Most of Monday night’s City Council meeting, June 11, was housekeeping items as the City enters its new fiscal year. However, Mayor Lee Posey did bring up a few issues before the meeting officially started.
The City’s 5-year contract with Waste Connections for recycling and garbage pickup in the City limits is up on Dec. 31. If everything were to stay the way it is, rates would have to be increased.
“That’s how big the difference is,” said Posey, referring to the difference between what they’re paying now and the figures they’re receiving during contract negotiations. They can’t reveal any figures during these negotiations, but Posey said if the City retains recycling, it’s going to be very expensive.
The City is looking at doing away with recycling and/or back door garbage pick up services. Currently they’re looking over four different options on the bid package. A public hearing will be held before one of the July Council meetings (date TBA) and the Council will vote on the matter at its first meeting in August.
Moving on to another garbage issue, Posey said he’s frustrated with the trashiness of Natchitoches and that the City and residents can do better. The issue includes litter, abandoned cars and vacant lots becoming overgrown. Posey suggested the Council look at the current fines they have set in place and consider increasing them to be more aggressive about keeping Natchitoches clean.
Littering is becoming a problem in Natchitoches, and Council members discussed the number of food containers that people throw out of vehicles. The fine for a first time offense is $300 and it increases to $500 for a third offense.
Currently the City uses a contract service to mow neutral areas, but according to City ordinances, these areas are the property owners’ responsibility. There’s abandoned cars left up on blocks in peoples’ yards and if there’s not an inspection sticker the City can tag them for removal. There are vacant lots around town that aren’t being kept up and it brings the whole neighborhood down.
“We’re a tourist attraction,” said Posey. “We can’t have people trashing up this town.”
In other business, Council member Don Mims presented a proclamation to Staff Sergeant Morgan Fuller declaring June 14, 2018 as US Army Day in commemoration of the Army’s 243rd birthday in Natchitoches.
Other agenda items included:
PLANNING & ZONING – INTRODUCTION:
Change Zoning Classification of Property at 1746 Texas Street from R-1 Residential to B-1 Commercial to Operate the Milestone Consulting Services Office
ORDINANCES – FINAL:
Enter into a Lease of the Hayfield Under Fence at the Natchitoches Waste Water Treatment Plant at End of Laird Fletcher Road for Hay Operations with Glenn Byles
Approve a Conveyance of a 2.09 Acre Tract of Land in Section 74, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, to TSTR Enterprises LLC for $62,700
Fix Time, Day, Date and Place of City Council Meetings for the Next 12 Months.
Establish Meeting Times and Places of: Natchitoches Planning Commission, Historic District Commission, Airport Advisory Commission, and Waterworks District No.1.
Appoint Charles Whitehead III, Rev. Bobby Claiborne, Michael D. Lewis, Rickey McCalister, Jamie Flanagan, Issac Lewis, Jacob Cooper, and Ron Brown to the City Planning Commission
Appoint Jared Dunahoe, Dr. Virginia Crossno, Sharon Gahagan, Sr. Steve Horton, Melissa Robinson, and Marion Salter to the Natchitoches Historic District Commission
Appoint Stacy McQueary as Clerk of the Council
Appoint Ronald E. Corkern Jr. as the City Attorney and Daniel T. Murchison Jr., Cloyd Benjamin Jr., Steven D. Crews, J. Chris Guillet, and Lisa V. Johnson as Assistant City Attorneys
Appoint the firm of Johnson, Thomas and Cunningham as the City’s Auditor
Appoint MidSouth Bank as the City’s Fiscal Agent
Designate the Natchitoches Times as the Official Legal Journal for the City
Execute an Extension Agreement to a Claims Administration Service Contract Entered into Between Hammerman & Gainer, Inc. and the City to Extend the Term for a Period of 2-years Beginning on July 1, 2018 and Ending on June 30, 2020.
Enter into a Contract with Hub International Gulf South for the One Beacon Insurance Group Casualty Package Insurance Renewal Effective June 30, 2018 Through June 30, 2019.
Enter into a Maintenance Agreement, Including Mowing and Litter Pickup, with the State of Louisiana, Department of Transportation and Development, Office of Engineering Beginning July 1, 2018 Through June 30, 2019.
Appoint Michael Moulton, Don Mims, Lynn Stevens, Tom Matuschka, Michael Bridges, Lisa Wiggins, Josh Axsom, Monica Llorence, Brian Hicks, Johnny Barnes, Feamula Bradley, Carl Walters III, and Linda Queen to the Mayor’s Health And Fitness Council
Advertise for Bids for the 2017-2018 Street Rehabilitation Program, Phase 2 (Bid No. 0610)
Execute Change Order No. 5 to the Contract Between the City and Regional Construction, LLC For The 2017 Street Rehabilitation Program (Bid No. 0603)
Appoint Cloyd Benjamin Jr. to Fill the Unexpired Term of Andrew Vallien as a Member Of The Board Of Directors of The Industrial Development Board of the City
The next scheduled City Council meeting will be June 25, 2018.