St. Landry library district ordinance put on hold

Prior to Wednesday’s vote, Bruce Gaudin, chairman of the St. Landry Library Coalition, asked the council to hold off on the parishwide library issue until coalition members could discuss the matter further with council members and municipal officials.

Gaudin said the coalition needs more time to do its homework and possibly draft a new version of an ordinance.

“Some of the town councils have questions and objections. We also want to talk to existing (town) library boards that have questions about how they would be integrated into the (parish library) system,” Gaudin said.

Council member Jerry Red Jr. said he had a petition signed by 200 people in the district he represents who oppose funding the library system with a property tax.

“These people are in favor of the library. They just want to find another way to (finance) it,” Red said.

Council member Leon Robinson, who voted at the Feb. 19 meeting to have his election district opt out from voting on any parishwide library tax proposition, said Wednesday that he will now support it.

“The availability of (a parishwide library) is the main thing. Let’s develop the library to the fullest extent,” Robinson said.

If the council approves an ordinance creating a parishwide library system, Gaudin said, the council would create a board that would decide how to use the revenue generated from a tax or other financing.

The East St. Landry Library District would be headquartered in Port Barre, according to the proposed ordinance.

Krotz Springs Mayor Carroll Snyder said his town’s municipal library, which serves an area that includes Melville and rural areas near the town, does not want to be part of any parishwide library system.

Snyder said the Krotz Springs library is funded through a grant obtained by the town and contains 6,000 books and serves 1,000 customers.

In other matters:

FINANCE DIRECTOR: The council agreed to take up the ratification of the appointment of Novella Moore as parish finance director after examining her qualifications. Parish President Bill Fontenot said he had already appointed Moore to the position, which he said is within the president’s powers.

Council attorney Lance Pitre said any department head appointed by the parish president needs approval of the council.