Discussions became heated at the Parish Council meeting Monday night, March 20, over an ordinance to solicit bids to purchase Bottom Ash for Parish road maintenance. The problem wasn’t the ordinance itself, but Council Chair Patsy Ward Hoover’s refusal to add an agenda item to amend the 2017 budget to allow for the purchase of Bottom Ash (a $100,000 line item).
The chair can set an internal deadline for items to be turned in to appear on the meeting agenda. Hoover said the deadline is the Wednesday before the meeting. However, Council member Russell Rachal said once the agenda is distributed, a motion to add an item to it can come up from the floor at any time during the meeting.
Despite Hoover’s reluctance to entertain the addition of the agenda item, Council member Doug de Graffenried made a motion, which broke the stalemate. Once added to the agenda the item passed.
The Council removed an ordinance to amend the requirements for the Parish Council meetings in the Parish Code of Ordinance. Hoover withdrew an agenda item to consider a 3 percent COLA for Parish employees. It also tabled an introduction to hold a public hearing next month to the proposed scarifying of deteriorated sections of King Hill Road, located between its junction with Hwy. 485 and the end of Parish maintenance and Sisson Road, by petition signed by 30 residents. It was tabled until next month so the wording in the agenda item can be clarified.
Other agenda items included:
· Reappoint Michael Richardson to the board for Fire District 4
· Award bid for Courthouse Roof replacement to Terry’s Roofing and Sheet Metal INC for $130,000. The amount is from an insurance claim. The remaining work includes removing an old cooling tower from the roof (~$9,200). The funds for this would come from the Government Building Fund. Councilman Chris Paige asked that the record reflect that the job was not to exceed $150,000.
· Enter into cooperative endeavor agreement with the Village of Natchez to place maintenance aggregate in potholes in the unpaved driveway that accesses the Village Hall. Other work includes the removal of deteriorated asphalt and placement of fill dirt in the Natchez Heritage Park.
· Adopt proclamation for Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service on April 4, 2017.
· Enter into an agreement with Chesapeake Energy Corp. for donation to the Parish of salvaged broken concrete material from the abandoned Placid Oil Company site located adjacent to the Mammy Trail Road and for Nowlin to advertise for bids for this material to be crushed for use as maintenance rock by the Parish Highway Department.
· Consider accepting into the Parish system a new street in the Deer Park Subdivision designated as Alex Avenue off Independence Street.
· Authorize Nowlin to sell the Parish building on 415 Trudeau St. and a certain parking lot to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office for a $200,000 credit against the $700,000 debt owed to the NPSO and a one- year ($60,000) deferment in Detention Center costs.
· Revise budget for the Natchitoches Parish Highway Department: Fund 101, Fish Hatchery Road and Old River Road.
· Approve the Disability Enrollment Improvement Plan for Head Start
· Introduce ordinance to amend Parish Zoning Ordinance, relative to uses