Council approves raises, zoning ordinance

Leslie D. Rose @Editor_Citizen

A two percent raise for city employees was approved by the Council at its April 25 meeting, with all councilmen voting in favor of the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget address.

Councilmen unanimously agreed to all ordinances of the budget, except Ordinance 3091 to adopt fiscal year 2016-2017 Capital Outlay Budget. Councilman Terance Irvin took issue with the removal of the possible addition of a basketball court from the ordinance. When advised that the recreation dept. didn't agree to the item, Irvin questioned a line item that would fund a potential baseball field. He motioned to have the baseball field also removed from the ordinance, which was denied for failure to receive a second. Irvin then voted against the ordinance, however it was approved 4-1.

A discussion to amend Chapter 13 Parks and Recreation to increase the rates of Civic Center rental will go to a final vote next week. Proposed increases rangefrom $50 to $100 depending on the event. If approved at the May 9 meeting, the new rates would go into effect in the new fiscal year, beginning June 1. The new rates only apply to bookings made after June 1, not previously scheduled events booked before the change. Rental fees would go from $700 to $800; nonprofit rates would increase from $500 to $600. For all renters, the security deposit would go from $200 to $250.

A larger discussion regarding sales taxes was held and approved a motion and final vote in support of the city keeping its own sales tax, as opposed to remitting to the state first.

A 2008 Harley Davidson and a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria were declared as surplus.

Alvin Broussard with DPW advised that bad weather has delayed sot placement at the dog park. Also in regards to bad weather, Broussard gave an update on the city's ditch-digging projects. Mayor Barney Arceneaux advised that the projects are by request and are on priority bases.

"We're going to get to everybody eventually," Arceneaux said. "It's priority-based."

Ditches are being dug in areas known for the heaviest flooding first.

In other water news, City Engineer, Jackie Baumann advised that she is researching possible projects for a Community Water Enrichment Grant that is due June 9. A pre-bid meeting for the regional lift station and force main construction was held on April 27 - bid opening is May 19.