January 22, 2024

The Evangeline Parish Library Board of Control met on Monday, January 22, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. at the Main Library on 916 West Main Street, Ville Platte, Louisiana 70586.

Salazar called the meeting to order.  Joseph led the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Godeaux called roll.  Present were President Sandra Salazar, Vice President Rella Joseph, Board Members Gaynelle Coates , Faye Langley, and Linda Lebsack, Friends of the Library Member Paula Lafleur, Staff Members Emily Fontenot, Ted Lavergne, Suzy Lemoine, Keishia Ford, Heidi Shepherd, Madeleine DeFrancillon, and Lisa Godeaux.  Absent was Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine.

Salazar asked if there were any amendments to the Agenda.  None were made. Lebsack moved to approve the Agenda.  Coates seconded, and the motion carried. Langley moved to approve the minutes from the previous meeting.  Coates seconded, and the motion carried.

Salazar asked if there were any comments on the Agenda items.  None were made. 

Salazar opened discussion of Old Business with the introduction and ratification of new employees, Heidi Shepherd and Madeleine DeFrancillon. Their start date was January 1, 2024.  Lemoine made the introductions.  Coates moved to ratify the hiring.  Langley seconded, and the motion carried.

Salazar opened the discussion of New Business with the election of Board of Control officers.  Langley nominated Salazar for President.  Lebsack seconded.  Coates nominated Joseph for Vice President.  Langley seconded.  Langley moved to keep both officers in their positions for another term.  Coates seconded, and the motion carried.  Lemoine provided the Board members with a copy of the dates for this year’s meetings. Next, Salazar called for a report from the Basile Building Committee.  Langley provided an overview of the meeting for those who had not been present. (See Committee Minutes). The third agenda item was acknowledging of the retirement of Ruth Stanley.  The Board expressed its gratitude for her 20 years of service. The next agenda item was an update on the roof insurance claim at the main library.  Lavergne stated that an A/C technician and an insurance representative had surveyed the roof leaks.  One was from fire sprinklers.  The largest problems were from roof issues. The warranty is in place until 2033, and the roof will be repaired.  Lavergne has already contacted Police Jury Secretary-Treasurer Chester Granger to begin the repair process. The next item was the 2024 training requirements for Board members:  Cyber security, Sexual Harassment Prevention, and Ethics.  Repeating Mandatory Reporter training is not required . Next, Salazar announced that the date for the Spring Book Fest is Saturday, May 4, 2024. The last item of New Business was the discussion of plans to expand the program rooms of the Turkey Creek and Pine Prairie branches in 2024.  The projected cost/budget for both expansion projects is less than $100,000 each. The Library will need to get permission from the Police Jury to talk to local contractors without going through the bidding process.

Next, Fontenot presented the Financial Report and gave copies to all Board members.  Fontenot stated that even with the large rise in the Police Jury administrative fee, expenses came in at only a little over $19,000 more than the previous year.  Fontenot stated that this was achieved largely through making changes and comparative spending.  Fontenot detailed the amount saved and the amounts currently in both the Capital Improvement account and the Ville Platte expansion account.  Mention was made of exploring how to invest in a higher yield savings account. Lavergne gave the Facilities Report.  Each branch is visited on different days with four hours of time allotted for each branch.  Deliveries are made weekly.  Roof repairs for the Ville Platte branch are in the works. (See Attached.)

Keishia Ford gave the Outreach Report and gave details of many of the different programs being held at each library including chair exercising, adult bingo, French, and children’s crafts.  The “Evangeline, the Myth and the Maiden” presentations at schools throughout the parish were completed in December and very well received.  We are still partnering with Save the Children/Headstart as well as bringing books to the nursing homes.   Ford will resume the Bedtime Story program in which she reads a book on Facebook live at 8:00 pm every 2nd Wednesday of the month. 

Lemoine stated that beginning February 1, 2024, parents will have to come in to re-register the library cards for their children from 0-17 years.  This is to comply with a new state law, Act 436, requiring parents to choose whether they want restrictions on the materials their children can access.

Soileau commented that the Friends of the Library had used some of their funds to pay for the petting zoo during the summer reading program.

Joseph moved to adjourn. Coates seconded, and the meeting adjourned.

The next Library Board of Control Meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11, 2024, at

4:00 p.m. at the Ville Platte Library.


The Evangeline Parish Library Board of Control met on Monday, January 22, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. at the Main Library on 916 West Main Street, Ville Platte, Louisiana 70586.

Committee Chairman Faye Langley called the meeting to order.  Present were President Sandra Salazar, Board Members Gaynelle Coates and Faye Langley, Basile Library Manager Sherry Bergeron, Basile Library Assistant Manager Becky Leger, Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau, Bill Fontenot (Surveyor with Landreneau & Associates), Staff Members Emily Fontenot, Suzy Lemoine, and Lisa Godeaux.

The first item was an update on the possible donation of property owned by the town of Basile near the new building site.  Lemoine stated that parish attorney Jacob Fuselier had not yet given a firm answer but felt that there was a way for the town to donate the property. The property is approximately 60 feet across.  Lemoine also stated that Basile town attorney Dave Johnson also feels that it can be done.

The second agenda item was the discussion to determine whether there was an interest in purchasing property owned by Arthur B. Hollingsworth which is in the area of the building site.  The property is 50 feet x 100 feet and has two buildings on it.  Lemoine provided a diagram and an assessment of the property.  Bergeron stated that the Basile City Hall had called the Basile Library and said the owner was interested in selling and had inquired whether the library was interested in buying the property.  Fontenot asked what price the owner was asking and asked Landreneau if it would be advantageous to purchase the property.  It was decided that more information was needed about the property and the asking price.

The next item on the agenda was an update on the architectural design of the new Basile Library.  Landreneau stated that he had spoken Parish Architect Brodie Ardoin understood that the latest floor plan had been accepted and he was now looking at how to best use the property.  The mechanical and electrical plans have not been started.  Bergeron and Langley stated that Ardoin had told them at the previous committee meeting that the new drawings would be ready for this meeting and that we could go to bid by the end of this quarter.  Salazar asked Landreneau whether the plans could be ready by the next Board of Control meeting on March 11.  Landreneau said he would ask Ardoin when he might have something more on paper.  Langley and Lemoine plan to contact Ardoin to schedule a committee meeting as soon as possible. 

Landreneau stated that Bill Fontenot had determined that a constructing a detention pond would be necessary and that it will add to building costs.  Also, finding out whether the library will have use of the town property is necessary before determining the placement of the pond.  Langley asked if it would be possible to get someone other than the general contractor to dig the detention pond on a volunteer basis so as to save money.  Landreneau felt that it would be possible.  Discussing costs, Landreneau said the Library could look at three deductive alternates to try to stay in budget.  He stated that Ardoin’s current estimate was $1.375 – $1.581 million, approximately $300 per square foot.  Lemoine stated that the budget is $1.25 million, and Fontenot stated that we may have to reduce the square footage to stay in budget.  Discussion ensued regarding deductive alternates to stay in budget.  Landreneau will confirm the planned square footage with Ardoin and follow up with attorney Jacob Fuselier about the Basile property donation.

The Committee thanked Landreneau and Bill Fontenot for coming, and the meeting adjourned.

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