Ouachita Parish Police Jurors Talk Taxes, Healthy Vending Machines

Ouachita Parish Police Jurors Talk Taxes, Healthy Vending Machines

Tha taxes in Ouachita Parish and the latest effort to combat obesity were discussed at Tuesday's OPPJ meeting.

MONROE -- The plan to collect taxes from folks in Ouachita Parish was the topic of Tuesday night's Ouachita Parish Police Jury meeting.

Police jurors introduced the 2013 Revenue Law.

Officials said there are no new taxes to be levied in the parish this year.

This law will determine just how much folks living in the parish pay in taxes this December.

"We're basically, at this point, introducing a revenue ordinance that contains the exact same millages as we levied last year," said Walt Caldwell, Ouachita Parish Police Juror for District C. "We're not necessarily expecting any changes, but not all the boards have met with their respective agencies to advise us of what they wish to collect."

Police jurors said the revenue law will be finally approved at their next meeting.

Taxes go to the parish's general fund to pay for construction, health units and even mosquito abatement.

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury did approve a new program that will change the vending machines at parish public buildings, effective immediately.

Police jurors approved a program called "Ouachita Well," which will put healthier food items in vending machines and concessions in Ouachita Parish Public buildings.

Starting now, at least 25% of the items in vending machines will be water, snacks less than 200 calories, 100% fruit or vegetable juices, among other items.

"Giving people more choices," Ouachita Parish Police Juror for District F, Pat Moore, said. "It's not to cause, indicate to anyone, what they should or should not eat, but giving better choices."

"You will see options that have less sugar, that have smaller portion sizes and that have less calories," said the Project Leader for "Ouachita Well," Pamela Barton.

The program was made possible through a three-year grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance.

The program is meant to combat obesity, now that the state of Louisiana has been ranked #1 in obesity by the Center for Disease Control.



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