Council introduces ride sharing ordinance

Brandie Richardson @B_Lifestyles

On Thursday, Parish President Kenny Matassa introduced a ride sharing ordinance that would allow drivers of personal vehicles to provide taxi services to residents. The ap-based taxi-service alternatives would include the popular Uber and Lyft.

"If this ordinance passes, we will be the first suburban parish in the Baton Rouge area to allow for this service," Matassa said.

The ride sharing ordinance was unanimously introduced by the council.

During a public hearing held for amendments to the 2016 budget, Ascension Parish resident Jeff Pettit voiced his concerns regarding the $250,000 set aside for engineering reviews for preliminary plats.

"The administration promised us, promised this council and promised the citizens of Ascension Parish that this proposal would be revenue neutral, it would not cost the tax payers anything," Pettit said. "We we were promised and the promise has not yet been kept yet.This does not need to cost the taxpayers any more money."

Pettit asked the council to consider eliminating the item from the budget and imposing a moratorium on new subdivisions until the administration can come back with a different revenue neutral proposal.

Chief Administrative Officer Ken Dawson assured the council that the $250,000 would be paid by the developers, not out of tax payers pockets.

The council unanimously approved the budget amendment.

A resolution was passed for a special election to be held on Nov. 8 regarding the renewal of a road lighting tax that is set to expire this year. If passed, the renewal of the levy tax collection would be over a ten year period, from 2017 to 2026, in order to provide funds to equip district seven with lighting.

The condemnation of the property located at 10313 Joe Jackson Road was discussed. The council granted the owner, Dora Jackson, a 60-day extension to find funds to demolish the two-story building.

The council made a recommendation to appoint Brian Melancon for the Interim Justice of the Peace for the Second Justice Court in Ascension Parish. Elections for the permanent position will be held later this year.

An ordinance was introduced authorizing the Parish to purchase property for sewer program improvements in Hillaryville, Darrow and St. Elmo areas.

Chairman Randy Clouatre announced that a public hearing will be held at the July 7 Parish Council meeting to discuss the adoption of millage rates for the year.