Airport works to install flight school in Natchitoches

By Corey Poole

A flight school is in the works at the Natchitoches Regional Airport, according to an ordinance introduced at the City Council meeting May 9. The ordinance authorizes Mayor Lee Posey to execute a lease with Flying Tiger Aviation for a lot at the airport.

The Council made an amendment to an ordinance from 2103. Airport security would be increased at the airport by locating a Natchitoches Police officer inside a mobile home on the property. The mobile home was removed after the officer who owned it retired.

In other news, Dallas Russell accepted a proclamation from Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow declaring May 21 as Kids to Parks Day in Natchitoches.

Russell, community programs and outreach coordinator with the City’s Recreation and Parks Department, announced there will be additional kid friendly activities at the Cane River Green Market Saturday, May 21 from 8 a.m. – noon on the downtown riverbank.

Organized by the National Park Trust (NPT), Kids to Parks Day empowers kids and encourages families to get outdoors and visit America’s parks. With a decline in park attendance over the last decades, the NPT says it’s important to introduce new generations to the nation’s parks.

A second proclamation declared the second full week in May as “Women’s Lung Health Week” in Natchitoches. Every 8 minutes, one woman in the U.S. loses her battle with lung cancer, which is the top killing cancer. Advocacy and increased awareness will result in more advanced treatments and early detection that will ultimately save lives.

In other news, an ordinance amendment was introduced to change the zoning classification of 210 Jefferson St. from R-1 to R-1 Special Exception to operate a bed and breakfast at the request of William S. Mitcehll.

The Council gave their final votes to approve an ordinance authorizing Posey to purchase property at 545 Whitfield Drive from Norman O. Hicks Jr. and then execute an Act of Exchange with Ackel Investments LLC, for a piece of property at 135 Mill St.

Looking to own a contiguous tract of land between Mill Street and the right descending bank of Cane River, the City negotiated with Ackel Investments to purchase the land for $122,000. After buying the Hicks tract for $134,000, the City will exchange it with Ackel for the tract of land he owns on Mill Street. Ackel will pay the $12,000 difference in the Act of Exchange.

A new fishing tournament will be held at the Grand Ecore Boat Ramp on the Red River April 6-8, 2017 after the Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fishers of Men Ministries. The City will host the tournament, which will have a strong economic impact on the community. The group will stay in Natchitoches for eight days because practice will be held from April 1-5. The hosting fee is $25,000.

Other items included:

  • Ordinance to comply with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 54 committing special revenue fund balances.
  • Ordinance amending the 2015-16 budget to reflect additional revenues and expenditures
  • Ordinance authorizing Posey to execute a change order for $7,588 to the City’s agreement with Petron LLC for the construction of a new fuel farm and removal of the underground storage tanks at the Natchitoches Regional Airport, which totaled $394,306
  • Resolution authorizing Posey to execute an agreement with the Louisiana Office of Community Development for the 2015-16 Community Water Enrichment Fund grant application for improvements to the Natchitoches Water System. The CWEF was established in 2008 to fund local government projects for rehabilitation, improvement and construction of systems to provide safe and clean drinking water. The City is eligible for $50,000. Utility Director Bryan Wimberly recommended a project eligible for the funding based on the City’s water system needs. This includes a submersible mixer for $35,200 and the labor and materials to install it for $14,800.

Two resolution authorized Posey to execute a certificate of substantial completion and a change order to the contract between the City and T.L. Construction LLC for the 2015 City Streets Project for $34,453. The revised total will be over 1.1 million.

  • Two resolutions authorized Posey to execute a certificate of substantial completion and a change order to the contract between the City and Sunstream Inc. for the electrical distribution along Parkway and Howell for $11,134. The total will be $79,843.
  • Resolution authorizing Posey to execute a certificate of substantial completion to the contract between the City and Worldwide Industries Corporation for the Hwy. 1 Bypass ground storage tank rehabilitation project.
  • Resolution of the City Council expressing support of the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposed rulemaking to establish a minimum of two crewmembers for certain railroad operations. The two member crew is required throughout the country on freight trains hauling hazardous cargo when the trains are travelling through city limits