PORT ALLEN — West Baton Rouge Parish officials promised Thursday to work with the mayors of the parish’s three municipalities to clear up maintenance obligations for roads overlaid by parish government.
The matter came before the Parish Council after requests by Addis Mayor Caroll Bourgeois for the parish to paint road stripes on First Street.
Parish President Riley “Peewee” Berthelot said a 1990 parish resolution calls for roads overlaid by parish government to be turned back over to the respective municipality for maintenance.
The parish last applied fresh asphalt to First Street in 2004, Berthelot said.
Bourgeois said that as long as he has been in office, he has understood First Street to be maintained by the parish.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s a parish road,” he said. “It was a state road, and the state abandoned it, leaving it to the parish.”
Bourgeois added that the parish receives state funds to maintain parish roads, based on per capita population. Of those total funds, he said, Addis’ share amounts to about 15 percent, but the town defers those funds for the parish to use in more populated areas.
Parish Councilman Randy Mouch said he brought the item before the council to call attention to ownership concerns amid a trend of annexations by municipalities.
Brusly Mayor Joey Normand called the resolution’s wording vague, and suggested that the parish research the number of roads it has overlaid since 1990 to see which agency currently maintains each road.
Berthelot said his office is currently researching the cost to apply stripes to First Street, and that he planned to add the item to the upcoming 2012 capital overlay plan as an alternate project.
Council Chairman Gary Spillman said the parish will work with the municipalities to craft legislation outlining ownership of overlaid roads.
“We don’t want you to be in the dark,” he told Bourgeois, Normand and Port Allen Mayor Roger Bergeron. “You will be contacted and you will have a part in this.