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Gonzales City Council advances plans for wetlands area

Scott J. Anderson
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Gonzales City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Barney Arceneaux to acquire property known as Valentine Woods Subdivision, also referred to as Silverleaf.

The Gonzales City Council approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Barney Arceneaux to acquire Valentine Woods Subdivision. The area will be converted to a natural wetlands area.

“It allows the mayor to actually distribute the funds to purchase those properties,” said Jackie Baumann, chief engineer for the city.

The city will pay a total of $57,412.50 to purchase the 47 properties. The city will receive $72,000 from the USDA, which is buying the roads and infrastructure in the area from the city, Baumann said.

“The city is not coming out of our pocket with city funds to cover this project,” she said. “In the end, the city will own the property, and it will be protected as natural wetlands for eternity.“

The area will be planted with indigenous hardwood vegetation according to USDA guidelines, she said.

The council also advanced a plan to put a kayak launch at Jambalaya Park. The plan was proposed at the previous council meeting my resident Darrell Crawford. It was tabled until the council could confirm that the launch would be covered by the city’s insurance policy. After the vote, Arceneaux asked Crawford to consult with Public Works Director Alvin Broussard on Crawford’s plan for the launch.

“It won’t cost hardly anything,” Arecenaux said. “All it is is to build a little slide. We’re doing it near the dog park. There’s already parking back there. We want to put it right on the edge, to make it easier to slide the kayaks in. All we’ve got to do is build a ramp.”

In other council business:

  • The council adopted two related resolutions regard they city’s millage rates. The first resolution levies a millage rate of 5.17 for the general fund and 3.20 for the fire department on property with the City of Gonzales subject to ad valorem taxation for the year 2020. The second resolution raises those rates to 5.28 mills and 3.27 mills respectively.
  • The council approved reallocation of $34,000 for batting cages and $36,000 for a brick wall at Field No. 1 in Municipal Park from Capital Outlay to be used to fund construction of a concession stand and ADA-compliant restrooms for the new All Abilities Field, for a total of $70,000.