The Natchitoches Parish Council held its first regular monthly meeting under the new order and rules established by Ordinance passed the previous month.
Prior to adoption of the Agenda, the Council voted to remove awarding the bid for Winn Rock Screenings as the Council had previously authorized the Parish President to award the bid and also removed the Executive Session concerning the employment of the Head Start Director, April Wade. However, the removal of items from the Agenda did not shorten the length of the meeting.
Reports of Department Heads was moved to the beginning of the meeting. Nick Verret, Director of Public Works, reported that the plans and cost estimate for Coco Bed Road were complete and that the first draft of the construction proposal would be submitted to FP&C by the end of this week. Mr. Verret also reported that the Parish had $110,498 in funding available from the Safe Routes to School Program. The funds are available for
use through September, 2018.
Councilmen de Graffenried, Bedgood and Rachal voted in favor of introducing Ordinances for the purpose of creating four new Road Districts. Councilmembers Hoover and Paige voted against the introduction of the Ordinances. The proposed Ordinances will be discussed at a public hearing at the Council’s July meeting.
Residents from Hampton Road were on hand to ask the council to vote in favor of creating the Hampton Road Improvement Fund. The amendment to the Operating Budget is necessary for the Parish to receive funds from the Red River Waterway Commission for the improvements project. The creation of the Fund also included an amendment that moved funds from other areas of the Department of Public Works’ budget into the Fund, at the request of the Parish President, to allocate $187,000 for the Parish’s match on the project. After a lengthy discussion on why other Parish road improvement projects, such as Coco Bed Road and Payne Subdivision, should be moved down on the priority list in favor of Hampton Road, the item failed for lack of a motion. The failing of the item made null the request to authorize the Parish President to solicit Qualification and Experience statements and design, plan development, and construction engineering and inspection work for hard-surfacing of Hampton Road.
Another hotly debated item on the Agenda was the creation of a position for a part-time Parish Engineer. Upon closing of the Public Hearing, Councilman Doug de Graffenried made a motion to amend the Ordinance to cap the salary of the new position at $50,000 per year. The Ordinance passed with only Councilman Paige dissenting.
The Parish Council also let the award of a contract to Vector Disease Control Inc. for mosquito control services fail for lack of a motion. Had the contract been awarded, Vector would have provided trapping, testing and larvaciding services to the Parish in conjunction with the Parish’s adulticing efforts.
The introduction of an Ordinance to move the request of the Head Start Policy Council meetings to the Parish Council Board Room failed even though the Policy Council voted in favor of making the change. The Parish Council did vote to approve the School Calendar for the 2017-2018 School year.
Additional Parish business was voted on as follows:
Council to consider re-appointing Ms. Linda Jenkins to the Natchitoches Parish Library Board.
Council to consider Adoption of Ordinance 16-2017 to adjust Revenue of Insurance Claims, to add line items for expenses for: Building and Grounds, Winn rock Screenings and to adjust line items of gravel, Winn Rock and Bottom Ash.
Council to consider adopting Resolution 018-2017 permanent Change of Polling Places:
PRECINCT 1-4 AND l-4A (OLD MAGNET SCHOOL) TO NCHS BOYS GYM ALONG WITH PRECINCTS 1-9 AND 1-9A, 200 HWY 3110, NATCHITOCHES,LA 71457
PRECINCT 3-1 (MARTHAVILLE HERITAGE BUILDING) TO MARTHAVILLE FIRST BAPTIST CHURC ACTIVITIES BUILDING LOCATED AT LA HWY 120, MARTHAVILLE, LA 71450
PRECINCT 4-9 (LLAMB HEATING AND AIR BUILDING) TO CHRISTIAN WORSHIP CENTER LOCATED AT 1513 HWY 494, NATCHITOCHES, LA 71457
Council to consider adopting Resolution 019-2017 for temporary change of Polling Place:
Precinct 4-3 (St. Augustine Church Hall moving to 4-1 The Cypress Jury Voting Building, due to scheduling conflict at St. Augustine.
Council to consider a Resolution 020-2017 to scarify Shady Grove South Road.
Council to consider approving a resolution approving the issuance, sale and delivery of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000) of Limited Tax Bonds, Series 2017, of Fire Protection District No. 4 of the Parish of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana.
Council Approval of Settlement/Compromises, and Authorization for the Parish President to sign the Receipt and Release in the lawsuit captioned Morgan v. Natchitoches Parish Council, et al, currentlu pending in the 10th JDC, bearing Docket No. 87,534-a.
Council to consider approving a COLA increase for Head Start employees in the amount of $23,048.00