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Gonzales City Council introduces slate of ordinances

Scott J. Anderson
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Gonzales City Council introduced several ordinances that will return for a final vote in two weeks during its meeting Monday night. The ordinances include changes to planning and zoning code to salaries and budget amendments.

Five of the ordinances introduced Monday night would amend zoning ordinances. The would require developers to bring a drainage impact study when a preliminary plat is introduced for a potential development.

The council also introduced separate ordinances setting the salaries for Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux and Police Chief Sherman Jackson. Councilman Neal Bourque recommended the raised based on the merit of each man's performance in his job, he said. The proposed raise for Arceneaux is $5,865.60, or about 4.3 percent. The proposed raise for Jackson is $5,262.40, also 4.3 percent. Those raises include a 2 percent cost-of-living increase that is included in the budget proposal for all city employees.

The council introduced Budget Amendment 01, which amended the general fund, capital outlay and utility fund budgets for the 2020-2021 City of Gonzales budget. Among the highlights:

Sales tax collections have recovered from the pandemic. Sales taxes account for the largest source of revenues for the city. Based on current trends, the administration revised projected sales tax revenue for the current fiscal year from $14,500,000 to $14,900,000.

Growth in the city has caused data processing costs to increase, according to the amendment. Also, the expansion of the wastewater plant has increased utility and chemical costs. The administration requests a 21 percent increase in electrical utility funding in the amendment.

The administration is requesting $38,000 to upgrade the city's payroll and timekeeping software. The upgrade would result in cost savings. The administration also requested $3,500 to train code enforcement employees to keep up with increased permitting activity in the city. And the amendment also seeks a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for all city employees, effective Dec. 23.

Because of the pandemic, the city put off $45,000 in maintenance costs for the pool at Jambalaya Park and $80,000 in maintenance on Jambalaya Fountain. They city is requesting $13,000 for a third utility truck for the water and gas department.

The council also introduced an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinance Chapter 11, Garbage, Trash, Weeds and Wastes. Article III. Weeds and Grass (Change) Sec. 11-60 Notice to Property Owner, and (Change) Sec. 11-61. Failure to Comply, Removal by City.

Another ordinance was introduced to annex two tracts of land, owned by Expert Maintenance, into the City of Gonzales.

All of the ordinances introduced Monday night will be on the agenda for public discussion in two weeks.

In other action, the council:

  • Adopted a resolution for the administration to seek competitive bids for supplying fuel to the city.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing Arceneaux to sign an application for a loan in the amount of $8.5 million from Investar Bank in the name of the City, pledging the 2 percent hotel occupancy tax as the basis for repayment for the land acquisition, design and construction of the Price LeBlanc PACE Center.
  • Approved Ordinance No. 4125: An ordinance amending the Code of Ordinance Chapter 11. Garbage, Trash, Weeds and Waste to (ADD) Article V. Dead or Diseased Tree Removal.