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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH COUNCIL

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, STATE OF LOUISIANA

TAKEN A REGULAR MEETING HELD, MONDAY,

October 21, 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, October 21,2019 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 Steve Harris 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.

 

Absent: Patsy Hoover

 

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

 

  1. Council to authorize the Parish President to execute an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the State of Louisiana and the Parish of Natchitoches that includes increased State funding for the Payne Street Improvement project, FP&C Project No. 50-J35-15-01.

 

  1. Council to approve the adoption of Ordinance #018-2019 to give the State of Louisiana the remaining portion of Five Fork Road.

 

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

 

  1. Council to authorize the Parish President to execute an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the State of Louisiana and the Parish of Natchitoches that includes increased State funding for the Payne Street Improvement project, FP&C Project No. 50-J35-15-01.

 

  1. Council to approve the adoption of Ordinance #018-2019 to give the State of Louisiana the remaining portion of Five Fork Road.

 

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

 

 Ayes:   Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:   Councilman Paige  

 Ayes:   Councilman de Graffenried 

 Ayes:   Councilman Bedgood

 Absent: Councilwoman Hoover               Motion Passed

 

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

 

Carmen Gonzales for a special presentation on Dysautonomia Awareness in Natchitoches Parish this affects part of the brain that controls parts you don’t really know what’s controlled because the communication between these parts is malfunctioning. Ms. Gonzales told everyone how she had to struggle with not knowing what was wrong with her and how she couldn’t get off her porch. She’s going from Parish to Parish to teach and get proper training for the doctors and hospitals

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so, they would be familiar with this medical condition when someone shows signs of it.  Ms. Gonzales is asking the Council to put her in contact with people that needs to know about this condition and to also make Dysautonomia and Awareness in the month of October.

 

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 but wanted to give some highlights, “We got 2500 yards of material to put on the roads a dozen or dozen in half of new culverts installed and about 200 miles of roads was graded. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer and later we’ll going to be talking about a specific road that has been asked to be taken out of the system.”

 

Chairman Bedgood, asked about the Reclaim, “Have you heard anything on our Reclaim?” Mr. Richmond, replied, No, sir, I have not. I put a call in to them today, but I haven’t heard back. I was hoping to hear back before this meeting, but I haven’t it still supposed to be coming to us, I don’t want to lose it.”

 

Councilman, Chris Paige, stated, “When you talked about the Reclaim at the last meeting there was a misunderstood, from some of your constituents that you was giving and it was for you to give and I think they misunderstood that, and Mr. Richmond, it’s not for any one particular Council member it’s for Natchitoches Parish, and people needs to understand that before the message goes out and thinking that ole Rod Bedgood is giving out material that could be put on his roads only, and I think that needs to be stated.”

 

Mr. Richmond, replied, “It has, it belongs to the Parish.”

Councilman de Graffenried, asked, “Is the Shell Beach Launch off Bermuda road off Cane River? Can we ask the Cane River Waterway Commission and say, “Hey since you got a launch off this road would you be willing to consider paving the road?” Can you approach them, like you did the Red River Waterway Commission?” Parish President, replied, “We’ve taken that approach in the past and not yet been successful, not this year, but prior years to the board, along the same lines as the other.”

 

Chairman, Bedgood, then recognizes Ms. Sharon Harris, OCS Executive Director. Ms. Harris sent her reports were sent in mail was there any questions, comments or concerns.

 

Councilman Chris Paige, asked about the utilities, did they receive the money? Ms. Harris, replied, “Yes, the money is in and we’re continually working and we have a different way of doing it this time, instead of doing appointments, people calls in an ask for an application and I’ll email it to them and when we receive all the information, then we’ll put it into the system, which helps us to go a little bit faster and serve more folks.”

 

Mr. Richmond wanted to know which utilities are helped with, because he did get a question like that from the Highway Department. Ms. Harris, replied, “The utilities we’re talking about is the cooling and heating, we’re looking at the electric and gas, but not water.”

 

Councilman Paige, asked, “Is rent a part of that, because someone asked me about that?”  Ms. Harris, responded, “Yes, we have a program that we have Community Assistance Block Grant that helps with rental assistance, as well.”

 

Chairman Bedgood then recognizes Parish Treasurer Julie Lockhart Ms. Lockhart, stated, “Of course you know the biggest is the 2020 proposed

 

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budget for 2020 and you all received that in the mail. We will be bringing insurance and our final end of year amendments for November and December and Insurance should definitely be November, and the latest quote we received there will be a 10% increase in our Health insurance one of the things I put in the budget we do have some opportunity to lower some costs provide same level of care for our Parish employees, I would love to have a committee  to discuss it and go through all the options. It’s going to take too much time to do it for this year, but next year for 2021 budget we can save the Parish some money. Head Start has been extended to December 31, 2019 we’re getting closer to a resolution of the centers for removal of Federal interest, we’re getting closer, the holdup is not on us, that’s Dallas Head Start.”

 

Councilman Paige, stated, “The way we’re doing the Insurance proposals what I have a great difficult with that a particular Insurance Consultants looks at all the different insurances and decides, that mechanism we really need to put that under some scrutiny.” Ms. Lockhart, replied, “I understand.” Councilman Paige, continues, “This just doesn’t go through the smell test.” Ms. Lockhart, replied, “That’s why I want to put together this committee to talk about it and discuss it with all the options we may have as a Parish and move forward from that.”

 

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Interim Director of Planning and Zoning Mr. David Kees, Jr. Mr. Kees, begins by saying, “Unfortunately you did not get my report in the mail, we been in the process of switching over to our new permit software on October 1 and along with that and due to some other technical issues I wasn’t able to get the reports generated until today, we did take in about $20,000 total in permit fees and the Parish is going to pay out about $12,000 of that to IBTS for their inspection services, but one of the good things that came with growing pains of that new software is that Resident are allowed now to apply for permits online and pay for them online, that’s probably a first for Natchitoches Parish and addition to that there are able to pay for that with a debit or credit card, which is a first for Natchitoches Parish we’re trying to make this process as streamline as possible and for people they’re still welcome to come into the office if they prefer the face to face actions, but we’ll try to make it possible for them anyway we can. Is there’s any questions?”

 

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Parish President.

 

Parish President, “Thank you Mr. Chairman, On my report I mentioned Payne Subdivision Project Phase 1A and item on the agenda for awarding the bid on that later, Payne Subdivision Phase II, we amended the agenda to talk about that later also we’ve been working for some time on the Courthouse security project that is a joint State and Parish project.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CAPITAL PROJECTS:

 

  1. Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase IA: The Parish has submitted the plans and specifications for Phase IA to Facility Planning and Control for its review and approval.  The scope of work includes improvements to east end of Miller Drive and the repair of certain base failures in the subdivision.  Facility Planning and Control approved the plans and bids were received on October 11, 2019.  The low responsive bidder is Regional Construction, LLC, Natchitoches, LA. whose bid was $83,055.30.  Consideration of the contract award is on the agenda for the October 21st meeting of the Council. 

 

  1. Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase II: House Bill 2 (Act 20) of the

   2019 legislative session includes an additional $300,000 for street

   improvements in Payne Subdivision ($500,000 in P1 funds less the

  $200,000 already expended in Phases I and IA).  The Parish match

  amount is $100,000.  The Act also includes $600,000 in additional

  funds in direct General Funds (Non-reoccurring funds).   The Parish

  match is $256,395.  The Parish Engineer is preparing the plans for

  this phase of the project for construction in the first half of

  1.  

 

Courthouse Security Improvements:

 

House Bill 2 (Act 20) of the 2019 legislative session includes an addition $350,000 (P5) for the project.  When combined with the existing state and Parish funding, the new total available is $2,310,000.  The project architect is proceeding with the preparation of plans based upon the increased funding level.     The project CEA will be amended to reflect the increased project budget after approval of the State Bond Commission.  We have been informed by FP&C that the final $350,000 will be included in its project funding recommendations to the State Bond Commission at its November meeting.  It is expected that some of the projects will be approved in November and others in December.

 

Payne Subdivision Sewer Improvements:  The total amount of the grant is $756,300, which amount covers the costs associated with the design and construction of a new terminal left station and treatment plant.  The project engineer (Shuler Consulting Company) is preparing the plans for approval of the Parish and the state. The owner of the sewer system (TESI) has agreed in principle to donate the system to the Parish.  Certain legal steps must be completed before the donation would become effective and it may take two to three months to do.  The agenda for October 21 includes a Resolution to authorize the acceptance of the donation subject to the approval of the donation documents by the Office of the District Attorney.

 

ADA COMPLIANCE:

 

  1. 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.  The project was advertised for bids and the mandatory pre-bid conference was held on August 13, 2019.  Six potential bidders attended the conference (attendee list attached).  On July 30, 2019, the Parish received two bids with the low bid in the amount of $120,775.00 submitted by DSW Construction, LLC, Many, LA.  The contract award was approved on September 16, 2019, and the contract was executed on October 7, 2019.  At that time, the Notice to Proceed was issued with an effective date of October 14, 2019.  The completion time is 90 days.   

 

  1. The Parish awarded the contract for the construction of new handicap parking spaces to Page Builders, LLC in the amount of

 

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$6,450.00.   The work has been completed and the project has been closed out.     

 

A Regional Capacity Building Grant Program Applicant Briefing is scheduled for September 16, 2019, in Baton Rouge.  As that is a Council meeting date, Mr. Nick Verret will attend the meeting on behalf of the Parish.  Natchitoches Parish is in Region 1 (northwest La.) that includes part or all of 12 parishes stretching from Caddo to the northern end of Rapides Parish.

 

LOUISIANA WATERSHED INITIATIVE:

 

The parishes in Region 1 collectively agreed to allow the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments to submit a letter of interest on behalf of the Region 1 to serve as the watershed manager for the region.  The Coordinating and Development Council will serve in supporting role to the NW LA COG.

 

NATCHITOCHES STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROJECT:

 

This project is being performed with the assistance of the American Geophysical Union in conjunction with the Thriving Earth Exchange.  On October 11th, the project team participated in a conference call to review the draft Hydrology and Hydrologic Report prepared by LSU.  LSU provided the extensive flood modeling study at no cost to the Parish.  LA DOTD has also been very supportive of the project.  The study report contains valuable data on the flood conditions that can occur in the project area.  This information will serve as the basis of flood control infrastructure projects in the coming years.

 

Serving as an advisor to the project is the U.S. EPA.  The EPA is very interesting in how we address our flood issues and is supportive of local efforts to address the issues in an environmentally acceptable manner.  Their input has been beneficial to the team effort.

 

When the final H&H study report has been issued, the Parish will begin an analysis to determine what steps can be taken to improve our flood situation in the project area. 

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Chairman, Bedgood stated the next item to adopt the minutes of the    regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, September 16, 2019.

 

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 adopt the minutes of the    regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, September 16, 2019.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover

           Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda Appointments and Re-appointments of Boards and Commissions.

 

Councilman Paige at this time asked Parish President a question, “Mr. Nowlin, Mrs. Hoover is a little under the weather and she called me and one concern she has about all the individuals that applied for those positions is for the Council to know who had put in a letter to

 

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serve, and I explained to her again, that’s it’s your recommendation, and if they don’t get through your recommendation, we don’t know who are those individuals are but I think her point is well taken, who’s from her area or from my area or Mr. Russell area, whomever area, we would like to know who applied for those positions and if they fail to make it we’ll know those individuals that made an attempt to apply and serve, Is there a way you can let us know?” Mr. Kee’s asked do you want me to explain, and the Parish President, replied, “No, I just can’t think of all the people off hand who has applied.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “No, just from here on.” Parish President, replies, “Yes, I can provide a list, we discussed that before, just an oversight, I apologize for that, if you would like to hold off on these until next month that’s okay, if you want to see the list, that’s no problem.” Councilman, Paige replied, “I didn’t have a problem with it, I’m just relaying the facts that she’s not here and she had great concern about it and this not her first time mentioning that, of course.”

 

Councilman, Russell Rachal, stated, “In relations to what Mr. Paige is saying, Not just these positions, but in the past, people has asked what about so, and so, and only thing we can say, I can truthfully tell them that’s the only name we saw and I believe if we are going to put our approval on someone to say, yes or no, we should have the rights as a Council to see whom we’ll picking, just if they’re qualified, I don’t want the addresses, or kids names, I want to know their names and qualifications; so I can go back and tell my people, yes, they picked the right person. I really, I don’t know what we need to do to get that done, but I do expect if from here on out.”

 

Parish President, responds, with this, “Let’s table these appointments and provide you at the next meeting with the people and if you want to discuss their qualifications we can go into Executive Session, to do so.”  Councilman, Paige, replied, “Now, let me tell you something, if it’s going to hold up the way these boards function, we’re not here to do that, you understand.” Parish President, replied, “I understand.” Councilman Paige, continues, “Point is well taken, from this point forward, we want to know regardless of who or why your reasonings for selecting that fine, you have the right to do that.” Parish President, replied, “I’m okay on whatever you decide, whatever you want to do.”

 

Mr. David Kees, replies, “I need to ask a question, really quick, I just want to go to Mr. Rachal’s point, because I’m the one whose send out the applications and receives them and right now I’m currently doing double duty, but to your point we have a simple one page application or you asking me to get a Resume from each persons that applies and attach it to the application so you can peruse a Resume along with the application that we submit? He specified the qualifications.”  Councilman Rachal, responded, “I’m saying if we have three people apply to a certain board, all I care to know is who they are, what they’re qualifications, I don’t want to go through them to help you pick them, I trust you-all to make right recommendation, but at least we have a chance to see this one has 6 months experience and maybe this one has five years at least let us see there qualification. I don’t want to be on the process of you-all picking the names, that’s your right to do that.” Parish President, responds, “The qualifications have not been part of the application process, that’s determined when you get on the phone and call them up and talk to them and talk to the Chairman of the Board and other people in the area.” Councilman Rachal, “Just let us know who they are, that’s all I’m asking.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Council to consider the re-appointment of Ms. Jill Cox to Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission.

 

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 re-appointment of Ms. Jill Cox to Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                                                        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the appointment of Ms. Beverly Hodgson-Thoman to replace Henry Kinberger on the Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission.

 

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 re-appointment of Ms. Beverly Hodgson-Thoman to replace Henry Kinberger on the Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Mr. Mike Dawson to the Natchitoches Fire District #6 Board.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appointment of Mr. Mike Dawson to the Natchitoches Fire District #6 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood              Motion Passed

 

Council to consider approving the appointment of Ms. Amanda Fournier to replace Mr. Danny Clark on the Natchitoches Fire District #6 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 the appointment of Ms. Amanda Fournier to replace Mr. Danny Clark on the Natchitoches Fire District #6 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood              Motion Passed

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Council to consider approving the appointment of Mr. Jesse Rachal to replace Terry Rowell on the Natchitoches Fire District #2 Board.

 

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 appointment of Mr. Jesse Rachal to replace Terry Rowell on the Natchitoches Fire District #2 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

First Adoption of proposed Ordinances:

 

Council to consider Introducing Ordinance 016-2019 to remove part of the Little River Road #706.

 

Council to approve the Introduction of Ordinance #017-2019 a budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020 and making      appropriations for each Department, Project, and Account.

 

Council to approve the Introduction of Ordinance #018-2019 to give the State of Louisiana the remaining portion of Five Fork Road.

 

At this time Councilman Paige, replies, “I don’t like this mess that we can’t talk about it, and we have to sit up here a vote on it. We can’t talk about something, but I have to say, let’s put it on here. What you’re about to do on Little River Road, and the man, can’t talk about it, that doesn’t make no sense at all. Need to get your house in order now, we put things on and can’t talk about it.” During this time the Parish President and the Parish Attorney was discussing the situation.

 

Parish President, made a recommendation, by saying, “Chairman, may I suggest that when we Introduce an Ordinance can we at least let somebody hopefully in 50 words or less describe what the Ordinance do without getting into a protractive debate that will come later at the Public Hearing at least say this is the intent of the Ordinance is.”

 

Chairman Bedgood, replied, “I don’t have a problem with that.” The Parish attorney asked, “Is this a policy that someone came up with or where did this come from?” Councilman, Russell Rachal, replied, “Mr. Counsel, can I, according to our Home Rule Charter states an Ordinance can only be Introduced by Title only and that’s why you have to set it 4 weeks and 1 day later for public hearing. Now you’re the Counsel, but I’m just saying it has to be by Title only.”

 

The Parish Attorney, replied, “I have the Home Rule Charter, right here can you go on to something else to give me a chance to research this right quick.” The Chairman, replied, “Do you guys want to go on to the Resolutions and come back to that?” everyone agreed.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Resolutions:

 

 

 

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Council to adopt Proclamation to proclaim the month of October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month throughout Natchitoches Parish.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby proclaim the month of October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month throughout Natchitoches Parish.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood              Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to adopt Resolution 031-2019 authorizing the acceptance by the Parish of Natchitoches of a donation by Total Environmental Systems, Inc. of the Payne Sewer System to the Parish and authorizing the Parish President to execute all documents in connection therewith, upon the advice of the District Attorney.

 

Councilman Chris Paige, “Question, I see a lot of the people from the Payne Subdivision area that is here because they have had some trouble with tractors and backhoe that was pulled into their backyards and started digging up their sewage and at one time they done this and shut people sewage off and it started rolling sewage backup in their homes out there and we had to call Mr. Foster Campbell’s office to have them to put a stop to that because it was causing a health issue in the Community, because they were backing up sewage on people maybe someone was renting and left a high sewage bill there and they went through some problems with selling, I don’t the full story and some people inquired some high sewage bills, some of those people are here, I rather they tell you than me. Before we vote on this, we need to know exactly what we’re voting on and if it’s causing a hardship on the residents. The bills were so high they gave them an opportunity instead of you going over there and shutting them down the sewage off, they gave them some time a payment plan to where they can pay these things off rather than causing a hardship on the Community over some health issues; so I’ll shut up and hear from the people, I know they’re here for that.”

 

Parish President, responded, “Chairman, that’s fine, and I know there has been a lot of issues out there, that’s why the Parish authorized the Community Block Grant Application and we was funded to rebuild the Sewage Treatment Plant of course, the State doesn’t want to put money into something the public entity doesn’t own; so we agreed a couple years ago, the Parish would take the sewage system if we get some outside party to fund the improvements because we didn’t have the money to fund the improvements to the sewage system. Total Environmental System, Inc. (TESI) has agreed to donate the system to the Parish and the Parish would use the Community Development Block Grant to fund it, it’s pending the donation to be given to the Parish, the State can’t put the money into it, if it’s owned by a private company. That’s not to minimize what Mr. Paige said about the issues the residents been having that real and this is one way of addressing one of the issues out there. And we do have another application out there that hasn’t been funded and that’s for the collection system, first we’re going to do the plant and then we’re going to do the Collection system to improve getting the sewage from the homes to the plant, because one grant wasn’t sufficient to cover the whole system,

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so that’s the purpose of the Resolution. If you want to hear from the people, that’s fine too. If this goes through tonight we have to come back later and create a sewage District Board like you do any other boards or Water Districts, they would operate it, because I don’t think this Council would like to be in its day to day operations of a sewage District.”

 

Councilman Paige, replied, “I do understand, but these people has no one to talk to and when a tractor pull up to your house a man told them he was calling the policeman, They don’t know, I don’t know all this is new to me, what you’re telling me as far as agreement we agreed back when? You said to accept this?” Parish President, “We have been talking about this many years.” Councilman Paige, “I know we’ve been talking about it, but I never knew we accepted any plan anywhere this is new.” Parish President, replied, “No, this would be the first formal authorization to accept the sewage system, the CESI if donated to the Parish has to get several approvals as bad as the sewage system is, it’s still part of their company assets, this will not happen overnight, it will take two to three months, legally to be done.”

 

Pastor, Steve Harris, begins, “I know how it got started, because I was a part of them going out and getting a signature for the Grant, I don’t know how it was going to be done, but we have some serious problems out there. You ever own the sewage company, I have a problem with that, and if we’re talking about letting them get this money and keep the system, we really have a real problem with that.”  Parish President, replied, “The money would come to the Parish and not them.”

 

Pastor Harris, continues, “We have feces in the streets and these people wants people to pay them for services that they’re not getting. And there are others who have been here much longer than me they’re rolling up on you saying, “pay what”, you know when we first started this, we didn’t know who owned what.” Councilman Paige, stated, “I don’t think they knew, that’s why I was telling you, because of a Bankruptcy or something.” Pastor Harris, continues, “The deplorable condition this thing is in, Brother Williams knows about the lift station and all the other things going on, now as far as the Parish taking it over, I don’t have a problem, I don’t know about the other, but we just had an issue two weeks ago.”  Councilman Paige, “They showed up a week or so ago and started digging up people yards and varies other things; so that’s why I invited them to come, I understand, people don’t want to say, we’re stopping any progress, but the bottom line is, they need to be assured a payment plan will be in place for these people instead of coming out and shutting these people off, what I’m understanding either it was said or something that Bankruptcy on the company or they sold it to another company and then some people didn’t get a bill, I don’t how someone can go five years without paying a sewage bill and it amounts up to that huge of an amount, I had a friend that came all the way from Waco to check on his parents’ house and I was out there with him, went into the backyard, recently I talked to him just the other day, and he told me they had set up a plan it was $2,500 hundred something dollars and How did your bill get to be that high over a period of time, I don’t care who owns it? I don’t know a payment plan needs to be in place before someone loses their properties, I don’t know.”  

 

Ms. Pam Rushing stated, “They came out last Wednesday or Thursday had door tags on doors saying your services is past due and your services is going to be disconnected. Then the following Monday morning, they came digging up people sewage line. For myself, I’ve been at different residents in Payne, I’ve never received a sewage bill from either residents and where I’m at now, I’ve been there for over a year, and I never received a bill and then I get a green door tag saying I’m past due, you don’t even know my name, the company doesn’t even know my name and you don’t even know who’s staying in the house. So, when I called, they were like it was $185.00 for the Deposit, $300.00 for

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reconnect fee and then they’re going to go back 6 months and have me to pay the bill in order to keep my sewage. I couldn’t afford all that at one time, I believe if they know you owe this money, must utilities don’t let you go 6 months without paying and when they find out you haven’t paid the bill they come out and cut it off without giving you at least 3 days. When they come out, they are so rude and ugly they talk so rude, “This is what we’re going to do, we have to do this”. When you call Baton Rouge, you don’t even get any respect there either, they are nasty, like they’re saying there’s feces and they’re kids in that subdivision that need to get out and take a bath to go to school, there are working parents needs to go to work, you can’t cook, wash clothes, you have gas and water, but you have to have a way for this to go out because when it backs up that is health wise, the Board of Health should be out there, that’s not sanitized it’s not fair to the residents at least they should have given us enough time, so we’re aware that we need to pay, Monday, Tues, and even Wednesday is not fair to the residents. Some of us have to leave from over there, because you can’t stay regardless, you have to go get a motel room that costs and some of us can’t so we have to go stay with relatives, when you have a family, it’s hard to take your family to go lay up on someone else, when you work everyday and paying your bill and one devil or 2 devils come in and cut you off, that’s not fair.”

 

Ms. Keisha Jackson, “Last Thursday, when I got off work at 5:00 pm. I came home to a letter on my door stating, your services will be disconnected Monday morning, I was like what services and then I read it and looked at it and I didn’t know what it was so I google it and then that when it was telling me about the sewage, I’ve been here two years and haven’t know anything about the sewage, I pay my water through the City and I went down to a neighbor and she was telling me what it was and I asked, How do we get in contact with them, it’s a company out of Baton Rouge; I called them Friday morning the lady sent me and email with an application to send the money they wouldn’t take any money over the phone unless you did the application; so I told her I didn’t have an application to fax in because I don’t have a fax machine and I went to the Post Office and it was close, so a long story short, Saturday and Sunday they’re close, so Monday morning, I got up it was three to four trucks outside my yard digging. I called the man and said, hold up a minute before you start digging because I spoke with someone and I’m going to go try to find somewhere to go pay the bill and he said, “I don’t have time for that, I came down here to do one job and your concerns don’t mean nothing to me.”  I told him, it will mean something if I call the Police and he told the guy on the tractor, “Go ahead and do what you got to do” and then I talked to the lady name Tina Clark and she told me if I could pay it within 15 minutes it would be $145.00 I believe, I told her I have it right now, I’ll pay it, but she told me she couldn’t take card unless you do an application, How can I get an application, if I can’t send the application to you? And he was like, “We don’t have time for that just go ahead on.” So they just started digging and shutting it off and sewage started coming back up into the house they disconnection fee was $300.00 and application fee was a $100.00 and the $45.00 was for something else, the total I paid was $445.00, they came back out the next day and cut it back on and then she told me, “Ms. Jackson when you receive your bill next month call me and let me know, so I can start billing you from six (6) months back.” I said six (6) months back and she said, “Yes, we’re going to start charging everyone for six (6) months back and it’s not going to be a payment plan, you have to pay all that in one bill.”   

 

Councilman Chris Paige, “Let me tell you, a lot of the people are renters out there and if there’s a fee or something it needs to be put on those Homeowners and not to these individuals, but this hardship is on these people living there, and that’s why I felt it was so

 

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important for them to come.” Ms. Jackson, replied, “That’s what I did, I took the $300.00 out of rent money and paid that so call fine, and my landlord told me if I didn’t have the rest of the rent that I was going to be evicted Friday, they would have the City Marshall serving me an eviction notice, and that’s only two days.”

 

During this time, there was a great deal of discussion between everyone concerning this issue.

 

Councilman Doug de Graffenried, stated, “There is several matters that’s blowing up one this company, it doesn’t sound like they’re acting legally.”

 

Mr. Roderick Williams, stated, “I’ve never seen them come out and do any inspections to anything. I haven’t seen them come dredge anything, my thing is who holds them accountable for keeping the Lift Station up? There should be inspections going on out there. Does someone have a log where the Health Unit has gone out there to the Lift Station? Councilman Paige, asked, “Roger right there by your house there was the water that shoots out, I couldn’t believe it, continuous flow, just like a fireman hold a hose on a fire and I’m not talking about a little water, I’m talking about continuously, I don’t know if someone goes turn it on from back there or what, but it just flows continuously so I got in my car, and I drove back there by Collier’s, Does that water still runs?”

 

Mr. Williams, responded, “That’s the waterline they use for the Fire System. I want to know who holds TESI accountable? Are they passing the Inspections? Nobody don’t know before we award them some money someone need to do a background check.”

 

Councilman Rachal, “Is it DEQ? Right. Or EPA, I’m sorry.”

 

Parish President, “Mr. Chairman, TESI acquired ownership the system was in bad shape from all appearances they haven’t done anything to improve it plus their operating practices certainly are not what we approves, they are operating today under a consent decree that cause the influence to the sewage treatment plant the collection and the influence did not meet the standards of the State Department of Environmental Quality so they’re under a consent decree, the State inspects the systems on a regular basis they penalized them one of those systems like TESI, that’s one of the reasons why they’re getting rid of the system, the Parish nor the State is giving TESI any money, the State said they would give the Parish the money to fix the sewage plant if you accept the plant from TESI, this is a new step for the Parish because we don’t operate sewage systems, we have water systems; so this is kind of a first for the Parish, I think, someone of the Council are willing to do it, because of the situation out there. TESI has an agreement with the State and we’re not part of that agreement, once the Parish accepts ownership then it will be the Parish’s responsibility.”

 

Mr. Williams continues to talk about the situation concerning the light back there when the pump stops pumping. Mr. Williams stated, “When that streetlight is gone out, I know that pump is not pumping.  I know that pump isn’t working anymore that streetlight is gone out. They came and put a transformer out there but didn’t put a light on it. So, I know if that light isn’t on, that pump isn’t pumping. I have a Lift Station behind my house, and when a guy came out there to look at it, he said, “That’s the worst Lift Station he has ever seen.” It has two pumps and the concrete is leaking when that sewage goes to the CVC pipe it goes into that ditch behind my house.”

 

Parish President expressed that if the Parish doesn’t take it, then they will have insisted the State put pressure on them to correct things out there.

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Councilman Doug de Graffenried, states, “I know Chris is going to be thrilled with this, because this actually takes an Ordinance, it can’t be done by Resolution, so we’ll have to introduce it next month and approve it in December.”

 

Councilman Rachal, stated, “According to the Home Rule Charter Section 2-10 12 Acquire immoveable property on behalf of the parish government must be done by Ordinance.”

 

Mr. Andy Freeman, “I thought I might can help you in this area, since I’m familiar with it, there’s two parts to a waste water license, first it’s distributed by the Department of Louisiana Department of Health and the LDQ has the main say, but it’s policed by the Louisiana Department of Health, it this company is not doing it’s job, that’s where you need to go.”

 

Pastor Steve Harris wanted to say one more thing, “I have a bunch of paper that was given to me because they want Payne Subdivision annexed into the City, now listen, first of all my thing is this, I think the City charges around $18.00 and these people charges $45.00 a month and it’s going up, but if the Parish is going to take over this, most the people that’s out there in Payne Subdivision, they really don’t want to be part of the City, but if the City is going to treat us better than we’ve been treated, we have to do what we have to do, because one thing about it, I’m going to contact somebody to stop these people from doing what they’re doing to people out there.”

 

Councilman Paige, wanted to thank the people from coming out, and wanted to know what’s up next. At this time the Parish President thanked Councilman de Graffenried from pointing out that it took an Ordinance instead of a Resolution to take care of this Agenda item. The Parish President, asked, “Do the Council want to introduce this by Title only and vote on it at the next meeting?” Councilman Doug de Graffenried, replied, “We can do that by amending the agenda.” Councilman Chris Paige, replied, “It’s normally hard to get money for these projects, and this can possibly help to improve sewage out there and nobody wants to stand in the way of that regardless. The bottom line of it is we need fairness with these people, we’re not saying give people services without paying for it, but go after the right people, if it’s the landowners go after them and not those people that’s renting.”

 

Chairman Bedgood, asked, “Do you want to amend it?” Everyone said, “Yes.”

 

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

Council to adopt Ordinance 19-2019 authorizing the acceptance by the Parish of Natchitoches of a donation by Total Environmental Systems, Inc. of the Payne Sewer System to the Parish and authorizing the Parish President to execute all documents in connection therewith, upon the advice of the District Attorney.

 

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

 

 Ayes:   Councilman de Graffenried

 Ayes:   Councilman Paige  

 Ayes:   Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:   Councilman Bedgood

 Absent: Councilwoman Hoover               Motion Passed

 

At this time the Parish Attorney had done the research and answered the question about Introduction of the Ordinances and the Parish Attorney answered by saying, “In section 2-11 B All proposed

 

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Ordinances shall be read by their title when introduced and published in the official journal by title only within fifteen days after introduction, except ordinances proposing amendments to the charter shall be published in full.”

 

At this time Councilman Paige wanted to go ahead and do it.

 

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  introduce Ordinance 19-2019 authorizing the acceptance by the Parish of Natchitoches of a donation by Total Environmental Systems, Inc. of the Payne Sewer System to the Parish and authorizing the Parish President to execute all documents in connection therewith, upon the advice of the District Attorney.

 

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

 

 Ayes:   Councilman Paige       

 Ayes:   Councilman de Graffenried

 Ayes:   Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:   Councilman Bedgood

 Absent: Councilwoman Hoover               Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to adopt Resolution 033-2019 authorizing the transfer of the title to property identified as the Breda Head Start Center to Save The Children, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the Bill of Sale and any other documents required to effect the sale, as approved by the Office of the District Attorney.”

 

Parish President begins to explain, “The property involved is the Breda Community Head Start Center it’s located on City land, we had a e-mail just last week from the Regional Office of Head Start that they’re releasing the Federal interest in that property for transferring it to Save the Children and they’re asking us to simply execute a transfer of title, it’s a sale but no revenue to the Parish it’s a passing from Head Start to Save the Children and that’s the way they have to do it, since the money was provided by the Federal Government to build the Center it has to go from Head Start to the Parish to Save the Children.”

 

Councilman Chris Paige, asked, “Where are we at with this you need a motion on it from the floor?

 

On motion by Councilman Doug de Graffenried, and there needs to be a second, and Councilman Paige, replies, “I can’t second it, because I’m abstaining from voting on that matter, unless Mr. Rachal is going to second it, I don’t know.” Councilman Rachal, respond, “I’m not seconding anything that’s involving Head Start since you turned me in for voting illegally anyway, I’m in the same boat.” The Clerk recommended to wait until Chairman, Bedgood comes back into the room to complete this agenda item.

 

Vice-Chairman Paige read the next agenda item.

 

Council to consider Resolution 034-2019 award of low proposal for Resurfacing of Streets in Payne Subdivision Phase 1A to Regional Construction, LLC.

 

Parish President, responded, “Mr. Chairman Regional was the low bid in the price of $83,055.30 and this is part of the State Capital Outlay Program Project. This is funded Seventy Five percent by the State. This for Miller Drive and some other isolated failed spots, but primarily Miller Drive.”

 

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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 adopts Resolution 034-2019 award of low proposal for Resurfacing of Streets in Payne Subdivision Phase 1A to Regional Construction, LLC.

 

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

 

 Ayes:   Councilman Paige       

 Ayes:   Councilman de Graffenried

 Ayes:   Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:   Councilman Bedgood

 Absent: Councilwoman Hoover               Motion Passed

 

Councilman Rachal, “Was that put out for a formal bid? Parish President replied, “No.” Councilman Rachal, “Was it required to be put out for formal bid?” Parish President, “No, I don’t think so, it’s nothing that we own, it’s simply a legal position to get Save the Children?” At this time everyone told Parish President, that Councilman Rachal was talking about the Payne Subdivision. Parish President, responded, “Oh, yes that was put out for bids, they were the low bidder.”

 

Chairman Bedgood went back to agenda item under Resolutions C to read it again Councilman Paige, stated, “The preacher made the motion and they need someone to second it? And asked the Chairman to seconded it. And the Chairman, stated, “I need to second it? I don’t usually do that, but okay.”  Councilman de Graffenried, stated, “If you don’t second it, we’re in a world of hoot.” The Clerk responded, “There still will be two and two and it still will not be able to pass.” Councilman Doug de Graffenried, replied, “You have a quorum present, even if you have extensions.” The Clerk stated, “Okay.”

 

On motion by Councilman Doug de Graffenried, duly seconded by Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt Resolution 033-2019 authorizing the transfer of the title to property identified as the Breda Head Start Center to Save The Children, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the Bill of Sale and any other documents required to effect the sale, as approved by the Office of the District Attorney.”

 

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

 

 Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried      

 Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

 Abstain:   Councilman Paige

 Abstain:  Councilman Rachal

 Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                  Motion didn’t Passed

 

The Clerk responded, “I guess it passed, but I really don’t think it passed, because you need 3 for it to pass.” Councilman de Graffenried, replied, “If it was a tie vote, then it fails, but it’s not a tie vote.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “It’s not a tie vote, because no one voted against it.” There was some conversation going on and Councilman de Graffenried, replied, “We need to put it on for next month.”  Councilman Paige, responded, “So in other words the Children has to go to another center, and you have 300 kids right now.” And then the Head Start Director was in the background saying “The Children will have to wait another month, they have nowhere to go and they have already started the renovations, we have replaced the floors, we have spent a lot of money on that and the City is selling us the property; so what’s the problem?”

 

 

 

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There was a discussion between The Parish President and Councilman Paige, and Mr. Paige responded, “It’s on Mr. Rachal, you need to get him to vote.” Councilman Rachal, at this time, said, “Wait, hold on a minute, he said it’s on me, okay, just two weeks ago this past Tuesday, ladies and Gentlemen, I faced two ethics attorneys because this man turned me in for a voting on something involving Head Start, we’re still in litigations with that, I haven’t been cleared of it yet, but I know I’m not in the wrong, so, until then, I will not vote on anything involving Head Start because, I don’t want to be on the front Page of the Natchitoches Times because of Mr. Paige, Thank you.” Councilman, Paige, replied, “You brought that out and the bottom line we still have to 300 kids in this community that are not placed, because you sit here and voted to shut/stop the Head Start program; so, now your daycare that you operate out there, and I hope none of the kids are going to your daycare, that can’t go to Head Start; so, I mean, you know, it is, you call it whistle blowing some places or wherever you want to call it, but I do think it needs to be looked into and that’s what the people in Baton Rouge, are there for, is to look out for the wellbeing of this Parish, when people are breaking the law.”  Councilman, Rachal, “Mr. Counsel, Mr. Mansour, you as our legal Counsel according to the Ethics attorney and ethics lawyers, the only person that can discuss any litigation once it’s filed any complaints to the ethic board, is the person that it’s filed on, I have that on tape. I’m the only one in this room that can discuss tonight about it, by Mr. Paige discussing it, he’s in violation, committing a misdemeanor, I want charges filed.” Councilman, Paige, “Discuss, Discuss,” Councilman, Rachal, “You can’t discuss according to the Ethic Lawyers and I was told that on tape; so he has talked it already, this is his third time, one time in Natchitoches Times, and one time in April and during the that time Councilman Paige was talking at the same time, saying our kids are suffering while you’re sitting here with this Boston Lawyer attitude.” Councilman Rachal, “I’m asking for our Attorney to hush him up now, because,” Councilman Rachal, was still talking, but at the same time so was Councilman Chris Paige, stating, “I’m an elected official and here we are once again, How many times have you voted since then, on any matter pertaining to Head Start?” Chairman, Bedgood hit the gavel for order and said, “Let’s move on. Councilman Paige, still saying, “Man, go on with that, now.” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “Two voted, two abstain, it takes 3 votes to pass anything, so it failed.” The clerk, asked, “So you’re going to put it back on for next month?” Chairman, Bedgood, responded, “Put it back on next month if you want to.” The Clerk, responded, “No, tell me to put it back on for next month.” Chairman, Bedgood, “I’m telling you to put it back on.”

 

Councilman, Rachal, responded, “Madame, Clerk, I’m requesting, that the minutes be typed verbatim for what the audio has just showed on that discussion.” Councilman Paige, replied, “Just what he said, I called Baton Rouge on him and I can respond to that, take the way you want it.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Verbatim.” The clerk, replied, “You know I always do verbatim.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “No, ma’am you don’t.” The clerk replied, “yes, I do.” Councilman, Rachal, “No, ma’am you don’t.” The Clerk, “Yes, I do.” Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “We’re not going to argue, ok, let’s move on.”

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider Resolution 035-2019 authorizing the Parish President to submit applications for Capital Outlay projects.

 

Parish President, responded, “Mr. Chairman, my office prepared applications for the same projects we submitted last year, changing only the cost estimates, because the cost changes year to year, naturally all of them went up, but you have a schedule of the Capital

 

 

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Outlay in your packets, unless you want to add some or delete, we’re submit the same ones.  

 

Chairman, Bedgood, replied, “I guess we have the same ones we submitted before?” Parish President, replies, “Yes, Sir.” Councilman Rachal, asked, “Is there any kind of order submitted or we just send them all down, or was this by priority or what?”  Parish President, replied, “No, Sir. We submit them all at some point they may asked for priorities and at that point we’ll come back and say, they’re asking for priority, I think on one occasion, a few years ago they said you have a project here that it’s important to you, it’s a million dollars of State money and we’ll give you  $300,000, you can put it towards that project and hope to get the rest of the money later something, or we can give you Coco Bed, I said give me the money….” Councilman Rachal, replied, “The reason why, I’m asking Harmony road has 5 cemeteries on it.” Parish President, responded, “I understand.” There was discussion with the Parish President and Councilman Rachal, about the priorities of the roads when it comes to that point.  

 

Councilman Doug de Graffenried, “I don’t know if we want to go back, but according to Roberts Rule of Order, it says it’s based on the number of votes cast, not the number present, now if our Parish Charter cause for members present then you would have to have 3, Robert Rule of Order said vote casted.”

 

The Parish Attorney recommend going ahead and he would look that one up also.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider Resolution 035-2019 authorizing the Parish President to submit applications for Capital Outlay projects.

 

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 approve Resolution 035-2019 authorizing the Parish President to submit applications for Capital Outlay projects.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next agenda item

 

Other Agenda Items:

 

Council to consider selection of projects and submission of applications for CWEF and LGAP funding by the State of                                         Louisiana.

 

Council to consider authorizing the Parish Treasurer to seek sealed bid proposals for materials and supplies for the Parish Highway and Solid Waste Departments.

 

Council to consider authorizing the Parish Treasurer to seek quotes for Insurances for the Parish including but not limited to Health, Supplemental Health, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D, Worker’s Compensation, auto, inland marine, cyber security, property, and Public Officials liability.

 

 

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At this time Mr. Steve Maxwell wanted to talk about insurance but he was told it will come up later under other items C.

 

Council to consider selection of projects and submission of applications for CWEF and LGAP funding by the State of                                         Louisiana.

 

Parish President responded, “Mr. Chairman, you have the list of the 3 CWEF Community Water Enrichment Fund application and one LGAP about for $5,000 Thousands and I would like to add a second LGAP to that list for road compacting equipment in the amount of $100,000 for the Parish since we’re allowed to request up to $165,700.00 and I hate to send down just one $5,000 application when we need a piece of an equipment for the Highway Department, it will allow us to compact the roads immediately after we grade them.”

 

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 approve with the amendment of added a motorize compactor to the LGAP application for $100,000.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal         

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next agenda item

 

Council to consider authorizing the Parish Treasurer to seek sealed bid proposals for materials and supplies for the Parish Highway and Solid Waste Departments.

 

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 authorize the Parish Treasurer to seek sealed bid proposals for materials and supplies for the Parish Highway and Solid Waste Departments.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal    

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next agenda item

 

Council to consider authorizing the Parish Treasurer to seek quotes for Insurances for the Parish including but not limited to Health, Supplemental Health, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D, Worker’s Compensation, auto, inland marine, cyber security, property, and Public Officials liability.

 

Steve Maxwell begins “I’m Steve Maxwell with Moreman and Moore Insurance out of Shreveport and I’m here with James Maxwell, we’re specialist in the commercial property and casualty we don’t do the life and health. Want to talk to about opportunities to present you to be in direct competition with what you have now. We’re not a consultant, we don’t act like that. We’re the enemy, but with you we’re friendly. We want to talk about the positiveness we can bring

 

Regular Meeting

October 21, 2019                                Page 19.

 

and some new ideas about your Worker’s Comp and General Liability, Auto and property insurance and we kind of started this process last year, we met Mr. Nowlin, and we was just a little bit late last year so we started the process about two months ago and met with Cathy and she told us the best way to do it is to come to tonight meeting and let us stand before you and let you judge us as being one of the competitors if we present a program to you; so that is what we’re wanting to do for you for your January renewal. We want to present a competitive bid and we’re assuming it’s a bid process; we have a lot of energy and good thoughts about what we can do for the City and we want your permission to do that. I would love to take questions about it. How the process of Insurance works? Maybe in the past why you never had competition and maybe the reasons why you haven’t had competition an answer some of those questions, I know you-all are not insurance people and I’ve been doing this 43 years and my brother who’s a CPA has been doing it for 15 years and we do a lot of these types of accounts, we write, Richmond Parish, Bossier Parish, Sabine Parish, Police Jury’s and City’s this is a big part in what we do with our expertise, with that being said what we’re asking bottom line is tomorrow because we’re already behind the 8 ball, this does takes 2 ½ months to do what we need to do, it’s a lot of work. We need to get the information, we don’t have any information; so we have to have that first to get the process rolling to get you the competitive quotes that’s best for you, so I guess tonight is our night in Court.  We don’t have time to wait until November, by that time the deal will be done.”

 

James Maxwell, begins, “Like Steve, said we’re a little bit late, but what really happens here your incumbent broker goes out and block markets. In blocking those markets there is quotes you probably don’t even see and that what we need, we need to know. Quotes like LUBA it will be hard to beat LUBA and like it would be hard to beat Travelers’, but what we done, I came in immediately and solved about a 15 percent savings in terms we call Risk assessment and that’s where we think we bring the expertise in and I don’t think Sabine Parish would mind me saying a probably saved them $67,000.” Steve Maxwell, replied, “We probably wouldn’t gotten in there, because they have had the same agent for ten years and we made a significant savings for them; so that’s all we’re saying to you, if you can be good enough to let us have a market, as simple as your Worker’ Comp, such like Stone Trust, we don’t care about what the market is we think the way we present things and give you a quote to make you really happy with things, to consider to do business with us or to stay where you’re at.”

 

Chairman Bedgood, asked, “What do you actually need from us?”

Mr. Maxwell, replied, “The only thing you have to say is hey, we’ll give you a market, because we looked out there and all the markets are blocked, don’t mean they’re going to be used, they’re just blocked. We just need one market. If they know we’re coming in they would put a quote together for us, and I think Cathy Creamer has what we need, we must have Cathy to give us the market that we want so we can go forward. Because what happens in our business because  your current agent has written you and they have all the information, your loss history and your eons and  other information, and we can’t do anything until we get that, what they do is rush out and block everybody out, like blocking out all the General Contractors so no one can bid a job, that’s exactly what it does. It’s not right that it happens, because it cheats you and you don’t get a fair shake, and we’re here to try to give you a fair shake.”  

 

Parish President, “Looking at the list of insurances, you’re saying you can get us prices for each one of them?” Mr. Maxwell, replied, “Yes, we can put the package just like what’s on your agenda, here,

 

 

Regular Meeting

October 21, 2019                                Page 20.

 

and the only thing that you don’t ask for is General Liability, that we can quote, most parishes do, but we know you don’t.” Parish

President, said, “As we discussed, before, I’m not well versed on Insurance, so you’re saying if the market is blocked, if the Parish Council says okay, and we want you to handle this work for us, what you’re doing, will that block anybody else? Will we get any competitive quotes from the same companies?” Mr. Maxwell, explains, “Most of them don’t give quotes to two different brokers and we know who the players are and you guys have a good player, but we think there will be someone anxious to have your business and the player we have One Beacon, they actually writes the insurance for Natchitoches, the City they are well versed on what they do on that side.”

 

Councilman, Rachal asked, “What is Public Official Liability?” Mr. Maxwell, replied, “Insurance in case one of you guys makes a mistake, error and things happens, and you get drugged into that, it’s for Boards error and omissions.”

 

There was a lengthy discussion on this agenda item.  Relatively from this long discussion.  The Parish will be getting two separate quotes. Quotes will be received separately on Health, Supplemental Health, Dental, Vision, Life, and AD & D. and there will be quotes also from our current Broker and Moreman and Moore on Worker’s Compensation, auto, inland marine, cyber security, property, and Public Officials liability. Moreman and Moore do not quote Health Insurances.

 

Cathy Creamer, confirmed, that previously the insurances have been split out into the two sections, Jim Sandifer always does Health, Dental, life, and all our voluntary programs, and Cunningham Agency and Risk Services did everything else.

 

Norman & Moore wants to compete with Cunningham Agency on a fair bid process, not to remove them, but to compete against them.

Mrs. Creamer, explained to Councilman Paige, Cummingham’s is our agent of record, but Risk Services pretty much handle all the Parish work, but Sandifer Insurance handles the Health, Dental, Vision, Life, and AD & D.

 

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 will allow Moreman and Moore & Company to also compete in the bid process for Worker’s Compensation, auto, inland marine, cyber security, property, and Public Official liability

 

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

 

 Ayes:   Councilman Paige       

 Ayes:   Councilman de Graffenried

 Ayes:   Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:   Councilman Bedgood

 Absent: Councilwoman Hoover               Motion Passed

 

They discussed how the bids works for the Insurance and Mrs. Creamer, stated, “There’s no bids opening in the meetings,  the quotes or proposals come to her and she will compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, and build a proposals and give to the Council and in the past only the lowest bidder was only given to us from the agent.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

October 21, 2019                                Page 21.

 

The Parish Attorney wanted to address Councilman de Graffenried about the voting on the Head Start agenda item, “There was a question about the effect of the extension or a question about if it passed or failed in section 2-10 D of the Home Rule Charter Unless a different vote is required by this charter or state law, the vote necessary to pass an Ordinance, resolution, or other action by the council shall be by a majority vote of the council’s membership; so I believe it takes 3 to pass, so my opinion that matter that agenda item, did not pass.”

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider authorizing the Parish President to execute an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the State of Louisiana and the Parish of Natchitoches that includes increased State funding for the Payne Street Improvement project, FP & C Project No. 50-J35-15-01.

 

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 authorize the Parish President to execute an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the State of Louisiana and the Parish of Natchitoches that includes increased State funding for the Payne Street Improvement project, FP & C Project No. 50-J35-15-01.

 

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

 

 Ayes:   Councilman Paige       

 Ayes:   Councilman de Graffenried

 Ayes:   Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:   Councilman Bedgood

 Absent: Councilwoman Hoover               Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda is to go back to the First Adoption of proposed Ordinances.

 

First Adoption of proposed Ordinances:

 

Council to consider Introducing Ordinance 016-2019 to remove part of the Little River Road #706.

 

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 Introduced Ordinance 016-2019 to remove part of the Little River Road #706.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

 

Council to approve the Introduction of Ordinance #017-2019 a budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020 and making      appropriations for each Department, Project, and Account.

 

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 Introduced Ordinance #017-2019 a budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020 and making appropriations for each Department, Project, and Account.

Regular Meeting

October 21, 2019                                Page 22.

 

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige     

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

 

Council to approve the Introduction of Ordinance #018-2019 to give the State of Louisiana the remaining portion of Five Fork Road.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby introduced of Ordinance #018-2019 to give the State of Louisiana the remaining portion of Five Fork Road.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried       

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood        

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                   Motion Passed

 

  1. Visitors for Non-Agenda Items. (3 minutes)

 

  1. Andy Freeman: Chestnut/Reidheimer Water System.

 

Mr. Andy Freeman, stated, “Five Forks Road is kind of the reason, why I’m here. The previous part of this road that the State took over, when they took it over they put the burden of moving the waterlines on Chestnut/Reidheimer Water systems, I’ve fought this pretty hard and I’ve made all the telephone calls and I don’t know one with the State, that’s why I’ve brought it here; so I can get someone here to make these calls. If you look in the State Administrative Code I think that’s what’s it called and rights of waterway it states in there any Parish or State Entity that has a road that they have acquired, and if they acquired that road and it wasn’t previously there, there’s utilities up and down that road, they want to modify that roadway, then they are to pay for that modification, now in this particular case the State didn’t own this highway they got it from the Parish, I don’t know how they got it, but they put the bill, a $168,000 on this water system, that has no money and now you’re talking about the State is going to take on the rest of the road, our waterline goes all the way  to end of that road, it’s not doable and what I tried to get them to do, at this time, the Chairman of the Water system, stated, “The $168,000 was for one mile of road.” Mr. Freeman, continues, “Actually it’s 3600 foot of pipe, it was very way out there, I’m a water system operator and Wastewater and I run pipe, I know what pipe costs, and no way it cost $168,000. I could have run it all the way to the end of Five Fork Road, that’s what I’m trying to do, somebody to listen to this Water system because the best option that the water system has is to turn it off at the road, at 153, and let the people fin for themselves, because they will never recover that $168,000, $70,000 of that is Engineering cost, if the Water System if they had to do that, they will have no choice, I fought, and I’ve called, and no one would take my phone calls and this is next to the last step. The water system doesn’t have the money to pay it legally, they don’t have the income, when I took this over, back in May of 2016, they were broke, and the Chairman of the Water Board, Mr. Johnson, can verify that and they didn’t have any money, and the first month, I work, he told me, I might have to wait on my money to get paid, but luckily enough we pulled through

 

Regular Meeting

October 21, 2019                                Page 23.

 

  1. And we do have an application in for CWEF and a small one in for LGAP. That’s what I was coming to see about, and I was surprise to hear the Parish was going to give up the rest of that road to the State and that’s going to be a problem, because there’s no way the water system, if they can’t afford $168,000 and they wanted $16,000 upfront, and the water system can’t afford that.”

 

Parish President, responded, “The water line has been re-located and it was re-located by the water system or the State?” Mr. Freeman, responded, “The State or the Water system didn’t put anything down, it was contracted out by a contractor for South Louisiana to put the water line down. The water system had nothing to do with it.”

 

There was more discussion on the water system between the Parish President and Mr. Freeman and the Parish President wanted to check on this more and do some research concerning what Mr. Freeman was talking about. Mr. Freeman stated, “This debt should not been put on the water system in the first place.”

 

Councilman Rachal informed Mr. Freeman, “There’s an Ordinance proposed for next month for us to give the road up to the State, that would be a good time to come back and bring this up, and we have to vote that night and if there is any debt you’re going to incumber from that, we need to know that at that time before we make the vote, because now, if we have that addition on there, then there’s going to be an additional debt incumbered, if they do it the same way. That’s why we have a Public Hearing to listen to everyone.

 

Mr. John Hodgeson, wanted to know if Pardee Road was on the new Capital Outlay application being submitted. Pardee Road was on the list to be sent.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

  1. Executive Session:

 

The Parish Council to hold an executive session in accordance with LSA-R.S. 42:17(A)(2) to conduct strategy sessions with respect to prospective litigation after formal written demand or litigation to discuss the litigating position of Natchitoches Parish Government in the matters of McMurtry v. Natchitoches Parish Government, et  and Lynda Vance v. Natchitoches Parish.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Rodney Bedgood that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does approve to go into an Executive Session to hear and conduct strategy sessions with respect to prospective litigation after formal written demand or litigation to discuss the litigating position of Natchitoches Parish Government in the matters of McMurtry v. Natchitoches Parish Government.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried       

Nays:      Councilman Rachal         

Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover                  Motion didn’t Passed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

October 21, 2019                                Page 24.

 

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

 

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 adjourn.                  

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Absent:    Councilwoman Hoover            Motion Passed

 

Since there was no other business the meeting was adjourn:    

 

Attest:

 

                                           __________________________

                                           Rodney Bedgood, Chairman

_________________________

Sheryl Frederick,

Council Clerk

 

 

Attachments