Property tax renewals will go before voters on Nov. 6 ballot

Calcasieu Parish police jurors on Thursday approved putting two parishwide property tax renewals on the Nov. 6 ballot.

One is a 10-year, 3.27-mill tax that will pay for maintenance and operational costs associated with the parish Courthouse Complex and Correctional Center. If renewed by voters, the tax will generate just over $7 million annually.

The other is a 10-year, 5.99-mill tax for the Calcasieu Public Library System. The tax — which will generate more than $12.8 million annually — will pay for maintenance, construction equipment and operational costs.

The library tax has been in effect since 1954, while the courthouse and jail maintenance tax was first passed by voters in 1987. According to state law, parishes must provide courthouse and jail facilities, along with office space and other expenses for the Sheriff ’s Office, Tax Assessor, Clerk of Court, Registrar of Voters and District Attorney.

If renewed, the 10-year period for both taxes would begin Jan. 1, 2020.

Earlier in the meeting, the panel gave final approval for several engineering contracts related to intersection expansions at several state routes.

The contracts are part of the Calcasieu Parish Transportation Initiative. The road expansion projects are designed to reduce traffic congestion along state routes, using some parish-level and federal money.

The approved contracts include Stantec Consulting Services for improvements at the intersection of La. 384 at Ihles Road; Meyer and Associates for the intersection of La. 27 and High Hope Road; Aucoin and Associates for the intersection of La. 27 and Dave Dugas Road; C.H. Fenstermaker and Associates, LLC for the intersection of La. 27 and Houston River Road; Lancon Engineers for the intersection of La. 1256 and Walker Road; and Neel-Schaffer for the intersection of La. 1256 and Carlyss Drive.

The full initiative includes five road expansion projects, totaling $174.1 million. Parish officials have said using local funding will help the projects move along faster