him to come speak with them in person, said Richard Sandberg, committee chairman of the Moral Alliance of St. Helena Parish, who recommended Bergthold for the job.
A telephone conference about the ordinances would be free, Sandberg said.
Should the parish later need legal representation in any lawsuits stemming from the prospective ordinances, Bergthold would defend them for a rate of $175 per hour, according to the contract.
Juror Warren McCray said he is concerned about the potential for those fees to add up and place the already cash-strapped parish in a tighter bind.
“I don’t want to be nickeled to death,” McCray said. “I’ve got people in my district calling me about roads and all kinds of other things we could be spending money on.”
Sandberg said the jurors should look at hiring Bergthold as an investment.
The ordinances, Sandberg said, “will substantially decrease the likelihood of a lawsuit in the future. That’s the point of having this preventative measure.”
Warren McCray and Major Coleman cast the two dissenting votes against approving the contract.