By Natalie Covher
The Natchitoches City Council met May 23, during the pre-council meeting Johnny Barnes presented over 30 Keep Natchitoches Beautiful Awards to various members of the community. Barnes also presented Mayor Posey with an award.
In other news, Hugh Santos Sr. requested a review of the decision the Planning and Zoning Commission made May 3 that approved the application submitted by Rand Metoyer to subdivide Lot 1, Block K of 315 E. Second St. in East Natchitoches. Metoyer requested a partial variance of the required 7,200 square foot lot size to construct a single-family dwelling on one lot and to add on to an existing house.
“I’ve been forced into this role by my neighbors,” said Santos.“They asked me to write the letter of appeal. We believe this is an effort to pack as many units as possible on to a property only to receive more income from that property.”
Santos states that he and the neighbors that came to him to voice their concerns are worried cutting up the lot into smaller lots and putting duplexes in will increase crime, garbage and traffic.Council members including Nielson, Stamey and Morrow continued to support Metoyer stating that they think that he is trying to improve the area. Council members reminded the public that they addressed public safety concerns and took time to examine implications before planning and zoning approved the application. They agreed that continued policing of the area is important but alsostated that they will support planning and zoning’s decision. The appeal failed that the approval of the application stands.
One item that received attention at the meeting was the introduction of a review amending the ordinances that govern and regulate peddling, canvassing and soliciting in the city. It was explained that an ordinance that had been in place to prohibit door to door sales for years was deemed unconstitutional. This forced a review of ordinances resulting in these amendments to benefit the health, safety and welfare of the general citizenry. The amendments were described as “putting more teeth in our canvasing laws.” It was explained that in order to go door to door peddlers, canvassers and solicitors must acquire a license submitting them to fingerprinting among other safeguards for the community. They will have to wear id badges and submit a plethora of information to the police no less than five and no more than 15 days before going out. The public can put a sign saying no peddling, soliciting or canvasing and this opens them up to trespassing charges.
Other agenda items included:
- Proclamation declaring June as “Immigrant Heritage Month” in the City
- Ordinance amendment changing zoning classification of 210 Jefferson St., owned by William S. Mitchell
- Ordinance to comply with GASB statement 54 committing Special Revenue Fund balances
- Ordinance amending the 2015-2016 budget to reflect additional revenues and expenditures
Ordinances introduced at the meeting included:
- Setting forth the adjusted millage rate(s)
- Roll forward to millage rates(s) not exceeding the maximum authorized rate(s)
- Award the bid for 25 tons of Potassium Permanganate, for the Water Treatment Plant
- Award the bid for the Rue Beauport Sewer Main Rehabilitation
Announcements at the meeting included:
- The City will hold a Swearing-In Ceremony on Monday, June 13 at 4:30 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center for Lee Posey, Mayor; Don Mims, Councilman At Large; Eddie Harrington, Councilman, District 2; Sylvia Morrow, Councilwoman, District 3; Lawrence Batiste, Councilman, District 4.
- Preceding the Swearing-In Ceremony outgoing Councilmen David Stamey and Larry Payne will be honored.
- Sylvia Morrow will lead a clean up in District 3 May, 28 at 9:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church on Amulet. There will be dumpster located on North Street.