Jambalaya Park Spray Ground closes, financial decisions made

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

GONZALES –All council members were present at the Oct. 26 regular meeting of the mayor and his councilmen to discuss several agenda items in regards to property and city finances.

Before the official start of the agenda, Mayor Barney Arceneaux extended his congratulations to newly-elected parish councilman, John Cagnolatti, and city councilman, Kenny Matassa – who will face a runoff for parish president against Clint Cointment in Nov.

After the accepantace of Oct. 12 meeting minutes, Volunteer Ascension received approval to host its annual Community Family-Friendly Movie Night at Jambalaya Park. The event is scheduled to be held Dec. 12. Last year, as councilman Matassa explained, the temperature dropped very low during the event. This year, he offered for the program to utilize his outdoor heater, advising that other heaters may become available as the time nears.

A public hearing was held to declare the property at 1423 N. Toby Ave. as dangerous and dilapidated. DPW’s Jerry Self explained that the structure poses a danger to public welfare. A member of the public, Alsie Dunbar, requested, and was granted 90 days to acquire te property and have the structure demolished. Chief Sherman Jackson advised that he will set in place a ten-day notice for removal of the vehicles situated at the property.

Self also requested that Jambalaya Park Spray Ground be approved for closing on Oct. 27. The spray ground will reopen late spring.

A discussion of a resolution to authorize the mayor and treasurer to set up the Bond Redemption Sales Tax Fund – a public funds account to comply with the covenants of the DEQ State Revolving Loan. It was in February that the city received the $15 million loan from DEQ for upgrades to its sewer system and infrastructure.

According to city clerk Clay Stafford, the loan operates as a line of credit and is to be paid out as work is completed. The plan is for the city to repay the loan with funds generated by the 1989 half-cent sales tax approved for sewer system upgrades.

In her engineering report, city engineer, Jackie Baumann advised that work under the loan – rehabilitation of old sewer lines, treatment plant upgrades and regional lift stations – all have plans close to completion. The sewer line rehab portion is at the phase of pipe and manhole lining. Plans for treatment plant upgrades and and regional lift stations for Edenborne and Conway are all 90% complete.

A follow up discussion was held to accept W. Diez Street, S. Helen’s Way and W. Huey Street. At the Oct. 12 meeting, Baumann requested a hold on the acceptance of the streets as inspections showed that there were a few unfinished items from a punch list provided to contractors. As an update, Baumann advised the council that all items have been satisfied. After a discussion of who would maintain a pond situated in the area, the streets were accepted. The pond in question is listed as the property, and under the maintenance of the area’s Home Owners Association.

As part of the DPW report, Alvin Russo advised that concrete bids and fence bids have started coming in for the dog park. Some relaying, that is under warranty, will happen soon as recent heavy rains disrupted the property.

Russo also advised the council of an ongoing issue with cypress leaves clogging water meters throughout the city. The only bid received for the removal is $21,000, for which the city approved, as six companies were contacted and only one is willing to take on the project. The process may have to repeated in the future.