Sorrento Council meeting notes May 2

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
Sorrento Council reviews paperwork at town hall.

The Sorrento Council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 2. Among agenda items was a monthly reading of the police report, a bid for security cameras at the Community Center and a pay increase for the mayor and council.

Moving down the line items, in March the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office noted six accidents, two burglaries, two thefts, four cancelled alarms, six residential, nine business, 98 total calls, one loud music call, 12 citations and two arrests.

Next, Mr. Robert DeBate was appointed to represent Sorrento on the Keep America Beautiful Board. DeBate is a retired Motiva worker. Mayor Lambert called him about the position.

"Let's see what we can do for Sorrento," DeBate said.

Moreover, there are some parking issues on Amanda Street that were promised by Mayor Mike Lambert and the council to be looked into. Notably, Councilman Anny was absent.

A low bid was accepted by River Parish Security to add security cameras at the Community Center for the price of $3,950.

Next, there was a discussion for implementing new service fees for credit and debit card usage within the town limits. The town attorney suggested no lower than four percent, as compared to similar towns who charge up to six percent. The issue is simply covering usage costs in place by credit and debit card companies.

A motion passed afterwards to approve recommendation for zoning board for a zoning change request from R-1 to C-1 submitted by Tamara Schexnaydre, Greg Lambert, Rene Schexnaydre and Michael Lambert for properties at 9318 Airline Highway, 9331 Airline Highway and 9427 Airline Highway. Mayor Lambert and Donald Schexnaydre recused themselves from the vote because it was their property.

Then an interesting discussion came when the council introduced a pay increase for the mayor and council. There will be a public hearing on June 6. The last pay raise for the mayor and council came in 1984-85.

The council pay would increase $100 per month and the mayor's pay would be raised from $9,000 to $12,000 annually. For a frame of reference, the Donaldsonville council gets compensated $700 per month and the mayor makes $950. However, it was mentioned that the full-time mayor of White Castle makes $50,000 annually. The mayor of the village of Napoleonville makes $2,100 per month.

The ordinance will likely be voted on at the June 6 meeting. The 2017-18 budget ordinance will also be looked into then.

Lastly, DOTD issued a letter to Sorrento that they want to close Railroad Street. This is due to safety issues for the project in the works to provide a fast 79 mph passenger train between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

"They're going to do it whether we like it or not," Mayor Lambert said.