City Council votes down funding commitment for Highland Park Road Bridge Project

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Much to the crowd’s relief at the City Council meeting Monday night, Dec. 12, council members unanimously voted against Resolution 104 to commit funding for the Highland Park Road Bridge Project.

While relieved, Williams Avenue residents were still concerned. Some were still worried what the future may bring. Mayor Lee Posey said that while the Highland Park Road was looked at as the best possible location, there are 4-5 other location options. A design team hired by the state, Fenstermaker in Lafayette, will start the design process and work on which location will be best.

“The vote tonight means, at this time, the Highland Park Road Bridge Project won’t go forward for Capital Outlay money,” said Posey. “But this issue has never been a dead issue.”

Councilman Dale Nielsen said that with Resolution 104 failing, it’s more important than ever that Resolution 108 passes. It commits funding for the East Natchitoches Bypass Project-Phase I (LA Hwy. 6 East to LA Hwy. 1226/Williams Avenue). The state may provide Capital Outlay funding for this project up to $5.9 million and the City has budgeted funds in the General Fund and Special Tax Dedication Fund that will be utilized for the 25 percent local matching funds if the project is moved forward for funding.

“We’re just trying to get this project moved up the totem pole,” said Posey.

Other Resolutions included:

Commit funding for the Natchitoches Regional E-Commerce and Business Incubator Complex. The state may provide Capital Outlay funding up to $2.8 million and the City has budgeted funds for the 25 percent local match.

Commit funding for the South Natchitoches Drainage Improvements, Drainage Study. The state may provide Capital Outlay funding up to $300,000 and the City has budgeted funds for the 25 percent local match.

Commit funding for the Natchitoches Fire Station-University Parkway. The state may provide Capital Outlay funding up to $1.5 million and the City has budgeted funds for the 25 percent local match.

Commit funding for the South Natchitoches Drainage Improvements, including adjacent roadwork, planning and construction. The state may provide Capital Outlay funding up to $1.5 million and the City has budgeted funds for the 25 percent local match.

Commit funding for Blanchard Road development, planning and construction. The state may provide Capital Outlay funding up to $1.6 million and the City has budgeted funds for the 25 percent local match

Commit funding for the Landmark District Parking Lot. The state may provide Capital Outlay funding up to $400,080 and the City has budgeted funds for the 25 percent local match

Approve execution of the contract between the state and the City for the 2015-16 fiscal year Local Government Assistance Program (LGAP) for $17,300 to purchase new firefighting hoses and nozzles for the Natchitoches Fire Department.

Execute a certificate of substantial completion to the contract between the City and Sunstream Inc. for Hancock and Watson underground electrical services.

Enter into a contract with Employers Risk Management Services as the workers compensation third party administration for the City.

Enter into a contract with Midwest Employers Casualty Company for the workers compensation excess coverage policy for the City.

Apply for and accept funds from the LA Division of Historic Preservation for FY 2015-16 Certified Local Government Training.
Ordinances and Planning & Zoning items included:

Execute a standard form of agreement between the City and Washer Hill Lipscomb Cabaniss Architecture LLC to provide professional services related to the Natchitoches Sports and Recreation Center (INTRODUCTION).

Award bid for the Rue Beauport Riverfront Project to Pat Williams Construction of Leesville for $3.8 million.

Award bid for the Hwy. 1 South and Hwy. 1 Bypass substations projects to Dis-Tran Packaged Substations of Pineville for $362,005.

Purchase .35 acres tract of ground from HKO Properties LLC for $15,000.

Execute an instrument entitled “Agreement to Furnish Utility Consulting Services to the City,” whereby the City will contract for utility consulting from James R. Whitten.

Acquisition of a 11.67 acre tract of ground from Charles Patrick Johnson and Kim Kelly Townsend Johnson for $87,500.

Amend zoning of Trail Boss to B-A to sell beverages of high alcoholic content for consumption on premise (INTRODUCTION).

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One thought on “City Council votes down funding commitment for Highland Park Road Bridge Project

  1. I recently purchased the home at 1128 Williams Ave. This home was looked at as a possible location for the 3rd bridge. I spoke at the Dec 12th City Council Meeting and stressed my opinions about this 3rd bridge and the Highland Park Road Bridge. 1128 Williams Ave was voted down to purchase back in January or February 2016. I did not know when I purchased my home that the city was attempting to buy if for the 3rd bridge location. So, you have to imagine my surprise. I’m happy that the Highland Park Road Bridge Project was also voted down. I will continue to fight with my new neighbors against a bridge on Williams Ave. I can tell you this- “If a bridge had been located at 1128 Williams when I was looking for a home on the river, I would have looked elsewhere!” If the DOT/State, ever decide to build a bridge at or near 1128 Williams, everyone has to know the property values will plummet?

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