City Council supports ridesharing legislation, CEA fills Main Street Director vacancy 

State Senator Jay Luneau spoke to the Natchitoches City Council at its Feb. 25 meeting about ridesharing legislation.

Uber and Lyft could be operating in Natchitoches right now if they chose to. There’s nothing preventing them from doing so. Luneau said they chose not to, in this city and many others, because in his opinion they’re trying to hold the state of Louisiana hostage to come up with legislation that’s more favorable for them across the state. 

“It’s a business and of course they want to have the best package for them,” he said. “And I agree with that. I met with the vice president of Uber and I told him what I want.” 

  1. Be fair with people and don’t demand things that are unreasonable. These risdesharing companies want to operate like a taxi cab system but they want none of the regulations that taxi cabs have. People don’t like regulation but there are some safety concerns. Fingerprint background checks are important. There were about 10 cases of rape in Uber and Lyft this past year across the United States. It happens and there needs to be protection for the public. 
  2. There doesn’t need to be an arbitration clause when people sign up for Uber. Luneau said they’ll put it in the law that Louisiana law applies and you can go to court in Louisiana. If something were to happen in an Uber car and you wanted to sue Uber, you don’t want to have to go to California to do so.

The City council passed a resolution supporting the Louisiana Legislature to enact ridesharing legislation for transportation network companies setting forth a comprehensive, uniform, statewide set of regulations to ensure access to reidesharing is equally available to all residents of the state seeking to participate.

The City is dedicated to finding innovative and cost effective ways to expand available services for residents and visitors of Natchitoches. Increased transportation options and ridesharing, including services provided by Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), helps connect residents to opportunities for employment, education, commerce, art, and culture. Ridesharing also offers licensed drivers in good standing the opportunity to earn additional income on a flexible schedule.

In other business an introduced ordinance will authorize Mayor Lee Posey to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Historic District Business Association to fill the Main Street Director vacancy by having the HDBA undertake and fulfill the responsibilities of the position. 
 
The HDBA will continue to manage and coordinate the following events that are currently handled through Main Street: Bloomin’ on the Bricks, Celebration on the Cane, and Witch Way to Main Street. The HDBA will also undertake the following responsibilities: Provide Main Street quarterly reporting, attend Main Street quarterly meetings, monitor and oversee Union Pacific Grant, manage and coordinate riverbank/Beau Jardin rentals and promotion, coordinate with the Community Development Department and Public Works Department on all downtown events, participate in and manage Good Day Cenla and other radio promotions, seek and apply for grants for additional funding and take necessary steps to retain Main Street certification. 
 
The HDBA will provide these services through its Director of Festivals and Events Jill Leo. In exchange for these services, the City agreed to provide the following: annual payment of $9,000 as a salary supplement to the Director of Festivals and Events, furnished office space in the old Chamber building, continue to provide current office staff for Main Street offices, and reimburse expenses related to promotion of riverbank/Beau Jardin and maintaining Main Street certification.

PLANNING & ZONING – FINAL:

  • Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing Zoning Classification Of Property Described As Follows: Lot 17-A Of A Resubdivision Of Lots 16, 17, 18 And A Portion Of Lot 15, Block C Of East Natchitoches Addition As Shown On Map Slide 413-A and for variances of the side and front yard setbacks. (433A East Third St.)

ORDINANCES – FINAL:

  • Extend The City Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches Annexing A .256 Acre Tract, A .25 Acre Tract, And A 1 Acre Tract, All Of Said Tracts Being Owned By The City Of Natchitoches And Lying Adjacent To The Southeasterly Right Of Way Of Louisiana Highway 6, And Adjacent To The Existing Municipal Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches

ORDINANCES –  INTRODUCTION:

  • Amend The Geographical Boundaries Of Natchitoches Economic Development District C, State Of Louisiana; Extending The Levy And Collection Of An Existing 2% Hotel Occupancy Tax Into The Expanded Geographical Boundaries Of The District. No Registered Voters Reside In The Property Being Added To The District.
  • Enter Into A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement With Waterworks District Number 1 And Sheriff Victor Jones Regarding The Office Facility, Boat House And Related Piers And Docks

RESOLUTIONS:

  • Advertise And Accept Bids For The Electric Distribution Rehabilitation For Quida And Jackson Street.
  • Execute Change Order No. To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Progressive Construction Co., For The St. Denis Water Line Replacement And Street Rehabilitation Project.
  • Execute A Certificate Of Substantial Completion To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Progressive Construction For St. Denis Waterline Replacement And Street Rehabilitation Project.
  • Authorize The Aviation Fuels Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Titan Aviation Fuels, For The Purchase Of Aviation Fuels For Use Or Resale At The Natchitoches Regional Airport

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, March 11.