The Natchez Village Council met Thursday, August 3 at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The Mayor, Police Chief, Village Attorney, Aldermen Hoover and Sarpy and the head of the Sewage Department were all present as were approximately 10 citizens. Alderman Johnson was absent as was the village clerk.
After the meeting opened, Chief of Police Michael Gillie, Jr. gave a report, stating that there was nothing new to report as to crime.
Cleave Davis of the Sewer Department reported a problem with one of the lift stations and oxidation pond. There are also problems with some worn manhole covers that need replacing as they allow sewage to escape.
Mayor Patsy Ward Hoover gave her report. She thanked the residents who have worked so hard to clean up the village. She stated that there are two additions to the agenda, an acceptance of a donation of a police vehicle from the city of Haughton and a donation of a plaque from Campbell Monuments honoring the mayor and administration.
The council failed to approve the minutes from the May 4, 2023 meeting due to lack of an offer or second. This occurred after an exchange between aldermen Hoover and Sarpy, the mayor, and village attorney Alex Washington over the nature of the minutes. Alderman Hoover was adamant that the minutes needed to be a verbatim record. Attorney Washington stated that the law only required a listing of actions taken and a summary. While the council is free to do as they wish, there is no legal requirement to have a verbatim transcript. This marks the second consecutive meeting at which the previous minutes have not been approved.
There were no appointments to boards or commissions.
There was a first introduction of an ordinance 009-2023 authorizing an agreement to hire the certified public accounting firm, Chad Garland, for the Village of Natchez. After discussion between the mayor and aldermen, this ordinance failed due to no offer or second.
Likewise, an introduction of ordinance 010-2023 to remove funds from the American Rescue Plan in the sum of $1,000.00 to be used as a retainer for the CPA failed for lack of an offer and second.
The council adopted resolution 009-2023 to submit an application in the amount, and not to exceed $2,000,000.00 to the Department of Environmental Quality on behalf of the Village of Natchez for funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program. The resolution passed with both aldermen present voting yes.
The council adopted resolution 010-2023 plans for the new Municipal Complex. Both aldermen present voted yes after alderman Hoover expressed concerns about the location of a door.
The council tabled designating funds from the American Rescue Plan to the Village of Natchez Police Department in the amount of $2,100.00. This was intended to cover expenses related to the new police vehicle.
The council approved the donation of a police vehicle from the Louisiana Haughton Police Department. Both aldermen present voted yes.
The council approved the donation of a monument from Campbell Monument Company. Both aldermen present voted yes.
The council accepted plans for the new Municipal Complex. Both aldermen present voted yes.
As for non-agenda items: Mr. Hamilton asked as to what time the meeting started as it was already going on when he arrived. He also asked about the village not cutting grass in ditches by his property. Ms. Porter reported that the local fire district had changed its meeting dates. Ms. Brown has several concerns about dogs running loose and overgrown grass on some properties in the village.
The meeting ended, but was not adjourned as there was no offer, second or vote to adjourn. The quorum was lost when the aldermen exited the building.