Council celebrates, closes out 2015

Leslie D. Rose @Editor_Citizen

     GONZALES – At its last regular council meeting of 2015, Mayor Barney Arceneaux and his councilmen, along with Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson, City attorney Erin Lanoux and City clerk and finance director Clay Stafford, closed out 2015, and celebrated departing councilman, Kenny Matassa, who assumes the role of Ascension Parish President on Jan. 4, 2016.

     Minutes from the Nov. 23 council meeting were accepted, as well as minutes from the Dec. 7 meetings of the Planning and Zoning commissions.

     A final vote passed on Ordinance 3080 to amend the code of ordinance chapter three which references the length of time an annual permit is valid. The vote changes the period to reflect permits lasting one full year, as opposed to expiring in one calendar year, regardless of the month received in that year.

     Ordinance 3081 to amend the code of Ordinance chapter 18 regarding occupational license taxes was adopted. The amendment will clear up confusion in the code as it pertains to contractors and how their license tax fees are generated, whether as business or worker.

     A discussion was held to approve the submission of a grant application to the Louisiana Government Assistance Program for the fiscal year 2015-2016. The funds would be used to replace existing generators at water well 1 and water well 2, in efforts to maintain a safe and operational public water system that provides fire protection to residents.

     A discussion was also held to approve an amendment to the Mutual Use Agreement between the City of Gonzales and the Ascension Parish School Board (APSB). The only item removed from APSB’s portion of the Use Agreement is East Ascension High School gymnasium – the City will now pay a small fee to use the gymnasium. As well the City of Gonzales has removed shared usage of the Gonzales Swimming Pool, interested parties will now pay a small rental fee. 

     According to city engineer, Jackie Baumann, DOTD expects a public meeting in early 2016 to unveil the plan for the completion of the comprehensive study of proposed solutions for Ashland to I-10. The La. 44 pavement preservation submitted final plans to DOTD on Dec. 9. In recreation, amenities to the dog park including benches, waste receptacles, signs and concrete construction has begun.

     The meeting closed out festively as a 17-year-old dancer, Matthew Cole Deloch, received a proclamation and the key to the city, and outgoing councilman, Parish President-elect – Kenny Matassa – received kind remarks and an award of appreciation.

     2016 Council meeting dates have yet to be released.