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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH COUNCIL

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, STATE OF LOUISIANA

TAKEN A REGULAR MEETING HELD, MONDAY,

May 20, 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, May 20,2019 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 Rodney Bedgood who stated that the Parish was ready for the transaction of business.

The invocation was given by Pastor Brad Holden 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.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item was to recognize any invited guests.

Parish President Rick Nowlin read a Proclamation honoring Ms. Janice Bolton on her selection as Louisiana Realtor of the Year by the Louisiana Realtors Association. Janice wasn’t present at this time.

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 all his written reports in the packets and he wanted to expressed it was a pretty good month in the Public Works area they put out around 2000 tons of material on Parish roads and graded about a 150 miles of roads and wished he could do more. Mr. Richmond asked for any questions or concerns.

Councilman, de Graffenried, wanted to make Mr. Richmond aware the pave part of Blanchard road looks like it’s trying to slide into the ditch. Councilman de Graffenried, wanted to know what an Equipment Operator 3 position was, and did he get one.  Mr. Richmond replied, “Yes, we did get one, and yes, it’s a motor grader Operator, we have one that is out on medical leave and he’s been out for quite some time and I need to get somebody working in that area.” Councilman, de Graffenried, responds, “So, is there an Equipment Operator, I, II, and III.” Mr. Richmond, responds, “Yes, sir, there is different pay scale for those the Equipment Operator 3 being the motor grader is a higher pay level than the others.” Councilman de Graffenried, continues, “Were there any change in the budget to get this person?” Mr. Richmond, replied, “No, there was no changes to the budget.” Councilman, de Graffenried, “What about the rock budget? Are we going to see and Ordinance in June coming around about the rocks, we run out of rocks this time of year?” Mr. Richmond, replies, “No, what we’ve been doing, we actually have found some cheaper material that we’re hauling in and we’re working hard to stay within that budget, but right now, I’m trying to get rocks while I can, because all we need is a lot of wet weather and those rock plants shuts down, as it’s dry we’re hauling it in an getting it on the roads.”

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. There was none.

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, responds, “I don’t have a question, but I do have a concern, it’s concerning the General Ledger and I think I spoke to your office earlier and there was some expenditures listed on the General Ledger that needs to be corrected publicly, I think it needed to be, the Police Jury Conference we attended in Lake Charles at the Golden Nugget Hotel, your ledger is actually showing $835.44, I would like for someone to please correct this publicly, everyone who may get this may think it was $835.44 and I spoke to Cathy earlier so she could come up so the public would know, that this money was not spent.”  Mrs. Lynda Vance, responded, “Those credits that show on the report indicates there was refunds due to billing errors from the hotel.” Councilwoman, Hoover, “I just wanted that publicly known, because this is sent out in the mail and I just didn’t want someone to think that we were spending that kind of money. Also I didn’t see the cash, two checks were issued when I went to the conference in Alexandria, one check was given back and another one was given, at the end of the Conference, the hotel was less than what we had anticipated and I gave the cash back and I didn’t see the cash here, that I paid back, my question is, How can you have a balance and at that time, Mrs. Vance, said, “I would be more than happy to provide you a corrected copy showing the money was returned was deposited back into the account.” Councilwoman, Hoover, continues, “I did return that money to you, just want to reflect that we’re talking about transparency and that’s all, when my name is behind, because I’m always talking about transparency so when my name is here I just wanted to show it was returned.”

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 what I want to talk to you about on time this month. In April we had $18,844.00 totaled in permit fees and ITBS is still serving as our Building Officials $10,075.00, I also included another chart updating you what we have taken in so far with IBTS and a net gain for the Parish and a comparison of what it would cost to run that department with a single person and I also included in the second sheet of that report total cost of hiring a new director based off the numbers that I have versus Office Operating cost with IBTS, not included the fees taken in by IBTS, that’s just our bottom line for operating the office before paying them, IBTS.  Then I from 2008 to 2018 I broke down the total amount of permit fees that we took in so you would see the with the total amount of operating cost for the new director.”

At this time Chairman Bedgood asked Parish President to present the Proclamation to Ms. Janice Bolton since she had now arrived.

This was an honor for Ms. Bolton.  Pictures was taken with the President, Council Chairman, Ms. Bolton and then another picture included Ms. Bolton mother.

Chairman Bedgood then recognizes Parish President.

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

     CAPITAL PROJECTS:

Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase I: The bid tabulation and recommendation for award has been approved by Louisiana Facility Planning and Control.  The Notice of Award has been sent to the Contractor and, upon receipt of its performance and payment bonds, will be executed by the Parish.  At that time, the Parish will issue the Notice to Proceed.

   House Bill 2 of the 2019 legislative session includes an additional $300,000 for street improvements in Payne Subdivision.  If the appropriation remains in the bill as adopted, the Parish will pursue the nest phase of construction.

Cross Keys Construction, LLC was cleared to do the constructions.

Courthouse Security Improvements:  House Bill 2 of the 2019 legislative session includes an addition $350,000 for the project.  The Parish administration will offer an amendment to the capital projects budget to reflect the increased cost of the project.  If HB 2 is adopted with the $350,000 in it, the Parish would reduce its share of the project by $350,000. 

Mr. Weinzettle gave a brief snapshot on the designs for the Security Improvement projects. He also supplied copies of the designs. After his summary questions were asked. Parish President begins to give original figures beginning with the starting of $960,000, which half of it is Capital Outlay. And the Parish had two other projects which was 100 percent paid by the Parish, which was the Inmate Access which is $150,000 and replacement of the main electrical services which is $450,000 both of those was $600,000 combined total. The State agreed that instead of 3 projects being done, it would be best to combine into one big project, which will be $1,560,000. The final total for the project would be $2,310,000. The Courtroom number two will be taken care of, with the judge’s box, and the holding cells, restrooms for the Male and Female restrooms etc. all will be included in the extra $750,000 added to the $1,560,000 which makes the $2,310,000.

Councilman Rachal, asked, “Who came up with the original plan for what we needed?” Parish President, replied, “We had a small group here at the Courthouse, we really wasn’t sure how much it would cost, we did our best estimate on it and we can still do that original plan, but I don’t think that what we should do, but when you look at it you probably would agree, since we do have money since we’ve been saving up in our Building budget for several years now, even if we go with the full blown 2.3 million project, I’ve time sequence for each project on the books for 3 years and at no time our balance would go under $800,000, even if a chiller goes out or something goes out, we’ve still have cash to take care of it.”  Councilman Rachal, asked, “Will there ever be a time where we, the Council, will be presented with what each step it will cost us and how much the ramp will cost us, let us know what each item cost before we vote on it.”  Parish President, replies, “Yes. When I talked the Governor’s Office, they only could do half and not all of the $700,000”

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 Russell Rachal 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, April 15, 2019.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

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.  

Council to consider the re-appointment of Ms. Anita Dubois to the Natchitoches Parish Children and Youth and Planning Board.

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appoint Ms. Anita Dubois to the Natchitoches Parish Children and Youth and Planning Board.

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

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal         

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood                    Motion Passed

Council to consider the re-appointment of Ms. De’Andrea Sanders to the Natchitoches Parish Children and Youth and Planning Board.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appoint Ms. De’Andrea Sanders to the Natchitoches Parish Children and Youth and Planning Board.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

First Adoption of proposed Ordinances:

Mr. David Kees, Jr. went over each of the zoning changes with the Council. The Planning and Zoning Commission has already approved each of these four zoning changes and just need Council approval and there will be a Public hearing to the public next month June 17, 2019. The Council approved the Introductions of these four Ordinances.

Council to Introduce Ordinance 004-2019 to  effect a zoning change from an R-2 Residential District for multi-family residences to an R-1 Residential District for single family residences on Lots 2 and 5 of Angler’s Paradise Park Subdivision situated in Sections 27 and 28, Township 9 North, and Range 6 West along Hampton Road in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto (Municipal Address: Unassigned); and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 004-2019 to  effect a zoning change from an R-2 Residential District for multi-family residences to an R-1 Residential District for single family residences on Lots 2 and 5 of Angler’s Paradise Park Subdivision situated in Sections 27 and 28, Township 9 North, and Range 6 West along Hampton Road in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto (Municipal Address: Unassigned); and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Council to Introduce Ordinance 005-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for single family residences on a 23.57 acre parcel situated in Section 41, Township 7 North, Range 7 West along Louisiana Highway 120 in Natchez, as shown on the Survey attached hereto (Municipal Address: Unassigned); and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 005-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for single family residences on a 23.57 acre parcel situated in Section 41, Township 7 North, Range 7 West along Louisiana Highway 120 in Natchez, as shown on the Survey attached hereto (Municipal Address: Unassigned); and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Council to Introduce Ordinance 006-2019 to effect a zoning change from an RMH-1 Residence  District for single family residences and manufactured homes to an R-3 Residence District for multi-family residences on a 1.87 acre parcel situated in Section 13, Township 9 North, and Range 8 West, as shown on the Survey attached hereto with an address of 761 Highway 504 in Natchitoches; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 006-2019 to effect a zoning change from an RMH-1 Residence  District for single family residences and manufactured homes to an R-3 Residence District for multi-family residences on a 1.87 acre parcel situated in Section 13, Township 9 North, and Range 8 West, as shown on the Survey attached hereto with an address of 761 Highway 504 in Natchitoches; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Council to Introduce Ordinance 007-2019 to effect a zoning change from an R-2 Residential District for multi-family residences to an R-1 Residential District for single family residences on Lots A, B, C, and D of Angler’s Paradise Park Subdivision situated in Sections 28 and 40, Township 9 North, and Range 6 West along Hampton Road in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto (Municipal Address: Unassigned); and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 007-2019 to effect a zoning change from an R-2 Residential District for multi-family residences to an R-1 Residential District for single family residences on Lots A, B, C, and D of Angler’s Paradise Park Subdivision situated in Sections 28 and 40, Township 9 North, and Range 6 West along Hampton Road in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto (Municipal Address: Unassigned); and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to Introduce Ordinance 008-2019 to adopt Amendment No. 1 to the 2019 Capital Improvements 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 Introduce Ordinance 008-2019 to adopt Amendment No. 1 to the 2019 Capital Improvements Budget.

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 on the agenda

Council to Introduce Ordinance 009-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby Introduce Ordinance 009-2019 to consider putting on the ballot to let the People of Natchitoches Parish to decide for the current form of Government or the Police Jury form of Government.

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

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilman Rachal                     Motion Didn’t Passed

At this time the discussion was on how many Council vote it takes to get this agenda item Introduced and it takes 4 out of the 5 Councilmen to do this.  Councilman, Paige, replied, “You guys tell Channel 3 news about this, this is the reason why they’re here this is the type of thing we had to put it on here two times, because last month it wasn’t in the correct place and tonight we put it in a couple of places and if that’s they’re vote, then that’s the vote, but we need to let the people know how we voted and they people would not have the opportunity to vote on it because of these two individuals.”  Councilwoman, Hoover, responded, “I voted yes, because the people should be able to decide which form of Government they want and I’ll allow them the chance, we asked them to vote for taxes and we give them the opportunity to vote, the people of my District asked me to allow them to make that decision, and that’s why I voted, yes.”

Ms. Carolyn Roy asked, “Did it fail or what?” Chairman, Bedgood replied, “It takes 4 votes and it was only had 3.”

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Public Hearings: None

Action on Proposed Ordinances: None

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Resolutions:

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, begins, “Certainly I’m a legal profession on this, I understand it from dealing with legal Counsel first we must declare it a surplus property and once we do that we’re basically saying it’s property we’re not currently using or don’t currently intend to use and we can lease that property out to generate some revenue back into the Parish.”

Councilman Paige, replies, “So in turn, so when you’re in the Solid Waste Business tax that you collect from taxpayers and if you ever plan or intend to go back into business yourself, wouldn’t you need this Transfer Station?”  Mr. Richmond, responded, “We would need it, but the lease will require exist clauses in it and it does has exist clauses on both sides whoever the successful contractor is and for the Parish.”

Councilman Rachal, had a question, “Right now we’re talking about the compactor station out at the landfill, right?” Mr. Richmond, replied, “Yes, Sir.” Councilman Rachal, continues, “Let see if we passed this Resolution and declared it surplus and whoever leases it, it becomes their property for the term of the lease, correct?” At this time Assistant District Attorney Shantel Wemprem, replies, “No, sir it would not, the property belongs to the Parish Government, they can lease the property, but it’s natural lease is not a sale by any means, and for the upgrades if they do upgrades, it comes property of the Parish also, we’re not giving anything away.” Chairman Bedgood, came into to say, “If it’s surplus property you can get rid of it, if you dedicated as surplus property that mean you can sell that for anything you want to sell it for.” Ms. Wemprem, “Or you can lease it.” Chairman, Bedgood continues, “I still say, this is just my opinion everybody has their own and I have mine. I still think we can go back into business ourselves; we can save around a half a million dollars or so and put that towards roads. I still think we can do that, I know it cost money to get into it, everybody says, we can’t, we did it before, at one time the Jury had 133 bin sites they picked up and now we have 33, I’m just throwing something out. I’m not saying we are going to that, and I never have run the figures to see, but I believe we can save money if we did it ourselves, but if we get rid of all this then that surplus, when you say surplus, that means you’re getting rid of it and you don’t have it anymore.”  Mr. Richmond, replied, “Only if you vote to do it.” Parish President, “Only if you vote later to do it, declaring it surplus doesn’t grant anyone the rights to get rid of the property, that’s a separate action that has to be taken by the Parish Council. It must be declared surplus before you can get rid of it, or you can lease it. Anyone of those will require a separate action of the Council.”

Councilman, Rachal, explains, “If you declare it surplus that means a private corporation or entity would come in an apply for the lease and then after that the long haul would be another company, what would the people do to dump their trash out there now, is there any legality to  where whoever leasing it to can’t start charging parish resident to dump their trash out there.” Mr. Richmond, commented to say, “What we will do and provisions that we have made is to handle that in bins out at the sites? Councilman, Rachal, responded, “Why wasn’t it handle in the RFP with at least one member of the Council when you’ll was planning all this behind our backs.” Mr. Richmond, “I don’t believe anybody planned anything behind anyone’s back?” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “I was told it was none of my business of what had went on.” Mr. Richmond, “Certainly not from me.” Councilman, Rachal, “I’m not calling any names, I’m just telling you, we had no planning in this and we’re asked to do something tonight, we had no planning in this and hadn’t been presented with any of this, I have a problem with this.”

Councilwoman, Hoover, begins to speak, by saying, “I have a concern about this, I need to ask Attorney Shantel we have an Attorney here for the Council, Were you speaking from a citizen point when you spoke, because we have an Attorney?”  Ms. Wemprem, responded, “Ms. Hoover, me and Mr. Mansour are assigned our duties by the District Attorney and one of my duties continues to be the Solid Waste Project, program, contract and lease so I speak on behalf of the Parish as an employee of the District Attorney Office, I also work with the Planning Commission on a regular basis, I’m not sure you’re aware of all my duties.” Councilwoman, Hoover, responds, “And I’m not sure you’re aware that we are the Governing Body of this Parish, and Ms. Wemprem, replied, “I’m well aware.” And Councilwoman, Hoover, continues, “When something happens and if an Attorney needs to come in certainly, we need to know when another Attorney is coming in, we have our Attorney that is here to speak for us and we should have been notified another Attorney was coming in, so….At that time Ms. Wemprem, replied, “That’s beyond my responsibility, but I’ll pass that along to Mr. Harrington.” Councilwoman, Hoover, “Yes, Please, you can tell him that, I think it’s disrespectful to this Council without informing us of things that are going on before they happen.”

Councilman, Paige, asked to speak, “I’m not going to be in favor of getting rid of all that, the transfer station, I’m not going to be for another Parish, I see they didn’t bid this time, which was stupid for the DeSoto Parish to take on trash in Natchitoches parish, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time, but anyway just to tell you we have a long agenda item……he cut it off and said, “All Mr. Nowlin, you can do all of that, but they were on the Agenda to vote on and somehow it just went away, now I don’t want to go there. Let me tell you something we have a long agenda of items I’m not in favor of this let’s vote, however…. I don’t see why we’re here beating it up.”

Parish President, replied, “Mr. Chairman, there is at least one company, a local company that uses this Transfer Station and depends on it to service clients other than the clients of Natchitoches. If we don’t declare this surplus it’s going to prevent us from allowing him to use it, and it’s going to hurt that company, and it may hurt other people interested in it. That is the last thing we want to do is to hurt a local business, if we have a facility that we have no current use for or any intended use or current use for, then we can actually generate some revenue by leasing it to another company or should consider that. I’m also will be opposed to disposing of the Transfer Station through a sale, I agree with Mr. Paige there, I’m not going to comment on the DeSoto Parish, it took care of itself. I think it’s an interest of providing an opportunity from this other company to continue to use that Transfer Station with additional interest in getting additional revenue for our Parish, I think we should be declaring this a surplus facility and proceed with advertisements so we can let this other company offer us a price for it, on a lease basis.” Councilman Paige, “We’re talking about taxpayers’ money and we’re talking about the other company and all that, we need to know who, when, what, and where.”  Councilman, Rachal, asked, “What was the last comment you made about the Parish getting money, what you said?”

Parish President, responds by saying, “Yes, we’re not going to let somebody uses the station at no charge.” Councilman, Rachal, said, “It’s happening now at this time Parish President was about to speak, and Councilman, Rachal stopped and said, No, you went there.”  Parish President, continues, by saying, “We receives a rebate every month on our Solid Waste according to the amount of trash runs through the compactor, that’s generated from the parish of Natchitoches.” Councilman Rachal, replies, “Okay, the city of Natchitoches is picked up in the City, I pay $38.00 dollars amount on my electric bill, right now for picking up trash, okay, Winn Parish dumps trash out there, How much out of $38.00 that I’m paying is the Parish receiving?” Parish President, reply was, “I’m glad you pointed that out. That’s part of the problem, we have entities other than the Parish is getting benefits of that Transfer Station and the Parish is not getting money for that.” Councilman, Rachal, “We receive the benefit of only from the Parish generated outside the City and what we’re saying let’s lease it out and lease will include all the Trash coming into the Transfer Station, not just Natchitoches.” Councilman, Rachal, questioned, “Why haven’t we started to collect all of this money we’re leaving on the table from these other entities dumping out there, we wouldn’t need to ask for tax every time we meet.” Parish President, states, “This is something that was just discovered actually by Ms. Wemprem and a few others, recently of what actually was going on.” Councilman, Rachal, responded, “No, I brought this up six months ago.” Parish President replied, “So, did she, I’m not going to argue who brought it up, the point is we an opportunity to assist a company and an opportunity to increase our revenue, when we declare it surplus and enter into a lease.”

Councilman, Rachal, asked, “Didn’t someone offered if we would have given them a long-term agreement/contract not lease they would pay for to fix this Compactor Station, if we left it on the table?” Parish President responds, “That was back in December?” Councilman Rachal, asked, “Is it on the table again, have we asked them?”  Parish President replied, “I haven’t heard anything lately on that.” Councilman Rachal, continues, “Can I ask to maybe have them to do that?” Mr. James “Buggs” Veuleman, replied, “It’s still on the table.”

During this time there was many speaking at the same time and was talking about what type of tax papers money was used. Chairman, thought it was District 40, but District 40 is only used for roads only, but it was sales and property tax which bought the Transfer Station, it is Tax money, they Chairman, wanted to know if it was legal or not to do this, and it was a discussion from Asst. DA Chantel Wemprem concerning this process and what would be taken place under this lease and what the contractor would have to invest amongst other things and when it’s a surplus and if anything should change and if the Parish decides to  become their own Solid Waste Contractor at the end of the Lease the Parish still owns the property. Ms. Wemprem also went into the new agreement would allow money to be paid on a monthly basis and this would generate income of revenue for the Parish instead of the old way which is costing the Parish money.  

Councilman de Graffenried, wanted to ask a question from the two Attorneys, “By approving this we’re starting a process where you have to come back to us with contracts and other things……. Ms. Wemprem was saying, “That’s correct…during this time, and Councilman, de Graffenried, continues, “but until we do this that type of process or bids or inquiry can not happen right?” Ms. Chantel Wemprem, response, “It’s a prerequisite to allow the Parish to make an educated decision from any entity outside of the Parish Government that wants to come in there to lease it, as Mr. Nowlin, mentioned there is some private companies that’s interested, but this will come back to the Parish for final approval.” Councilman Rachal wanted to know how long the lease would be for. Ms. Wemprem, “I don’t know exactly the initial term, but I think it’s about three years.” During this time, Mr. John Richmond, stated, “It’s four years with the opportunity for extensions as long as it was agreed upon by both parties, it can take it to a maximum of ten years, but I think the initial lease is four years.” Ms. Wemprem, stated, “Also it requires a capital investment to extend it, it would not totally have your property devalued and left to you in that condition.”

Councilman, Rachal, begins again, by saying, “Now, one guy, Mr. Veuleman, has already spoken of, I can asked this question, since you said, “It was still on the table” just say you have a three or four year contract with options on both sides to continue with all of that could you get your money back in three years?” Mr. Veuleman, replied, “No.” Councilman, Rachal continues, “So you could be upside down if we don’t agree for you to use? Mr. Veuleman, replied, “Yes, Sir.” Ms. Wemprem, responded, “This is where the capital investment comes in, they’re be looking for some insurance if they’re going to invest $300,000 that they would get a good lock out of that lease, before they would make that approval, both sides would come to the table and then back to the Council again, I’m sure to be decided on this is not a bait and switch it’s going to be spelled out very clearly.”

There was more discussion and arguing on this but relatively to all the discussion The Council wants to be involved on the meeting concerning the Solid Waste Disposal lease or contracts. Three Councilmen can’t meet but at least two can be in on the meetings/or discussion on this matter.  Councilman, Rachal, stated, “The Council has very little to say in this administration.” Councilman Paige, that’s why we need the Police Jury……. Councilman, Rachal, “No, we’re not going there, no we’re not going there.” So, after all this discussion the following was action was taken.

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

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood                    Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approving the request for proposals and Lease Agreement for the lease of the Solid Waste Transfer Station to another entity and authorize issuance of the RFP.

Councilman de Graffenried, wanted to know if there everything is going on is their anyway, they could foster with Council and let our Garbage guiros from the Council be part of the discussion.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approving the request for proposals and Lease Agreement for the lease of the Solid Waste Transfer Station to another entity and authorize issuance of the RFP.

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 the awarding of a contract for the collection and disposal of solid waste in the Parish

During this time, everyone wanted to know who the lowest bidder and the lowest bidder was Waste Connections. Waste Connections, $930,000 thousands, and Acadian Waste Services were $1,286,024

The recommendation was for Waste Connections, Bradley McDonald, representatives from Acadiana Waste Services was there to introduce themselves and to let the Council know about them and their company and what their company is offering. After the presentation the following actions were taken. Mr. James “Buggs” Veuleman wanted to express they have new trucks and are swapping out the bins and with the Transfer Station he hopes everyone can work that out and he don’t mind leasing or being a partner and things can be worked out.  

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 the contract to Waste Connections as the lowest bidder.

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 adopting a Resolution of the library’s capital expenditure for the addition of a meeting room at the Northeast Branch of the Natchitoches Parish Library.

Ms. Jessica came to explain that when this branch at Campti, the Northeast branch was built they did not include a meeting room. Since the library was opened in 2016, they have seen an average about 900 patrons each month at the Library, the Library, is just not books on the shelf, they educational and entertaining programs for all ages 2018 the Library provided 44 programs for all ages and 900 participates. The problem is the Library is small and you don’t have room for more than 10 people for the programs. The Summer reading program must be held in the church down the streets, The City of Refruge Church. There were questions about the cost of the Library from the beginning and they have about 2 million in their budget, and they have been saving for years to build another Library in the Hagewood area, it might not be in Hagewood but in the surrounding area.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt a Resolution of the library’s capital expenditure for the addition of a meeting room at the Northeast Branch of the Natchitoches Parish Library.

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

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider a Resolution approving The Restoration Tax Abatement Program Application of Dunahoe Law Firm, L.L.C. and authorizing the Natchitoches Parish President to sign and execute any instrument necessary to convey the approval of the Parish Council to the Department of Economic Development, State of Louisiana.

Mr. Edwin Dunahoe came to discuss this agenda item. This is a program through the Louisiana Economic Development Program that gives an Abatement for improvement in Historical Districts. They are doing a project in Natchitoches and it will increase the tax base in Natchitoches Parish and City. They would continue to pay what there paying in taxes now for the next five years and then come back to the Council to extend for another five years. They will be hiring another lawyer and helper.

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves a Resolution approving The Restoration Tax Abatement Program Application of Dunahoe Law Firm, L.L.C. and authorizing the Natchitoches Parish President to sign and execute any instrument necessary to convey the approval of the Parish Council to the Department of Economic Development, State of Louisiana.

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

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.

Councilwoman, Hoover wanted to get a clear understanding, on this item, she asked, “Is this only for policy and procedures and the contract supposed to end December 31, 2019, is that when the contract is completed, Isn’t that correct?” Parish President, replied, “You’re half correct, The Policy and Procedure part is correct. This a contract for additional services the auditors is asking us to provide which states the direction in addition to Financial Audit, the numbers, now they must audit policy and procedures and correlate that audit to the Financial Audit. It’s for the year of 2018, the audit has to be in by June 30, they have to do the work now and between June 30.” Councilwoman, Hoover, “So when does the contract actually ends for policy and procedures with this company?” Parish President, responds, “When they submit it to the Legislative Auditor, June 30 and not before.”

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves 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.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige                Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to approve the appointment of the new Natchitoches Parish Treasurer.

Parish President went to summarize about the application process and supplied the Council with a spreadsheet and how they were selected based off qualifications and qualifications from the Parish Manual and after all this was done, the decision was made to offer Ms. Julie Lockhart the position. Ms. Lockhart was present, and she gave the Council a brief background history of herself and she’s presently employed at the Natchitoches Outpatient Clinic.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby appointment of the new Natchitoches Parish Treasurer as Ms. Julie Lockhart.

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 appoint the new Natchitoches Parish Registrar of Voters.

The Council Clerk, Sheryl Frederick gave the update on the process they had sixteen applicants and the Board was Mr. Rachal, Mrs. Hoover, Cathy Creamer and the Council Clerk. The applicants were reviewed to see who met the State Requirements out of the Sixteen (16) Nine (9) was chosen and then one (1) withdrew. We had a Evaluation on the scoring process, everything was kept separate and nothing was shared. We had to give the Council three (3) names we came up with the first choice Ms. Kecia McConathy, Kathrin Woodard Holden, and third was Ms. Debbie Tebbetts. And now it’s in the Council hands to make their decision of one out of those three. Material was given to those who wasn’t a part of the interview those went out to Mr. Doug, Mr. Bedgood and Mr. Paige. So now it’s up to the Council to make their choice of who they want for the Registrar of Voters.

Councilwoman, Hoover, stated, “Those serving on the Committee we didn’t share our scores with anyone we just turned in our numbers and added them up. And we were fair….and at the time Councilman, Rachal, replied, “It went really well.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Based on the fact we had to turn in three names and based on the top being Ms. Kecia McConathy, second Ms. Holden, third, Ms. Tebbetts, I make a recommendation for Ms. McConathy to be the and Councilwoman, Hoover makes a recommendation for Mrs. Kathrin Holden during that time the Council Clerk said you must do one at a time, and Councilman de Graffenried second Councilman, Rachal motion.

Councilman de Graffenried, wanted to know the difference between the first and second. Or how you rated them, or he might had asked a question that couldn’t be answered, but Mrs. Creamer said thirty percent (30) between number one and number two.

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 name Mrs. Kecia McConathy, Registrar of Voters

At this time Councilman, Paige expressed, “I thought we all would say who they wanted individually and then vote on it, that’s the way I thought it was going to go.” and Councilman, de Graffenried, said, “We took the recommendation from the subcommittee.” and Councilman Paige expressed, “Only three names.” and Councilman de Graffenried followed up by saying, “Because the we told them to give only three names and they rated them, sound like their rating was objective.”

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

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman Paige

Nays:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion didn’t Passed

At this time the second name was read for a vote Mrs. Kathrin Holden

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby recommend Mrs. Kathrin Holden for the appointment of Registrar of Voters for the Parish of Natchitoches.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Nays:      Councilman Rachal

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood              Motion Passed

The new Registrar of Voters is Mrs. Kathrin Woodard Holden.

Mrs. Holden was present, and she thanked the Council for choosing her and giving her, the opportunity and she would do her best in the given position.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approving a tax exemption for Alliance Compressors.

Mr. Tom Frazier, Controller out at Alliance Compressors wanted to answer any questions, they went to the School Board last week, and they generally just wanted to tell the Council that Alliance is the second largest employer in town have about 600 hundred employees and payroll runs around 16 million dollars, which is about 80 million dollars in Natchitoches Parish. With the additional money we hired 26 instead of the 15 they originally thought, so it’s been better than they expected. Their volume has gone up to 300,000 in a year, the last two years. There were other discussions on the time frame and when they would have to come back to ask for an extension.

Councilman, Paige, was saying, “In the past I know your company would shut down and open back up, I don’t think you’ve been doing that lately, I think you’ve been on a steady flow making sure your demand is met and you don’t have to lay these people off, the way you once did.” There was more discussion on this, Mr. Frazier said he has overtime planned for those months, like August and September when in the past they were laid off. 25 million dollars of new equipment has been put out at Alliance Compressors, in addition to 3 million in repairs and additions.

Councilwoman Hoover wanted to ask, “I’m trying to understand why we have to approve a tax exempt for Alliance when you’re in the City?”

Parish President, responded, “Property tax is collected Parish wide including the City and some are only collected in the Parish, for example those collected outside the City we have taxes for our General Fund, Health, Building Fund, Library, inside we have the same funds but under different millages. They pay taxes to all funds except for road funds.”  Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “What percentage do they get for doing this exemption.” Parish President, replied, “They would get 80 percent for the first five years on that new investment. Now the parish has a voice in it, we can’t give a 100 percent exemption.”

Councilwoman, Hoover, stated, “I have a problem with this, we are giving exemption corporations and we’re asking the people and citizens of Natchitoches to tax money, I think it’s just unfair, and I look at Alliance as and I just don’t see the numbers on how we’re benefiting from it, the Parish, we’re giving all the money to the corporations and we’re not getting nothing, I don’t see that.”

The Alliance representative say the pay $1.4million dollars in taxes.

There was more discussion on this from the Council and Councilman, Rachal, stated, “If you asked for this exemption, don’t come back for another, because you’re added something else, because that’s not happening.”

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approve a tax exemption for Alliance Compressors.

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

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal                     Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approving the request of Mr. Randall Lee “Fuzzy” Hennigan for repairing and resurfacing portion of Lula Street beginning at the Intersection of south main street going South on Lula Street approximately 230 feet in Downtown Marthaville.

Mr. Richmond stated this resident is paying for this out of his own pocket, no expense to the Parish.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves the request of Mr. Randall Lee “Fuzzy” Hennigan for repairing and resurfacing portion of Lula Street beginning at the Intersection of south main street going South on Lula Street approximately 230 feet in Downtown Marthaville.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood              Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider the approval of the Annual Head Start Assessment.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves the Annual Head Start Assessment.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Abstain:   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 Red River Waterway Commission to allow the Commission to make certain repairs and improvements to Tauzin Island Road.

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves authorizing the Parish President to sign and execute a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Red River Waterway Commission to allow the Commission to make certain repairs and improvements to Tauzin Island Road.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood              Motion Passed

Councilman Paige, stated, “Mr. Bedgood you skipped E because it was on there twice of course, but we do need to say removed it from it. Chairman went back to read it.

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.

Councilman Paige wanted it to be read again, because he states, “It’s awful good Christian folks can sit and deny the people of this Parish the right to vote. Thank you, Sir.” No action was done on this.

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider authorizing the Parish President to sign and execute an extension to the agreement with IBTS for two years of permitting and building official services.

Mr. David Kees, Jr., begins, “I’m going to make two comments, number one the reason why we put it on tonight, like I told you at last month meeting we need to make a decision in one way or the other, because our current contract runs out at the end of June and if the Council decides not to go along with IBTS that would not leave us enough time to get a new director we’ll be in the same situation where we was in September and October, when we didn’t have one and we don’t want to inconvenience our builders and contractors and having stuff piled up again.  Number two I’ve been giving you-all reports on what it would cost to get another Director two things I want to point out about that, number one if you get a new Director, you have to get somebody who’s certified, as a building official. Mr. Walters can you tell me how many certifications you must have to be a building official?”

Mr. Walters, stated, “You must have residential and others, all together 27 to be able to do all inspections.” Mr. Kees, re-stated, “You need 27 certifications to qualify as Building Official, not to mention education requirements that’s in the Parish Personnel Manual.  The second thing I want to point out is that Mr. Runnels does our inspections currently, I did some quick math before the meeting, he has done 313 inspections since October when you divide that out by seven months and divide that out by 20 working days per each month that’s 2 inspections per day, now we know Natchitoches Parish is a pretty big place, so if you have to be  in Goldonna  and your second inspection is somewhere in Natchez or Cloutierville you going to spend two hours on those two there and you’re going to expect that person to come back and do the permits that are required and do all the Planning Committee work that’s required, it’s very tough to just have one person, I think to do all of that. Currently you have myself, Mr. Runnels is doing our inspections, I do the planning Commission and the permits, and we also have our part-time receptionist Ms. LaTonia Mims that does permitting as well to help me out.” Councilman, Paige, asked, “Is she still part-time?” Mr. Kees, answers, “Yes she’s still part-time; so, we basically have a full two people, but we currently have three people handling the job, that you can vote to continue to have IBTS or to have one person to do that job.”

Councilman Rachal had a question to ask, “On that report I asked you to give me two months ago, you did give a report last month right, I don’t know if I read it wrong or what or you misunderstood me, I had asked how much money that came in with someone on staff, you gave us two months ago, How much money that came in, but I ask for over a period of time, while we had someone on staff, How much money was spent and that’s not what I got.”  Mr. Kees, responded, “That is what you got.” Councilman Rachal, I must have read it wrong.” Mr. Kees, responded, “You did, these are the last 10 years these are permit fees we took in this is what it will cost to hire a new director and operate the office, it’s fairly simple math, you just take this and subtract it from these and that get you this.”  Councilman Rachal, asked, “Out of that 300 inspections, you said he did, to issue to a permit on new construction, is a compaction test is required by law? We have cables in these slabs and not having anything done.”

Councilman, Rachal, asked, Mr. Runnels, “Out of those inspections, that you have done up to this date on new construction, Does the law require before you issue a permit does a compaction test has to be done on a new foundation form to see any post tension cable or what, Have you-all done it?” Mr. Runnels, answered, “No, we have not, we don’t do testing of soil.” Councilman, Rachal, asked, “Is it required by law?” Mr. Runnels, replied, “If it’s no substantial soil, it’s required to be done.” They started to talk about Fulton road that it’s a pond out there, and Mr. Runnels expressed they haven’t done anything out there, they don’t do any of the testing, we only issue the permits and inspections on the required engineering the homeowner is required to have their own Engineers for that and for the compaction testing. And it’s not required by law to issue a permit from them.

Councilwoman, Hoover wanted Mr. Kees to ask a question from their previous conversation to relate to them about her concern. Mr. Kees, asked, “The length of the contract, Mrs. Hoover has a concern that the length of the contract, we are in an Election season, that it could be a new government, new parish president, there will be a new President, but I think Mrs. Hoover is concerned about if the new government wants to come and change things and not be able to get out of the contract, if they decide to go a different way. Can you speak to that?”

Mr. Walters begins to say, “The contract will have a clause, every contract has a clause to resolve a contract, and we have never contested a contract if someone wants to get out of it, we always try to work with every jurisdiction and everybody. Why we’re asking for a 2-year contract is because we’re going to invest some money for software and we’re going to spend the money to do that, that why we’re asking for 2-years to allow to recover some of our investment in the software.”

Councilman, Rachal, asked, “If we do this, Will it stay as is, will you still be assisting are will they take care all the stuff, we say they will acquire with the contract.” Mr. Kees, answers, “They will handle the permitting and inspections and with their software their permitting system will allow people to get permits online and make the payments online and this will eliminate all the foot traffic that comes into my office that currently takes up my time, you still will need somebody to handle the Planning Commissions responsibilities and if President Nowlin would want me to continue to do that, I have no problem in doing that, that is not the majority of my time, that comes one Monday a month and we generally have around 3 to 5 items on the agenda and it doesn’t take up a lot of time.”

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby authorize the Parish President to sign and execute an extension to the agreement with IBTS for two years of permitting and building official services.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Absent:    Councilman Paige                Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Council to consider approving the request of the property owners along Clark Road to have the Parish Department of Public Works scarify a section of the road.

Mr. Richmond talked on this and the resident of that road had a petition sign for this, only one person didn’t sign on the road, but it wasn’t that he was against it, he just doesn’t sign petitions. They would like for their road to be scarified so it can be maintained by grading.

On motion by Councilman Rodney Bedgood, duly seconded by, Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby approves the request of the property owners along Clark Road to have the Parish Department of Public Works scarify a section of the road.

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

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Absent:    Councilman Paige                Motion Passed

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

Visitors for Non-Agenda Items. (3 minutes)

Mr. Scooter Perot, resident of Beau Vista road.

Mr. Perot, begins, to speak, “I’ve been here the last two months, last month I had to ask to be put on the agenda and this month I had to ask to be put on this agenda, I got the petition for the road, I got the bids for the road, I sent them to John, never heard from John, I texted John, didn’t hear back from John, call and left a message, didn’t get anything back from him. I called Russell and sent him the stuff and he got it on here and I came to the meeting, was about to vote, on it, but had to find the money, something like the Kayla Drive deal, and then you table it, so this month, I was not contacted, so I’m passed to point in thinking that you’re going to help in fixing the road, but I want to know who’s responsible for helping or who suppose to put me on the agenda in the first place?” Chairman, Bedgood, responds, “I’m the chairman, so if you called me, I would tell her to put it on there, but nobody contacted me or Russell could put it one there, anybody could put it on there.”  Councilman Paige, stated, “I thought we talked about getting the numbers together and between Mr. Richmond and him, and when they got it together, these two individuals, was supposed together and bring this back because the time frame they was running to do some work out there for Kayla Drive; it was an offsetting type of thing, but, however it, when the community comes and try to give you some money to help us fix their road, you don’t have many people bringing $5,000 or $9,000 for a road.” Councilman, Rachal, stated, “The issue was the first people who came through we hadn’t even voted on.”  Mr. Richmond, stated, “I may be mistaken here, but what we did was approved to accept that offer, and then we also, you voted to accept the offer on Kayla Drive, Correct me Sheryl that we also voted to accept this one,” The Clerk said, “No.” “I’m wrong”, Mr. Richmond, then continues, “Then, the idea was where those matching funds was coming from and that’s where we were.” Mr. Perot, stated, “Last month we talked about Kayla, you said you didn’t have the funds, but Ms. Miley said the funds were available, but she’s gone, but there was some type of special funds it may be in, but that has been since 5 months the Kayla drive people have had their money and I said, I’m representing five families and I don’t want to put our money away for five to six months and it just be sitting there, that won’t happen. I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m very upset about this process, that I come up here and I’ve done most of the work, which I don’t mind but not to put me on the agenda in an order of progression is unacceptable as a taxpaying citizen, that’s unacceptable, I know you get people up here all the time, that’s upset, and I’m trying not to get to that point, but I want to know who’s responsible for not getting me to where, we have a neighborhood sitting for you to try to find money, How long does it takes you to find money in the funds, you’re gone over the budget, it’s pretty tight, but there’s money there in the special funds account, what’s the issue? Who’s supposed to be looking at the money? Who’s going to find the money?” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “I can put you on the agenda every night, but until the Highway Director come up with some money and let us know, I have no way of knowing was the money is at. I don’t have any idea where it’s at.”  Scooter, replied, “I don’t either, I’m trying to find out.” Councilman, Paige, “Understand where he’s at.” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “I understand where’s he at.” Councilman, Paige continues, “He has money waving around, saying we have $9,000 on our road.” Chairman, Bedgood, stated, “I thought we suppose to in the meeting, get some bids together.” and Scooter, replied, “I brought the bids.” Chairman Bedgood continues, “To see where we’re at, at this meeting.”

Mr. Richmond, replied, “He had the bids, and he did supply the numbers at the last meeting, and it was about $9,000 each way, the concern, my personal concern, we can fund it tomorrow, we can fund both projects, here’s my concern that I voice to a couple members of the Council, I have no problem doing that, I would love to do it, because Scooter, has been really patient through this process and so the people of Kayla drive, my concern is this, if I take $26,000 dollars that wasn’t in the budget to go do road projects in a neighborhood, and at the end of the year when life is tight, and money is tighter, and we’re sitting there and somebody needs a load of gravel or two, or three loads of gravel to get to a Christmas Eve service and I say, I’m out of money, What are we going to do then? We can fund it today we can do it today, my concern is where is the $26,000 coming from, Scooter, I want to apologize to you that you’re having to try to absorb some of this but the $26,000 once we do it, we have other people that’s interested, what are we going to do when we have three and four people standing here and now it’s a $100,000 dollars.” Councilman, Rachal, replied, “Then we’ll wait on their money.” Scooter, replied, “I, think that would be great, just start that process and get in line, if you’re getting roads for half price, don’t say we can’t do it.” Mr. Richmond, stated, “Then, I’m all for it, I don’t want for the Council to be upset at the end of the year, to say, where are we going to come up with the money people with all these road projects? and these people is putting half their money up for it, because a 2 for 1 deal is a great deal only if you have the 50 to get your 2 for 1 and we don’t have it.” Scooter, commented, “But we have it right, now.” Councilman, de Graffenried, “We have it right now, let’s get two roads done and deal with it later, and at Christmas Eve send them to me, First Methodist Church as beautiful roads you can get there.”

John Richmond, stated, “I’m all for it, but I just want to make sure the Council is on board and that you didn’t have a surprise comes the last quarter of the year.”

Councilwoman, Hoover wanted to amend the Agenda to have Kayla and Bayou Vista Road done. The cost would be $26,000 from the Parish Highway Department funds. $17,000 for Kayla and $9,000 for Bayou Vista Road.

On motion by Councilwoman Hoover, duly seconded by, Councilman Doug de Graffenried that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby amend the Agenda to Authorize the Parish Highway Department to begin the work on Kayla Drive and Bayou Vista.

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

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried       

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige                Motion Passed

On motion by Councilman Rodney Bedgood, duly seconded by, Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby authorize the Parish Highway Department to begin the work on Kayla Drive and Bayou Vista Road.

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

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried       

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige                Motion Passed

Mr. John Hodgeson wanted to know if a guy got a permit for build a new warehouse out there on Black Lake, he doesn’t know name, just where he lives. Mr. Kees need an address to look it up, and Mr. Hodgeson wanted to talk to Mr. Richmond because that guy tore the road up. Big dump trucks and Cement trucks came in that part of Pardee Road and torn it up. Mr. Hodgeson, asked Mr. Richmond, “Have you been out on Pardee road lately?” Mr. Richmond, replied, “No, I have not, in the last two weeks been out there.” Mr. Hodgeson, replied, “You need to come out, there is a guy who build a warehouse at there.” Mr. Richmond, asked, “You have some trucks that haven’t gotten a permit, out there?” Mr. Hodgeson, said, “I don’t know, that’s why I’m here.” After the discussion they figured he didn’t get a building permit or a road permit. So, both Mr. Richmond and Mr. Kees are going to investigate.

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 adjourn.