During the Natchitoches Parish Council meeting Monday night, June 17, Jan Frederick was re-appointed and Richard Johnson was appointed to the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission. However no one made a motion to approve the appointment of Mike Newton, President and Board Member of Exchange Bank, to the Natchitoches Parish Hospital Service District. This particular item died for lack of interest. As a side note, Kirk Soileau CEO of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is also an Exchange Bank Board Member, as well as John Luster, a local attorney. Exchange Bank is a “Fiscal Agent” for Parish Government.
In other business, an application was submitted for a 30-day extension until July 30 based on a reduced administrative staff to assist in the closeout of Head Start. The new grantee hasn’t been announced yet, but a meeting is scheduled for June 25. The Parish’s grant cycle ends June 30. More information will be released as soon as Head Start authorizes the Parish to do so.
Another agenda item was indefinitely postponed (motion made by Doug de Graffenried) until more information can be brought before the Council. The item was to consider adopting a resolution authorizing the Parish President to execute an agreement with the Natchitoches Community Alliance for economic development services. The amount, accrued over the past two years, is $18,000. The NCA is responsible for coordinating all economic development activity for Parish entities with Louisiana Economic Development. De Graffenried said that as broke as the Parish is, it’d be an $18,000 gamble it can’t afford. This comment came after Parish President Rick Nowlin explained that around 33 companies looked at bringing businesses to Natchitoches Parish last year. Natchitoches only made the “short list” with eight companies, but none committed to bringing business to the Parish. So, while Nowlin assured the Council there’s been a lot of effort toward economic development, there’s been no results.
Several zoning amendments were brought before the Council. One to change the zoning classification on a 23.57 acre parcel of land in Natchez required an amendment to change the wording from single family residence to commercial use for the construction of an RV Park. The ordinance was introduced so amended. This was done so as not to hold up the construction on the park too long. It will come up for a final vote at the July meeting.
Zoning Changes included:
Change zoning on lots 2 and 5 of Angler’s Paradise Park Subdivision along Hampton Road from R-2 Residential District for multi-family residences to an R-1 Residential District for single-family residences
Change zoning on a 1.87 acre parcel with an address of 761 Highway 504 from an RMH-1 Residence District for single family residences and manufactured homes to an R-3 Residence District for multi-family residences
Change zoning on lots A, B, C, and D of Angler’s Paradise Park Subdivision along Hampton Road from an R-2 Residential District for multi-family residences to an R-1 Residential District for single family residences
Other agenda items included:
Introduce Ordinance 010-2019 for a budget amendment to the Operating Budget for a highway fund amendment
Authorize Parish President to acquire a credit card from Exchange Bank in the name of the Natchitoches Parish Government. The card was previously in the former Treasurer’s name. With her departure, it was time to get a new card for the government as an entity
Adopt resolution of plans and policies, appointments and authorization of individuals for compliance with the LCDBG regulations
Approve that a Citizen Participation Plan/Citizen Complaint Procedure be adopted, and the Chief Administrative Official be appointed as Citizen Complaint Officer with the LCDBG program
Approve authorizing the Chief Elected Official to proceed with the development of the LCDBG proposal taking into consideration citizen participation requirements and views of the governing body
Authorize the Chief Elected Official to proceed with the procurement and selection of professional services for the purpose of assisting in the development of the LCDBG proposal and implementation of the project, if funded
Approve the continuing of the Natchitoches Times as the official Parish Journal for Natchitoches Parish
Award contract for the construction of Courthouse ADA Parking improvements to Page Builders LLC in the amount of $6,450
Approve that a Procurement Policy be adopted for compliance with the LCDBG program
Adopt Ordinance 008-2019 to adopt Amendment No. 1 to the 2019 Capital Improvements Budget