Livingston Parish S.O. to repay Council on Aging $600k

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A State Supreme Court Judge ruled the Livingston Sheriff's Office cannot take a commission on the property taxes it collects; which means one group is getting a refund.

The Council on Aging in Livingston Parish depends on money from property taxes to run its programs, however, they say when the Sheriff started collecting a commission on the money in 2004 they were eventually forced to cut some services.

One of the main items they cut back on, besides serving seniors a hot meal seven days a week, was transportation.

"We're just upset because we can't come every day," said one of the seniors, as she boarded the bus.

Jo Mayo, the CEO for the Council on Aging, says they used to pick up the seniors five days a week, but they had to cut that back to three days one week, two days the next.  She also says they used to serve a hot meal seven days a week, but stopped the weekend feedings.

"I miss the fellowship," said another lady.  "We talk to one another.  We praise the Lord together."

Someone else added they also play Bingo and exercise together.

"I love the people.  If it wasn't for them I don't know what I'd do to pass time away."

Also because of cutbacks, they've developed waiting lists for some programs.

"We have a waiting list for our chore service.  Which is a cleaning service that goes into the home and cleans home for the seniors," says Mayo.

The State Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Sheriff's Office must pay the Council on Aging $600,000 which the center hopes will allow them to reinstate the programs they cut.

There is no word yet on where that $600,000 will come from in the Sheriff's budget, or whether they plan to appeal the judge's decision.

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