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special session allen cameron


Publication: American Press  Publication Date: 04/10/2002  Page and Section: 3 a    Creator Jim Beam

Legislation affecting Allen, Cameron approved$rec=322965-39215

BATON ROUGE -- The House has given final legislative approval to two Senate bills affecting Southwest Louisiana and has moved a House bill to the Senate for final action in that chamber. A measure by Sen. Don Hines passed 100-1. It makes it clear that funds from the Allen Parish Capital Improvement Fund can be used for furniture and fixtures at the parish courthouse.Two cents of the state's four-cent hotel-motel tax in Allen Parish are distributed to the Allen Parish improvement fund. The revenues are to be used for capital improvements to the courthouse and other public property in Allen Parish.Hines said earlier legislation creating the fund didn't make it clear it could be used for furniture and fixtures.The fund is administered by the Allen Parish Capital Improvement Board. Members of the board are the senators and representatives of Allen Parish, the president of the Police Jury, the director of the tourist commission and the sheriff.Hines said the fund received $250,000 last year.The House voted 105-0 for a bill by Sen. Jerry Theunissen, R-Jennings, that merges two Cameron Parish districts.The Cameron legislation merges Cameron Parish Waterworks District 1 and Cameron Parish Sewerage District 1. The Senate earlier gave the merger its unanimous approval.Both existing boards serve the same residents. The new board will become the Camer-on Parish Water and Waste-water Board for District 1.Theunissen said existing taxes levied by the two boards will be eliminated and replaced with a smaller tax. He said savings realized by merger of the two boards will result in lower costs of maintenance and operation.

The House voted 97-3 for a bill by Rep. Herman Ray Hill, D-Dry Creek, that creates the Allen Parish Reservoir District. It goes to the Senate.

Hill said his measure is designed to enhance economic development in Allen Parish. The reservoir will collect rainwater and water from area streams, if they exist, to be used for agricultural, recreational, commercial, industrial and sanitary purposes.

The reservoir would be administered by five commissioners. They would be appointed by the governor and would have to be confirmed by the state Senate. Commission-ers would not be paid.

An amendment to the bill would restrict the size of the reservoir to 6,000 acres. The board running the reservoir could create and construct recreational facilities for public use.

It would also regulate commercial development in the area. The board could also sell water to industries in order to conserve underground supplies.