Agenda items include 4-H reception, fines for debris and Lafayette Street Project

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Jill Wiltz, newly elected 4-H State President, was honored with a reception before the City Council meeting Aug. 8. Mayor Lee Posey presented her with a certificate in the pre-meeting. Wiltz’s family and friends filled the Arts Center in support of her achievement. At the reception, Wiltz was also presented with a plaque of appreciation for her hard work from all the 4-H Alumni in the Parish.

Posey himself is a 4-H alum. He used to show dairy and beef animals. “4-H did a lot for me,” he said.

“As the 4-H Louisiana State President I will be the voice for over 187,000 members,” said Wiltz. “This is a position I’ve dreamed about for a long time. When I was in the seventh grade I watched the state level 4-H representatives walk on stage and I leaned over to my teacher Gwen Fontenot and told her I wanted that to be me. I am thankful for the help she has given me to get me where I’m at.  Wherever your passion lies 4-H has a place for you.”

The last person 4-H State President to be from Natchitoches was Rodney Harrington in 1970.

“It’s been so long ago there were only three h’s,” joked Harrington. “I hope one day when you look back it will mean as much to you as it does for me.”

After Posey presented her with the certificate, he invited the other 4-H representatives to introduce themselves. Fellow student Kate Dickson was elected President of the Louisiana Science, Engineering and Technology Board and Corey Gallion placed in ATV at 4-H University.

The regular city council meeting began with Posey passing out green door hangers with a notice to residents about yard debris. It’s unlawful to discharge grass, leaves or other yard debris into city streets. The hangers will serve as an official first warning and any future violations will result in fines.

“I’ve had a lot of people call me about people putting their yard debris, like grass clippings, out in the street. They asked me why the city allows it. There is an ordinance in place against this and I’ve decided it is time to enforce it. This behavior causes drainage problems. Our workers from the utility department in charge of sewer and drainage say that there can be many feet of this type of buildup washed into system. Cane River is silted up in certain areas to depths as shallow as 3-4 feet. It is time do our part to prevent these types of things.”

Garbage pick-up will still remove bagged debris. This warning is strictly about debris discharged into the street.

An ordinance was introduced authorizing Posey to award a bid for the Lafayette Street Project.

“We are trying to do something on Lafayette Street to make it a little nicer,” said Posey. “Events that are not of a large volume might be moving over there so we don’t have to shut down Front Street. Closing off Front Street reduces options for parking and effects the number of people that go shopping, negatively effecting tax dollars.”

An ordinance was introduced authorizing Posey to award a bid for the 2016 City Street Rehabilitation Project.

An ordinance was introduced granting Atmos Energy and its successors rights to acquire, maintain, construct, lay, repair, remove, replace, install, operate, and dispose of a gas system for the sale, transportation and distribution of natural gas within and beyond the municipal boundaries of the city and to the residents and businesses located therein for light, heat, power and any other purposes and the right to use the present and future streets, roads, highways, alleys, bridges, public ways and immovable property for such purposes.

A resolution was adopted designating Friday, Sept. 2 as an official holiday for the employees of the City of Natchitoches for the year 2016.

A resolution was adopted authorizing Posey to advertise and accept bids for Hancock and Watson Streets, Underground Electrical Service.

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Aug. 22.