While there were only two items on the City Council agenda Monday night, March 27, there are plenty of improvements underway in Natchitoches.
The City is working on three different water system improvements according to Purchasing Director Edd Lee. Workers are getting ready to rebuild and relocate the Sewer Master Lift Station.
There’s also preliminary work underway to put more equipment in the Bypass and Hwy. 1 South sub stations to get a loop around the City for electrical services. Once the loop is completed the City will be able to supply power instead of sections of the town being cut off when a vehicle or a strong storm takes out a utility pole.
“The rededication of a tax allowed us to put more of that money to work,” said Lee. The electricity work is a new project that will add to and increase the reliability for customers. The infrastructure work is replacing older water and sewer systems.
Work on 2016 City Streets Rehabilitation Project is 75 percent completed. Mayor Lee Posey said he expects all the work to be done within the next 3 weeks. Streets being worked on include Howard, Younger Blvd., Whitfield Drive, St. Maurice Lane, Ragan Street, Martin Drive, Oakland Drive, Jason Lane, Royal Street, Beau Fort Blvd., Bienville Street, North Street, Julia Street, Lake Street, Dixie Street, Berry Street, Northern Street, Westcourt Drive and Nolley Drive.
“I want to keep this going,” said Posey. “We hope to get more streets done in the next budget year.”
When Director of Finance Pat Jones delivered his budget report, he said there was $8 million reported that the state collected in January from sales taxes collected through Amazon. For the month, the City received $843.58.
“This is encouraging that it was finally worked out,” he said.
The General Fund and Utility Fund are both within their budgeted expenditures. The City sales tax collections were down 5.79 percent for February, but up 1.05 percent year-to-date. Jones said everything is flat compared to last fiscal year. The City TIF is down 6.03 percent from last February and down 10.97 percent year-to-date. Motor vehicle sales are up 3.74 percent for February and down 3.70 percent year-to-date.
Agenda items included:
· Revoke dedication of a potion of Graham Street, declaring it abandoned and retaining an easement for public utility purposes
· Introduction of ordinance adopting the millage rate for the 2017 tax year. The following millages are hereby levied on all property subject to taxation by the City: Public Safety Tax (9.730 mills), General Alimony Tax (6.840 mills), Total Millage (16.570 mills).
The next City Council meeting will be held April 10. The City offices will be closed Friday, April 14 for Good Friday. A public meeting will be held April 10 at 5:30 pm at the Arts Center on Second Street for the purpose of adopting the millage rate for the 2017 tax year.