Auditors: Ascension trash lease could violate state law
ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Auditors hired to review contracts and finances for the Ascension Parish government cautioned this week that one particular lease agreement might be violating the state’s public lease law.
The auditors presented their findings during a meeting of the Ascension Parish Council’s Finance Committee earlier this week.
The concerns are about a two-year lease Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment signed last year with one of his political supporters named Dustin Clouatre. Clouatre owns Trash Rangers, a trash collection service based in St. Amant.
The agreement allows Clouatre to lease a portion of land at Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales to house some of his trucks at $500 per month. An additional agreement also calls for the company to provide trash service for Lamar Dixon. A portion of that trash collection at the facility is done at no cost to the parish, said Lamar Dixon General Manager Kyle Rogers.
Auditors cautioned that since the lease opportunity was not advertised to the general public, it could violate state law.
However, Ascension Parish Chief Financial Officer Patrick Goldsmith said auditors agreed it would be fine for the parish to continue the lease agreement until the parish can get a legal opinion on the matter from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
In its official written response to the audit, the parish said it intends to have “policies and procedures in final draft for the Parish Council approval by December 31, 2022.”
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