The Avoyelles Parish School Board met in special session Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. at the School Board Office with the following members present:


            Van Kojis, President; Michael Lacombe, Vice-President; Freeman Ford, Darrell Wiley, Chris LaCour, James Gauthier, Shelia Blackman-Dupas, Lizzie Ned, and John Gagnard.


            Absent: None.


            1.         On motion by John Gagnard, seconded by James Gauthier, the Board adopted the minutes of the regular Board meeting held Tuesday, March 3, 2015, as printed and mailed to Board members and published in The Weekly News, official journal of the Board.  MOTION CARRIED.


            2.         President Van Kojis addressed the Board regarding leases for Section 16 properties.


                        A motion was offered by James Gauthier, seconded by Darrell Wiley, to accept the new leases and appraised values for Section 16, Township 2, Range 6 East, as follows:


                        “The lease for camp sites (approximately 100 feet by 100 feet) will be $1500 per year for sites not on the water and $1800 per year for the Old River sites on the driveable water front.  These leases would be a duration of five years with a 10% increase after the first five years and 10% increase after each five years thereafter.  Lease payments would be paid yearly.


                        Hunting (user) permits would be issued at a price of $200 per person, age 21 and older and less than 21 would be free if they are accompanied by an adult with a permit.


                        A fine would be assessed to any leaseholder who brings other hunters without permits for the first offense with a possible termination of lease on the second offense.”


                        The motion was unanimously adopted by the Board.


                        Mr. Charles A. Riddle, III, District Attorney, explained to citizens in the audience that the only reason that the sale of Section 16 property was ever brought up was because it was in litigation and because of the difficulty of obtaining a right-of-way.  Mr. Riddle stated that the State will never approve the sale of Section 16 property unless it is in litigation or some other pressing issue.  He further stated that should the Board decide to obtain Legislative approval, the Legislature will inform the Board that this property would have to placed on public bid.  Mr. Riddle stated that selling individual lots is not a viable option.


                        On motion by Freeman Ford, seconded by Chris LaCour, the Board agreed that the Section 16, Bayou Jeansonne lease stipulates that this section would be leased for one year at a time due to the fact that this section is in litigation and that this section would be re-evaluated once litigation is resolved.  MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.


                        On motion by James Gauthier, seconded by Lizzie Ned, the Board authorized the Superintendent to mail a letter by March 15, 2015 to all individuals who lease School Board property informing the individual of the new lease amount and allowing the individual to pay a $500 non-refundable deposit that would apply to the total amount of the five-year lease.  The deadline to receive the deposit is April 3, 2015. Also, the Board agreed that the $500 deposit is non-refundable unless the Board revokes the lease. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.


            3.         Mr. Michael Lacombe, Vice-President, addressed the Board regarding permission for the Volunteers of America to place a counselor in the schools to assist with the mental health services, at no cost to the Board.


                        Mr. Lacombe informed the Board that a committee had met with Mr. Chauncey Hardy regarding the suicide rate in the parish.  He stated that Mr. Hardy met with representatives with Volunteers of America and was advised that there is a program in place that could assist the counselors as well as visit the schools to assist children who are in need of this service.


                        On motion by Michael Lacombe, seconded by Darrell Wiley, the Board agreed to allow Volunteers of America to place a counselor in the schools to assist with the mental health services, under the direction of the Superintendent, at no cost to the Board.  


                        The motion was adopted by the following vote:


                        Ayes: Freeman Ford, Darrell Wiley, James Gauthier, Chris LaCour, Van Kojis, Michael Lacombe, Lizzie Ned, and John Gagnard.


                        Nays: None.


                        Abstained: Shelia Blackman-Dupas.


            There being no further business, on motion by Darrell Wiley, seconded by Freeman Ford, the meeting was adjourned.





Van Kojis, President


Blaine Dauzat, Secretary-Treasurer