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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH COUNCIL

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, STATE OF LOUISIANA

TAKEN A REGULAR MEETING HELD, MONDAY,

April 15, 2019

5:30 p.m.

 

The Natchitoches Parish Council met in regular and legal session in the Council Board Room of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, on Monday, April 15,2019 for a Regular of Natchitoches Parish Council meeting at five (5:30) o’clock p.m. and for the Natchitoches Parish Council Meeting.

 

The Parish of Natchitoches was then convened as the governing authority by Chairman Patsy Ward Hoover who stated that the Parish was ready for the transaction of business.

 

The invocation was given by Chairman Rodney Bedgood and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Councilman Russell Rachal.

 

After the roll call there were present Chairman Rodney Bedgood and Council: Russell Rachal, Doug de Graffenried, and Chris Paige.

Patsy Ward-Hoover came in after the roll call was done.

Absent: None.

The Parish Council Clerk at this time would like to amend the agenda to add items:

  1. Council to consider approving audit engagement agreement for 2018 Audit with Thomas, Cunningham, Broadway, and Todtenbier. CORRECTION: “Council to consider approval of the proposed engagement letter from Thomas, Cunningham, Broadway and Todtenbier for services in connection with the audit of the Parish’s control and compliance areas identified in the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Statewide Agreed-Upon Procedures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018.”
  2. Authorize the Parish President to enter into an agreement with a management consulting firm for the provision of temporary accounting services required due to the departure of the Parish Treasurer
  3. Council to consider authorizing the Parish President to sign and execute a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the residents of Beau Vista for the resurfacing of Beau Vista Road, pending the approval of a budget amendment for the Parish’s portion of the funding.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby amend the agenda to add:

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood               Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item was to recognize any invited guests. There was none.

Chairman, Bedgood stated the next agenda item we will hear the report of the Public Works Director, Mr. John Richmond. Mr. Richmond had already sent his reports and asked were there any questions or comments.   Mr. Richmond, replied, “In the month of March we did about 229 jobs around the Parish. We did get some Winn Rock, but it wasn’t enough, but we did get another form of material from another vendor since Winn Rock wasn’t available to meet our needs”

Councilman, Rachal, asked, “Where are we at on Bermuda Road? Because I got a text from a resident that said her caregiver is trying to quit her because of the road.” Mr. Richmond replied, “I understand the new material that we got out of Texas, dream rock that’s what it’s typically known as. It’s somewhat like Winn Rock but a different color and holds tight a little bit better actually we’re going to try that in some of the worst patches on Bermuda Road and let that stockpile dry a day or two and put it down to see how it works. Just going down the road patching is not going to fix the problem so we’re going to try this new material and do some on Fish Hatchery to see how it works.”

Councilman Rachal, asked “So you’re looking to start in a few days?” Mr. Richmond, responded, “I hope to start putting some material out tomorrow, if not tomorrow, I’m shooting for Wednesday, to get it down before the rain.” Chairman, Bedgood asked, “Is that the green rock? We have used it before.” Mr. Richmond, responds, “Yes, Sir, we’re putting it down in some areas, testing, but not around the whole Parish and have a problem with it. We want to see how it works on some of these asphalt roads for holding and filling in the gaps.”

Councilwoman, Hoover, wanted to ask a question, “Are you the only one now, Public Works Director that is on staff now?” Mr. Richmond, answered, “Yes, ma’am.” Councilwoman Hoover responded, “So you’re not paying anybody else other than yourself?” Mr. Richmond answered, “Mr. Townsend last day was April 3rd or 4th was his last day, whenever that pay period was over, that was his last day.”

Chairman, Bedgood, then recognizes Ms. Sharon Harris, OCS/Head Start Executive Director, she gave her reports in the Council’s packets and wanted to know if they had any questions, comments or concerns on the reports. Ms. Harris wanted to inform the Council by saying, “There was one addition I made which was Exhibit 1A, it’s a production report to see what vendors is receiving.”   

Chairman, Bedgood, then recognizes Parish Treasurer Interim Lynda Vance all reports were mailed out to the Council members. Mrs. Vance, begins by saying, “I requested all questions to be sent to Mr. Nowlin, by 9:30 this morning, so I would have enough time to prepare for responses, to my knowledge no questions was submitted.”

Councilwoman, Hoover, responded, “No, but I do have a question. I would like to know under the American Express $599.00 was paid to you and at that time Mrs. Vance, replied, “No ma’am that was paid to Ashworth College for a continuing education course.” Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “For who?” Mrs. Vance, replied, “For me.” Councilwoman, Hoover responded, “So now we’re now paying for Continuing Education for persons?” Mrs. Vance, replied, “Yes, ma’am if it pertains to their job.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “A College online we’re paying for you to continue your education, so that can apply to any Parish Government employees can do that, I’m I correct? If one person can do it, then every employee should be able to go online and continue their education, it’s time out, that one person is allowed to do somethings, let’s let everybody know that they can do continuing Education and the Parish is going to pay for it.”

Parish President, responded, “When a Department Head contacts me and tells me that they have an employee that needs some additional training in an area, in an area they’re working in, maybe they’re doing some cross-training, I would look at it to see if it’s beneficial to the Parish before I approve it.  We don’t approve all requests for everybody just because they request it, it has to be tangible to the Parish.”  Councilwoman, Hoover again spoke saying, “That is just not an answer for me because, I don’t see, but you’re saying if any persons calls you and say I want someone, Mr. John, do you mind if I use you, use your name?” Mr. Richmond, responds, “I don’t mind.” Councilwoman, continues, “He is with the Highway Department and now there’s a company and we want him to do Continuing Education courses, would we allow him to continue his Education on-line?”

Parish President, replied, “I’m glad you brought that up, because the Louisiana Department of Transportation Development has regular classes for Engineers and people in road Construction business in public offices, they need to learn more about modern techniques and materials and we have routinely done that and I see no problem with that.” Councilwoman, Hoover asked, “When did you do that?” Tell me when, you only been here only four.” Parish President, replied, “Yes we have done this in the past.” Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Did you do this for Mr. Townsend?” Parish President, responds, “Not as I recall.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “I’m just trying to see who you did it for.” Parish President response, “I attend a DOTD…. And Councilwoman Hoover, stated, “You’re the Parish President.” Parish President, responded, “I had to approve it.” “You had to approve yourself?”, Councilwoman, Hoover asked. Parish President, replied, “Absolutely, I have to approve everything.” I’m not talking about the Parish President; I’m talking about all the other employees.” Parish President replied, “I don’t know the specific’s, I may have done it for Mr. Verret, the Parish for years the Louisiana Board of Parish Engineers and Road Supervisors they had conferences and classes, which was short courses to make sure you’re keeping up to speed in your profession and doing things in the right manner and taking advantage of modern material and techniques, if you want us to stop, you just need to say so, but I think it’s valuable to the Parish to do that, just like last weekend you went to a Conference in Alexandria.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “Yes, I did.” Parish President, replied, “I approve that without any questions.”  Councilwoman, replies, “That’s the Louisiana Association for Juror’s.” Parish President replied, “What was that Conference? Councilwoman Hoover replied it was the Louisiana Black Heritage Conference, I’m sorry Black Caucasus.” Parish President, responded, “Black Caucasus, okay.” Councilwoman Hoover continues, to say, “That’s part of the Police Juror’s Association.” Parish President, “I’m sure you learned somethings that would be beneficial to the Parish.” Councilwoman, Hoover replied, “And there is going to be some more and I want to see if you approve those, but you don’t have to approve those because that’s not for you to approve, the only thing you approve, and it really shouldn’t be you, but it should be the Treasurer and this body, but under the Police Jury Association you can’t say whether I go or not, that’s not, your call.” Parish President replied, “That’s the reason I approve it.” Councilwoman Hoover replied, you approved it because we didn’t have a Treasurer in placed and the credit card was not working, so you were the only person who could have approved it,
Am I correct?” Parish President, replied, “You’re absolutely correct. That’s why I approved it.” Councilwoman Hoover continued to express her dissatisfaction with paying for one employee to take online continuing education classes for certain people, I’ve never seen it on here before that’s why I’m questioning it, on here ever for almost four years that I’ve been here, I haven’t ever seen no other employee taking an online class.”

Parish President, responded, “Mrs. Hoover if you have a question, I’m in my office almost everyday and you’re free to call me anytime.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “Yes, you always made that available I understand.”

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Interim Director of Planning and Zoning Mr. David Kees, Jr. Mr. Kees, begins by saying, “I actually got the permit report into your packages this month along with the invoice we got from IBTS to see what we took in and what we paid out. We took in about $13,700 and we paid out about out $9900.00, but I do want to draw your attention, Mr. Rachal asked at the last meeting if I can do a comparison with what we pay IBTS and if we had a new Director in place. I did put some information in front of you-all this evening.”

Councilwoman, Hoover, repeated, “This evening, why so late, David?” Mr. Kees, replied, “I been working on this for over a week now, my day is jam pack from start to finish and I was trying to get this out as quickly as possible. I can point you to some highlights, which I have highlighted.” Mr. Kees went over the report that was given to the Council and from that report Mr. Kees was giving them a comparison of if they had a Planning and Zoning Director and with them using IBTS instead of having a Director. Mr. Kees explained that the contract with IBTS expires at the end of June and they had time to compare and make a choice when it’s that time.

Councilman Rachal, asked, “The vehicle that was being used by the former Director, we don’t have that vehicle anymore?” Mr. Kees, responded, “Yes, we still have that vehicle, as of now.”

Parish President, responded, “We still have the vehicle, and if we don’t hire anyone, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office had an interest in purchasing it.” During this time Mr. Kees and Parish President, Rick Nowlin was telling everyone the search for a Building Official and Director of Planning and Zoning isn’t going to be easy. Mr. Kees report was based on a salary of $72,000 for a Planning and Zoning Director/Building Official. Councilman Paige also stated the Planning and Zoning Department always held it’s own and never had went in the red and he feels this company is much more than having a person in there doing the job.

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Parish President.

Parish President stated, begins his report talking about Payne Subdivision.

     CAPITAL PROJECTS:

Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase I

The state Facility Planning and Control has approved the reduction in the project scope to bring the cost of the project within the funds available at this time.  This means that Phase I is being divided into two separate projects.  The first project budget is approximately $267,000, which amount includes the Parish match of approximately $67,000. Public bids were received and opened on April 10, 2019.  The lowest bid was submitted by Cross Keys Construction, LLC, of Shreveport, Louisiana in the amount of $200,426.71.  The bid tabulation and recommendation for award will be submitted to Louisiana Facility Planning and Control for its review and approval prior to issuance of the Notice of Award to the successful contractor.    

Courthouse Security Improvements

As reported during the January meeting, the Parish has also requested and received authorization from Facility Planning and Control to combine two locally funded courthouse projects with the state capital outlay project.  These projects are closely related to the state project and would need to be performed at the same time.  By combining the projects, the Parish will gain the benefit of closer coordination of the design and construction and of cost efficiencies from the larger project.  These two locally-funded projects are the replacement of the electrical service equipment ($450,000 budget) and the inmate access to the courthouse ($150,000 budget).   Funds for these two projects are in the existing Parish capital budget.

The architect met with the Parish on Tuesday, March 19th, to review the preliminary design conceptual plan.  At that time, the architect presented several design alternatives with each having an estimated cost of construction.  Although the basic plan alternative would address many of the security issues, it would require some desirable features to be constructed in a future project.  The Parish has initiated discussions with the State to determine if the State would be able to increase the amount of State funds for the project.  We are also reviewing the Parish capital improvements program to determine if additional funds can be dedicated to this important project.  As soon we learn the amount of additional State funds, if any, that may be available, we will know the amount of local funds required to complete the project with all desired features.  At that time, the Parish administration will offer an amendment to the Parish capital improvements budget for the Council’s consideration. 

ADA COMPLIANCE

HC Ramp (Main Courthouse): We met with the architect to review possible design revisions to the HC ramp.  As soon as the design is finalized and a new cost estimate is available, we will re-advertise the project.  An increase in the project budget may be necessary in order to complete the project. 

In view of the delay in getting the project constructed, the Parish plans to move forward with the construction of the new handicap parking spaces in the NPSO parking lot.  These spaces are needed for handicapped persons who must enter the courthouse through the NPSO door on the west side of the courthouse.  The plan will be taken from the ramp project and quotes will be obtained from qualified contractors.  

PARISH EOC OPERATIONS

On March 28th, the Parish participated in a day-long training session at its new Emergency Operations Center that was organized by GOHSEP and the Parish NPSO.    Also, participating were the Parish 911 staff, LA National guard, City of Natchitoches, various fire districts, NRMC, LA W&F, CRWC, RRWC, local animal rescue and many others.

On April 5th, the Parish participated in a mock disaster response exercise that was based on an extreme weather event that caused heavy flooding.  Governor John Bel Edwards attended the exercise and witnessed simulated rescue operations and was briefed on the local command and control operations performed at our EOC.  This exercise was very beneficial to those agencies that participated and should allow all of us to respond properly when a real emergency occurs.

PARISH WATER SYSTEM PROBLEMS

Several our small, rural water systems are experiencing problems in the operation and maintenance of their systems, including the employment of certified system operators.  This has resulted in violations of state water regulations.  To address these problems, Ms. Leslie Durham of the governor’s office arranged a meeting on April 1, 2019, in Natchitoches, to discuss the problems and to start the search for solutions.   Those in attendance included representatives of LA Rural Water Systems office, City of Natchitoches, various rural water systems, U.S. D.A. Rural Development, the Parish and others.  Approximately 30 state and local officials participated in the meeting.

Although no specific plan of action was identified and agreed upon, the meeting was beneficial because it helped all present understand the magnitude of the problem and some possible solutions that may provide solutions to our water systems. 

Parish will work with the governor’s office, federal and state agencies and its local partners to jointly address these problems.

After the conclusion of the Parish President report, Councilwoman, Hoover asked, “Is the Treasurer Department have been working nights and weekends? Parish President responds, “That office has been working nights and weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, since Ms. Miley left.” Councilwoman, Hoover, responded, “My reasons for asking is simply because Parish Government is opened between the hours of 8-4:30 and I’m just trying to find out why we’re working in the evenings and at night. Also, have our keys for that department has been turned in? The third question, how long did the Parish Treasurer worked after she left to go to the city of Natchitoches?”

Parish President responds, “Sure, Why we’re working evenings and nights because we have to get our accounting data for the annual audit, requires they work over, something we do every year, year round it’s not unusual for the Treasurer, the Purchasing Agent and others to put in a lot of overtime, sometimes 60 hours a week, to the best of my knowledge, Ms. Miley has turned in all Parish equipment and the reason why we don’t have a credit card because the only card was in her name and when she left the credit card was shredded, we have to apply for a new credit card in a different name, but in the meantime it hasn’t caused us any problems, when I took over there was multiple credit cards and each Department had a credit card, and we ended that practice. How long did the Treasurer worked evenings and weekends up to April 7, 2019 she worked 12 hours on Saturday and 9 hours on Sunday, and she didn’t work along there was people there working along with her, Mrs. Vance has worked, and Mrs. Bryant has worked, and Mrs. Creamer has worked but not as many hours as Lynda, but they all has worked trying to get our books together, it’s not only the audit but the physical year for Head Start and we have 90 days to turn those books over and that takes effort also, so they’re putting up what the job dictated and I should point out all of them are salary individuals, Ms. Miley is paid a rate per hour from the time she worked from us compared to the rate she made as Parish Treasurer, she was a part time employee and she didn’t receive any employee benefits.” Councilwoman, Hoover replied, “She didn’t get any benefits, but she did get paid money for coming in night, I’m just trying to figure out if we’re opened from 8 to 4:30 and you’re doing evening and night work, the Courthouse is closed, I just have a problem with that, I also want to know…” and at this time the Parish President told her she could hire some more people if you can find the money to hire them. Councilwoman, Hoover continued, “We’ve been this all these years… and the Parish President came in and said, “With more people.” And Councilwoman, Hoover, continued by saying, “No, So, she no longer has a key and she’s no longer affiliated with Parish Government is that correct?” Parish President, replied, “That’s correct, after she turned in her resignation on February 22nd effective March 22nd that was a Friday and I met her and agreed before she left us in a terrible bind, I talked to Ms. Miley and she agreed to work on a part time basis, if her new employee would approved, and her new employer did approve, as long as it didn’t affect her work there, he was okay with it and if it didn’t last forever, and it didn’t it lasted form March 25 to April 7 about 2 weeks. We can still use her, but I don’t think she’s interested in coming back to help us anymore.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “I just believe if you go to the City, you resigned from the Parish and you go to the City then you need to stay to the City and not come back to the Parish bouncing, you need to work for the City or work for the Parish, she had that option.” Parish President, responded, “That is fine, I could have told her that, but that would have been cutting our own throats if we’ve done that, she did certain things that only Mrs. Miley could do.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “I’m not only speaking about Mrs. Miley, I’m talking about any employee.” Parish President, replied, “That would be ideal, but we don’t live in an ideal world.” Councilwoman, Hoover, responded, “You can’t serve two masters. You can work for one or the other.” Parish President, replied, “We was fortunate that she was willing to do it.” Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “How are you coming along with the interviews for the Treasurer position?” Parish President responded, “We have been conducting interviews and we have not yet hired a Treasurer. Hopefully we’re have one to bring to you at the May meeting; so, it’s up to your approval, you approve the person and the salary.” Parish President then expressed how grateful he was for Ms. Miley and the other ladies who have been putting in all the overtime.

Chairman, Bedgood stated the next item to adopt the minutes of the regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, March 18, 2019.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt the minutes of the    regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, March 18, 2019.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:      

           Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

           Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approval of the proposed engagement letter from Thomas, Cunningham, Broadway and Todtenbier for services in connection with the audit of the Parish’s control and compliance areas identified in the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Statewide Agreed-Upon Procedures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018.

Councilman, Paige, stated, “It was a lot of discussion at the last meeting and I don’t hear nothing now, but it doesn’t matter.”

At this time Councilman, Rachal offered it, but there was silence and at this time Mrs. Vance, stated, “I need to remind you this is required by law.”

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the proposed engagement letter from Thomas, Cunningham, Broadway and Todtenbier for services in connection with the audit of the Parish’s control and compliance areas identified in the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Statewide Agreed-Upon Procedures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows: 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman Paige           Motion Didn’t Pass

Parish President stated we already have the same firm under contract for our annual financial this additional work is required by State Law and it to audit the new policies and procedures we had to put into effect changes that was made by the Legislative Auditor Office. It makes sense to me to have the same firm doing our financial audit to also do these things. What will happen we’ll have a financial audit and leave this section out and it will be a finding against the Parish for this, I expect.”

Councilman de Graffenried, asked, “When did we approve the Contract to do the audit?” Parish President, responded, “I think we approved a 2-year contract.” Mrs. Carolyn Roy wanted to know the next step. Parish President was sure what the next step was. At this time Councilman de Graffenried wanted to speak, “I think the word that comes to mind is cozy, they have been auditing the Parish for 20-years and best practices you don’t have an auditor auditing your books that long. You have someone new to come in and look and asked what’s that pile of paper there in the corner, my objection is that we need new sets of eyes.”     

Parish President, replied, “I understand that, I guess we need to find out if we need to let the firm know to do this years audit and cut it off after this year tell them we want to terminated the agreement after this year and let someone else, at some point we’re going to need some directions from the Council.”

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider putting on the ballot to letting the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

Chairman Bedgood wanted to let everyone know he put this on the agenda because he had gotten calls asking him to put the item on the agenda from his District and others District, and he said he would, Chairman, Bedgood did stated, ”It’s up to yawl to vote how you want to vote, not me, I’m not trying to sway anybody to vote in any direction, so you vote how you want to vote.”

At this time Councilman Rachal wanted to know if this was considered old business since it was brought up before and voted on. So, the Parish Attorney Stephen Mansour said the item should be listed under new business since a similar item had already been voted on and defeated. Mr. Mansour advised that it be listed under new business on the May agenda. Chairman, Bedgood, said, “I want to do it the right way, just put it on the May agenda.”

Councilman Paige, wanted to speak, “I had a time allowing the people to vote on a tax that we voted on recently and I said so, when they brought it up, but I wasn’t going to stand in the way of people voting and I would think people should feel the same way, what do you have to fear to allow our constituents to vote, this is America, I think people have the right to vote on the form of government that governs, it’s unfair that we put a tax to them and tell them to vote on it, but the form of government we can’t allow the people to vote on what governs them, through some technicality, that’s a bit much.”

Councilman Paige continued to express his relationship with Mr. Nowlin and how he felt, you don’t know what you’re going to get for the next four years or so. At this time Parish President expressed no one knows how the election is going to turn out, he thinks the people of this Parish is going to elect and good President and good Council. Parish President wanted to let people know that he couldn’t forget the problems that was under the Police Jury things was bought by COD and it was a 32-hour work week because bills couldn’t be paid and a million-dollar debt to the Sheriff’s office for the Detention Center. Councilwoman Hoover also had to make known there was problem under the Police Jury and there are problems with Parish Government.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Authorize the Parish President to enter into an agreement with a management consulting firm for the provision of temporary accounting services required due to the departure of the Parish Treasurer.

Parish President, stated, “I’ve been contacting some firms and I don’t have a firm today, and I don’t have a cost, and if you would want to amend the agenda today to say subject to approval by the chairman, however; you want to do it, I know it’s a good chance we’re going to need help and since Ms. Miley is gone we’re going to need some help, we’re seeking to get help from Head Start Regional to help with our Head Start grant but there is other things outside of Head Start and one thing we can not do is fail to get our accounting information over to the auditing firm because it’s time for them to complete their auditing report and submit it to the Legislative Auditor for that deadline, which is June 30th.”

Councilman Paige begins, “Mrs. Miley, is not the first time, treasurer left here, and we hired people and we have an interim and we need to move forward with hiring someone in that position. I’m not for paying another consultant fee, it’s just not good practice for what I’m concerned, I believe this can be managed better than that.”

Parish President, replied, “It’s that the rule of the Council; so be it, but I’m not going to let my people know I’m expecting them to work 60 hours a week, do what they can do at a reasonable time and we’ll get it finished on time or we want, and that’s okay, and we’ll just go from there.”

Councilman, Rachal, stated, “Reading on your report, you stated interviews has already been completed, correct? And do you know how far you are from presenting a name?” Parish President, responded, “It will be at the next meeting, if I get a name next week, I’ll asked if you want to call a special meeting and approve it, but I’ll let the Chairman know, but hopefully for the May meeting.” Councilman, Rachal, continued to ask, “Will it be another round of interviews?” Parish President, responded, “It might be if one of the top 3 doesn’t accept the job, if we don’t make some type of deal on the position and salary and those type of things, we can see if possible if others we could possibly use.” Councilman Rachal, “Wasn’t it an opening and closing date to get those applications?” “Yes, and if we don’t find one from this list of candidates, then we’ll have to open it back up and re-advertise.” replied the Parish President. Councilwoman, Hoover wanted to know how many that were there applied for the position. The Parish President believed he had 26 applicants and 2/3 of them didn’t have the basic education and the remainder didn’t have experience in accounting.

Councilwoman, Hoover suggested of hiring a firm and let them do everything and not hire a treasurer and the President said, “I’ll be happy to request some proposals if you like.”

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby Authorize the Parish President to enter into an agreement with a management consulting firm for the provision of temporary accounting services required due to the departure of the Parish Treasurer.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman Paige           Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider authorizing the Parish President to sign and execute a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the residents of Beau Vista for the resurfacing of Beau Vista Road, pending the approval of a budget amendment for the Parish’s portion of the funding.

Mr. Skeeter Perot came up to speak and he had two proposals one from Gillespie and the other one from Regional Construction, L.L.C. and their option 2 is exactly like the Gillespie bid. This is to re-do the worse parts of the road. The residents are putting up $9,000 of their own money and if the Council can put up the other half, they would be able to get this done. Mr. John Richmond, Highway Director, express I certainly have sympathy here for where Mr. Perot is at on this, “I would love to get it done, it’s relatedly a small amount of money, but remember that we have already approved Kayla drive, and the budget amendment and the money hasn’t been found necessary to move into that to do Kayla Drive, but one thing that has to be considered by the Council is and order of preference whether that’s first end and first out since Kayla drive is first end, so maybe they get done first or it’s lesser price, but I hate to start that type of bidding war amongst our own people and I’m certainly not trying to push them farther down the list, but I think it’s worthy of considering since we’ve already approved Kayla drive.” Councilwoman, Hoover agreed with Mr. Richmond. Councilman Paige, begins, “Mr. Nowlin, I know, Ms. Miley is gone, but you should know, what are we talking about money is not available have to find it? You know when those people came from Kayla drive it was an ongoing ready to go project for as we know of it to this point and these people came, and people don’t seem to remember things, and I certainly do, when they came they said, “While you’re out doing Kayla drive the cost would be a little bit lower to have this process done since they would already be in that area, now I hear another whole flip, so let’s be consistent in what we’re talking about. Do we have the money for Kayla Drive? And I know we don’t have the Treasurer in place to find $9,000 tonight maybe we can get some help with that, It’s not everyday when you have your constituents that people would come and saying, “Look we want to put $9.000 on a project for our road for the betterment of this community. I think it’s something we really need to look at, $9,000 dollars is not a whole lot of money, when you’re talking about the salaries of people who’s not out there anymore or monthly basis, so let’s be real in what we’re talking about.”        

Mr. Richmond agreed and said, “I dare to get into the accounting side of this, not at this point, it’s certainly not my position to do that. My point is that there’s not a Treasurer on board to put together the budget amendments that’s required and it hasn’t been done for Kayla drive, yet; so that budget amendment hasn’t been approved by the Council, you voted on something saying you approved of the effort, but we haven’t come forth to tell you where that money is going to come from, that’s my only question, $9,000 is not a lot of money, but at the same time from a procedural standpoint, you guys just have to address how you’re going to handle it, first in, first out or order of priority, but either way the official process a budget amendment must be put forward in front of you to vote on.”

Councilman Paige, asked, “Back to my original question, Mr. Nowlin, Is the money in the budget for Kayla Drive?” Parish President replied, “When I discussed this with Debbie Miley, she told me we did have the $17,000 for Kayla drive, but it wasn’t a line item for Kayla Drive it was either in another category or special project category that we put a little money in every year, it didn’t say Kayla Drive fund, but the money is there. I don’t know if there is another $9,000 in those two-line items, I think that what we need to check to see.” There were more discussions from Mr. Perot, Parish President, Mr. Richmond, and the Council and from all the discussion, it was asked to be tabled.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,in regular and legal session, does hereby table authorizing the Parish President to sign and execute a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the residents of Beau Vista for the resurfacing of Beau Vista Road, pending the approval of a budget amendment for the Parish’s portion of the funding.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Appointments of Boards and Commissions.

Consider adopting a resolution confirming re-appointment/appointments to the following boards/commissions:  There was none.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

First Adoption of proposed Ordinances: There was none.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Public Hearings:  

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance No. _002-2019 to amend and reenact Ordinance No. 005-2018 to change the percentage of meetings a member of a Parish board or commission must attend in order to remain a member of the board or commission.

The existing language in Section 1, Subsection B.3., reads as follows: “Absence from more than seventy-five (75%) percent of the regularly scheduled meetings of the board or commission in any calendar year.” The proposed ordinance would change the “seventy-five (75%) percent” to “twenty-five percent (25%). (The minutes of the Council meeting indicate the original figure was 50% but it was amended to 75% before the ordinance was adopted.

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance No. 003-2019 Budget Revisions for the Operating Budget.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby open the Public Hearing to hear Adoption of Ordinance No. _002-2019 to amend and reenact Ordinance No. 005-2018 to change the percentage of meetings a member of a Parish board or commission must attend in order to remain a member of the board or commission. The existing language in Section 1, Subsection B.3., reads as follows: “Absence from more than seventy-five (75%) percent of the regularly scheduled meetings of the board or commission in any calendar year.” The proposed ordinance would change the “seventy-five (75%) percent” to “twenty-five percent (25%). (The minutes of the Council meeting indicate the original figure was 50% but it was amended to 75% before the ordinance was adopted and the adoption of Ordinance No. 003-2019 Budget Revisions for the Operating Budget.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover              Motion Passed

There was no discussion on the Budget and only a clarification question to make sure that was the only correction with Ordinance 002-2019 and the other language is going to remain the same and the answer, were yes.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Russell Rachal Councilman that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby close the Public Hearing to hear Adoption of hear Adoption of Ordinance No. _002-2019 to amend and reenact Ordinance No. 005-2018 to change the percentage of meetings a member of a Parish board or commission must attend in order to remain a member of the board or commission. The existing language in Section 1, Subsection B.3., reads as follows: “Absence from more than seventy-five (75%) percent of the regularly scheduled meetings of the board or commission in any calendar year.” The proposed ordinance would change the “seventy-five (75%) percent” to “twenty-five percent (25%). (The minutes of the Council meeting indicate the original figure was 50% but it was amended to 75% before the ordinance was adopted and the adoption of Ordinance No. 003-2019 Budget Revisions for the Operating Budget.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood                    Motion Passed

Action on Proposed Ordinances:

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance No. 002-2019 to amend and reenact Ordinance No. 005-2018 to change the percentage of meetings a member of a Parish board or commission must attend in order to remain a member of the board or commission. The existing language in Section 1, Subsection B.3., reads as follows: “Absence from more than seventy-five (75%) percent of the regularly scheduled meetings of the board or commission in any calendar year.” The proposed ordinance would change the “seventy-five (75%) percent” to “twenty-five percent (25%)”. The minutes of the Council meeting indicate the original figure was 50% but it was amended to 75% before the ordinance was adopted. On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council,in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt of Ordinance No. _002-2019 to amend and reenact Ordinance No. 005-2018 to change the percentage of meetings a member of a Parish board or commission must attend in order to remain a member of the board or commission. The existing language in Section 1, Subsection B.3., reads as follows: “Absence from more than seventy-five (75%) percent of the regularly scheduled meetings of the board or commission in any calendar year.” The proposed ordinance would change the “seventy-five (75%) percent” to “twenty-five percent (25%). (The minutes of the Council meeting indicate the original figure was 50% but it was amended to 75% before the ordinance was adopted

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover            Motion Passed

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance No. 003-2019 Budget Revisions for the Operating Budget.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt Ordinance No. 003-2019 Budget Revisions for the Operating Budget.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover             Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Resolutions:

Council to consider adopting the millage rate(s)

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by Russell Rachal, Councilman that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt the millage rates(s) by remaining the same.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood                    Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider Resolution 011-2019 to declare the Solid Waste Transfer Station as “surplus property” and further, to authorize the advertising for proposals to lease and operate the Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Mr. John Richmond gave a brief explanation of the item. Mr. John Richmond, explained, “The intent here is as we go out for the Solid Waste RFP the idea of mixing in the compactor station with our collections part of the contract is comparison at best as we looked at the compactor and we say, “What value does it really brings to the Parish?” There is not a lot, we don’t use it, it’s something that our Contractor uses, and so we said, Let’s keep our RFP clean, let’s have part of the RFP is for the collection, disposal, and then let’s look at another part to lease, if anyone wants to lease the compactor station, that’s why we need to declare it surplus property, so that’s it’s not something that we needed, we will lease it out and if we get some money for it, that’s a good thing.”

Councilman, Rachal had a question,” If we would to do this, right now our Parish resident goes out and cross the scales and pays nothing to dump into the compactor. If we lease this out, they can go as high as they want on the parish residents, couldn’t they?” Mr. Richmond, replies, “No, because what will happen whoever has the collection and disposal part of the contract will have some extra bins, they will put in some extra bins in that side of the compactor so for those people to dispose their refuse there, and it will be hauled off under the collection and disposal part of the contract, there will not be any interaction between those two.”  Councilman, Rachal, asked again, “So, it will not change the way the Parish residents’ dumps, the way the dump their trash right now, they would not be charge nothing to dump their trash, like right now?” Mr. Richmond, replies again, “That’s correct, that will not change.”

Parish President, comes into the conversation, by saying, “This will too makes the collection disposal structure such that multiple companies or entities can bid on it and they all bidding for the same services and we may end up leasing the Transfer Station, that will be a lagniappe agreement, if we do that.” Councilman, Rachal, responds, “So, also, I know right now, we’re not getting any money out of Winnfield dumping and the City dumping trash, although the current contract is collecting so much a tons from them and we’re getting nothing for it for using our compactor station, so we could be getting some money if we would charge them for dumping free trash out there.”

There were continued discussion between the Parish President, the Council and Mr. Richmond on this item. Also Mr. Schamerhorn made a few comments on this agenda item also made by Mr. Schamerhorn because he’s  in this business and he gave his opinion and recommendations to the Council about letting someone come in to lease the compactor station they can charge whatever they want and make it so high that whoever is doing the city collections  wouldn’t be able to work. Mr. John Richmond informed everyone that they were letting people bid both ways and if someone desires to have collection and disposal and some desires to have to bid on the compactor station also, they are more than welcome to do that, if they want to. There are two separate contracts. Councilman, Rachal, asked, “When are we going to see these RFP’s?” Mr. Richmond, replies, “They are going out this week the 17th and 3 weeks later, which I believe is the 8th, they will be due back, it will give us a week to evaluate it and that will leave 6-weeks if necessary, to transition.” Councilman, Rachal, responded, “I would like to see the RFP before I vote on it.” Mr. Richmond, replied, “The RFP is available now, it available in draft form and it goes out on the 17th.” Councilman, Rachal, asked, “Why, you can’t bring it back at the next meeting to see what we’re voting on? To see what we’re comparing, I don’t want to declare it surplus and get rid of it and turn around and have something else that’s offered.”  Mr. Richmond, replied, “We’re not getting rid of it, we still own the access, this is a lease, there is termination clauses included also.”  Councilman, Rachal, responded, “I still want to see it.” Mr. Richmond, asked Mrs. Vance, “Is that something we can let go now to the Council?” Councilman Rachal, responded back, “I’m not going to vote on it, until I see it.” After this lengthy discussion the following action was taken.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,in regular and legal session, does hereby table Resolution 011-2019 to declare the Solid Waste Transfer Station as “surplus property” and further, to authorize the advertising for proposals to lease and operate the Solid Waste Transfer Station.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood            Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Other Agenda Items:

Council to award the bid for Crushed Concrete to lowest bidder.

Regional Construction, LLC (Only Bidder)

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby award the bid for Crushed Concrete to lowest bidder.

Regional Construction, LLC (Only Bidder)

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:    

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Abstain:   Councilwoman Hoover

Absent:    Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried     Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approving the canvass the returns and declare the result of the special election held in Sales Tax District No. 2 of the parish of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana.

On motion by Councilman Doug de Graffenried, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,in regular and legal session, does hereby approves the canvass the returns and declare the result of the special election held in Sales Tax District No. 2 of the parish of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried       

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige                         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider the awarding of a contract leasing 3 dump trucks to the lowest bidder and authorizing the Parish President to sign all necessary documents relating to this award.

Mr. Richmond went over a Bid tab Analysis for the dump truck with the Council, and from that discussion the following action was done, and Mr. Richmond recommends going with Southland Pac Lease, which is the current provider with new trucks.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby award a contract leasing 3 dump trucks to Southland Pac Lease and authorizing the Parish President to sign all necessary documents relating to this award.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood            Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider awarding Cross Keys Construction, LLC of Shreveport, LA as the lowest bidder for the Phase I of Payne Subdivision project.

Councilman Doug de Graffenried wanted to know if anyone had checked to see if Cross Keys, LLC was in good standing with the Secretary of State, before they had bid. Councilwoman, Hoover asked, “Do you know something, we don’t know about this?”

Councilman Doug de Graffenried wanted to amend to make it say subject to or pending standing with Secretary of State.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby award a contract to Cross Keys Construction, LLC of Shreveport, LA as the lowest bidder for the Phase I of Payne Subdivision project pending standing with Secretary of State.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood            Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Visitors for Non-Agenda Items. (3 minutes)

Mr. James Dupree from Fire District 4 wanted to express he’s still trying to dispose of the Surplus Fire Truck and wanted to know anyone has an update of it, and Mr. Kees told him he had the CEA on his desk. Mr. Dupree wanted to know if this had to be voted on and if the agenda could be amended to do so.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approve amending the agenda to add Fire District 4 to dispose the surplus Fire truck that’s no longer needed with all the necessary paperwork to be signed.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approve Fire District 4 to dispose the surplus Fire truck that’s no longer needed with all necessary paperwork to be signed.

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

 Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Mr. Roger Schamerhorn running for District 24th representing the Western side of Natchitoches Parish and he wanted to tell that he would represent the Parish well.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda to Adjourn.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by Councilman Doug de Graffenried, that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adjourn.              

On a roll call vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover            Motion Passed

 Since there was no other business the meeting was adjourned.