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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH COUNCIL

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, STATE OF LOUISIANA

TAKEN A REGULAR MEETING HELD, MONDAY,

September 16, 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, September 16,2019 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 Councilman Rodney Bedgood and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Councilman Russell Rachal.

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

Absent: None.

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

  1. Council to consider execution of the following documents by the Parish President
    • Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to authorize the Parish to work with CRNHA, Inc. on projects of mutual benefit, and
    • Amendment No. 1 to Cooperative Agreement between CRNHA, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to provide general overview and agreement for the Bermuda Bridge Engineering Feasibility Study.
    • Consider an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.
    • Consider an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all other terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.”

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

A. Council to consider execution of the following documents by the Parish President

    1. Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to authorize the Parish to work with CRNHA, Inc. on projects of mutual benefit, and
    2. Amendment No. 1 to Cooperative Agreement between CRNHA, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to provide general overview and agreement for the Bermuda Bridge Engineering Feasibility Study.
      • Consider an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.

 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 was to recognize any invited guests.

Douglas Brown, Senate District 31 is running against Louie Bernard and he just wanted to introduce himself and let the people know he’s concerned about the small towns within the Parishes and he’s asking for the people’s support.

Mr. Edwin Donahue was there to talk about the Opioid’s litigation he discussed a few months back and he’s back to see if this something the Council would want to participate in. Mr. Donahue stated, “In the papers they’re about to settle those matters and to be candid with you, I hate to leave money on the table. If things didn’t work out right, there will be no exposure to cost or fees.”

Councilman Paige, asked, “What do we need to do to move this process along?” Mr. Donahue, replied, “You would need to adopt the Resolution to consider and vote on to retain us, and I didn’t bring it tonight because I didn’t know if you were going to vote on it tonight.”

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby amend the agenda to add to consider adopting a Resolution for Natchitoches Parish to participate in the Opioid’s Litigation.

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 was to recognize any invited guests.

 

Douglas Brown, Senate District 31 is running against Louie Bernard and he just wanted to introduce himself and let the people know he’s concerned about the small towns within the Parishes and he’s asking for the people’s support.

 

Mr. Edwin Donahue was there to talk about the Opioid’s litigation he discussed a few months back and he’s back to see if this something the Council would want to participate in. Mr. Donahue stated, “In the papers they’re about to settle those matters and to be candid with you, I hate to leave money on the table. If things didn’t work out right, there will be no exposure to cost or fees.”

 

Councilman Paige, asked, “What do we need to do to move this process along?” Mr. Donahue, replied, “You would need to adopt the Resolution to consider and vote on to retain us, and I didn’t bring it tonight because I didn’t know if you were going to vote on it tonight.”

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council, in regular and legal session, does hereby amend the agenda to add to consider adopting a Resolution for Natchitoches Parish to participate in the Opioid’s Litigation.

 

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

 

More discussion was on this matter, this money if we receive it will go in the General Fund for what ever use the Parish see fit to spend it on. That discussion will come later.

 

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 for Natchitoches Parish to participate in the Opioid’s Litigation.

 

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

 

 Ayes:  Councilman Paige  

 Ayes:  Councilwoman Hoover  

 Ayes:  Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:  Councilman de Graffenried 

 Ayes:  Councilman Bedgood                 Motion Passed

Mr. Kenneth Ellzey, IT Administrator for the Parish Government gave a presentation on online You Tube Video streaming, the Parish already have the equipment and you don’t have to pay anything for it and the Parish can live stream they’re on meetings a camera would be mounted in the back and there will be audio, additional to that we would have a You Tube Channel and load all the older audio meeting because that’s public information anyway. He should a version on his phone which wasn’t even connected to WIFI and it worked fine and then he showed a version on his pad using WIFI and it worked also. Mr. Ellzey is asking the Council for approval to move forward.

Council to consider approving the Video Streaming of the Natchitoches Parish Council meetings on the Natchitoches Parish Website and from the Council Meeting room using the equipment from the Parish of Natchitoches.

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 Video Streaming of the Natchitoches Parish Council meetings on the Natchitoches Parish Website and from the Council Meeting room using the equipment from the Parish of Natchitoches.

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 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 touch about 25 to 26 percent of the Districts and put down about 2000 yards of material out on the non- paved roads and pothole patching on the paved roads. Most of the money went in Districts 4 and 5 and we have a detailed list of the roads. If you have any immediate questions, I’ll be glad to answer them.”

Councilman, Chris Paige, replied, “I understood, you said it was spent in the larger Districts and I think Ms. Hoover and myself, I know we talk about it time and time again that’s where the problem and I think that has to be looked at, at some point or another, I think tonight you have a lot of people from the Bermuda Road area and they’re in Mrs. Hoover’s District and they don’t understand and they see not a whole lot of work is being done down there in Mrs. Hoover’s District, for instance I don’t remember what the numbers are for this month, but from month to month Mr. Rachal would have $100,000 dollars spent and Mr. Bedgood District have close to $100,000 spent and when it comes to Mrs. Hoover’s District she will have $2,000, $3,000 and $10,000 on a good month and when you talk about the percent of people that lives down the road, Bermuda road when you talk about those amount of people traveling up and down that road on a day to day basis you’re from 500 to 700 people a day and that’s just off the top of my head, I don’t have an exact count, but a lot of those rural roads that you’re talking about and spending a lot of money on in the rural Districts 20 to 30 people travel down those roads, not saying they don’t need attention, but we’re trying to say fairness needs to be displayed and the way the money is disbursed, I don’t know the equation on how you disbursed the money but that needs to be look at as well, in a better and fair way. There is no way you go out and talk about a tax and

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those people from that area is going to support a tax, when they only get $3,000 dollars a month and that’s absurd some how we’re going to have to find a fair way to disburse money, not by how many miles of

road but how many people lives we’re going to affect, I don’t know who comes up with the equation, but it needs to be looked at.”

 

Mr. John Richmond, responded, “I can certainly tell you how the work load is distributed, it’s distributed by the number of calls that comes in from a particular area and the needs for those calls and while, I certainly understand what you’re saying and I will not dispute what you’re saying. We get a lot of calls and the majority of our calls are from District 4 and District 5 with complaints about the road, not saying that Bermuda road and folks like Bermuda road don’t call they certainly do and we get there with a grader in that area as quickly as we can, but that’s how it happens, when people calls into the office.”

 

Councilwoman Hoover, begins, “Chris and I have been communicating and just to add to what he said and to give the total amount $2,426.62. I’ve had people from Bermuda road to call me, because they had a question and I asked them to be here tonight, the question is, they want to know why Bermuda road singled out in a lawsuit? I’ll like for the President to tell them why they were single out in a lawsuit because they asked for their road to be fixed and if the President can recognized Mr. Woody and he can come up because he’s representing Bermuda road and I don’t want to take away from them, because they can speak for themselves.”

 

Mr. Linwood “Woody Delphin, came to speak on behalf of the residents on Bermuda road. Mr. Delphin, stated, “John, you guys are doing good, but that dust is really bad, my shoes should be black, but they’re not because of the road and the buses, they have four buses that pass down there real fast and you have people walking with their kids and families most are going over the 35 speed zone, we’re seeing this all the time. Dust is everywhere. How would you like to be inside your home and have your dust coming towards you too, it’s helping somewhat.” Mr. Delphin wanted, Mr. Richmond to start doing something for the people on Bermuda road, because they need attention.

 

Councilman Paige, stated, “Mrs. Hoover brought up about a lawsuit, it’s really disturbing and we have Executive Session to discuss things that pertains to the people’s business and for one reason or another we haven’t been able to go into Executive Session to do what’s best for the people of the Parish, now another thing the individual who filed the lawsuit; which I don’t understand that, but Bermuda road people are trying to get to the church down there, a lot of people have funerals down there, and a lot of people live down there; then this gentleman apparently same gentleman who has filed a lawsuit is having the audacity to go around and ask your family members in East Natchitoches and all of that for a vote, that he wants to be in a Parish Council seat, you need to understand what this lawsuit is all about and who is filing the lawsuit, it’s very important when you talk about you can’t get to your church, you can’t bury your love ones, and you can’t get home. People need to understand who these people are who’s out here filing lawsuits talking about the reasons they filed a lawsuit, because they declared an emergency, anytime you jump ahead of something on the schedule for as a regular day to day schedule and sometimes people jump ahead because they want a yes vote up here apparently that has happened in the past and if somebody declared an emergency to fix a road, I’m not going to sit here in this District and be opposed and file a lawsuit against anybody in this Parish that wants their road fixed, if it’s declared an emergency, you can declare whatever you want to declare it, just go fix those people roads and that’s my opinion on that, now all these smart butts up here who’s filing lawsuits and saying hey look, they didn’t do the right procedure, these people trying to get to church and trying to bury our

 

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love ones, and a lot of us are saying we’re Christians, we love the Lord, come on now, let’s get real here.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, continues, by saying, “Not only to get to Church from day to day, but my question to the President is why? The constituents want to know why Bermuda road was target for a Lawsuit?”

 

Parish President, replied, “There has been a reference to a lawsuit, obvious reasons I can’t go into details about it, the lawsuit itself, but I can say, I’m not aware of any lawsuit that specifically target the Parish because of Bermuda road. The Parish took some steps, steps that was needed to take a lawsuit ensued but there was a number of roads including Bermuda that benefited from what the Parish did, it wasn’t just for Bermuda.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, “Let me just say, I understand there was other roads, but Bermuda road, the lawsuit was about Bermuda road because I asked for emergency funding is that correct?”  Parish President, replied, “Yes, Mrs. Hoover, you asked for emergency, a Declaration of Emergency funding in order to get materials to fix Bermuda road. The Parish issued an Emergency Declaration which was much broader it was for the entire Parish, so I want to make that distinction.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, “I definitely wanted you to clear that up because, and I said it before, that when I called you, you made commitment to me, not so ever, other than you would get with he Public Works Director to go out and view that road, then later I’m hearing that, actually it was you, (referring to Councilman Rachal) pulling up something, I had on fix the roads, but the President never at any point, that he was going to do anything and then we ended up in a lawsuit. The people were just concerned, Why Bermuda road, was the target.”

 

There was more conversation on patching and fixing Bermuda road and other roads.

 

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.”

 

There was more discussion about the Cane River Waterway Commission and the President said, he couldn’t answer for them, but he will try again to ask for help with the Bermuda Road. More discussion took place about roads and Ms. Matreka Moses, came up to ask about getting general maintenance on Bermuda road, and that they do call, because Ms. Jo knows her when she calls. Councilwoman, Hoover also wanted to know about the status of the Capital Outlay on Bermuda Road, Pardee Road, and Harmony Road. The Parish President, replies, to this question by saying, “No, Bermuda road has not been funded we refiled on the Federal level on the BUILD application like we done last year, for Bermuda, Pardee, and Harmony Road. I talked to the folks up there and they’ve invited us to come up there to make a presentation we’re trying to schedule a date, they said we can’t promise the dollars, but we can grant you the time to talk to the people who grants the dollar. We’re working on that.” Councilwoman, replied, “Please let us know, I will make myself available, I surely wants to go for Bermuda road.”

 

Chairman, Bedgood, then recognizes Ms. Sharon Harris, OCS Executive Director. Ms. Harris sent her reports and said Head Start is no longer under her department anymore.  Ms. Harris wanted to know since her

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reports were sent in mail was there any questions, comments or concerns.

 

Parish President wanted Ms. Harris to give an update on the Head Start Close Out. Ms. Harris, stated, “The close out, we’ll still not closed out yet, they have extended us until October, because we’re still having some concerns with the transfers of the facilities. We’re waiting on a Federal action to transfer the buildings from the Federal Office of Head Start. The Parish is waiting on them.”

 

Ms. Carolyn Roy wanted to know where the new facilities are going to be, but Ms. Harris didn’t want to quote anything that she wasn’t sure of and she told Ms. Roy that information should come from Save the Children.

 

Councilwoman, Hoover wanted to know, “When are you going to be doing the utilities assistance again?” Ms. Harris, replied, “We’re doing it, it’s ongoing applicants can call, concern citizens can call, and we’ll send out to them an application intake form and they can fax it back to us and it goes much faster that way, but it’s on a daily basis anytime.”  

 

Councilman Chris Paige, replied, “Ms. Harris, we have some students out there, can you break that down a little more for them what you’re talking about?” Ms. Harris did do that to let them know about the program in simpler form.

 

Chairman Bedgood then recognizes Parish Treasurer Julie Lockhart Ms. Lockhart, stated, “To expand on the Head Start Close out, we’re not spending any Parish funds it’s just to administer to close the funds to move the facilities that we’ve talked about the Mansfield buildings moved to Natchitoches for the use of the Parish and some confusion from Regional Head Start on what process we need to do that; also Breda is being used right now by Save the Children and that was not transferred to them when we transferred all the other equipment because there was some confusion whether it had to be a bill of sale so we do need to execute a bill of sale so they can take possession of that facility. Going forth, next month we must introduce the budget for 2020, upcoming I’m going to have some Personnel Manual revisions changes that I’m going to need you all to look at and to adopt or help with also accounting procedures and purchasing procedures, next month we’re going to be busy and Insurance, probably will be a little trickier this year because we loss the headcount from Head Start. Any questions?”

 

Councilman Paige wanted to know in short version why the Budget item was removed from the Agenda. Ms. Lockhart, replied, “I’m looking at all the budget and instead of trying to piece it, I’ll try to knock it all out at one big change, because it’s going to be a lot of things that is going to have to change to close out 2019 and have a good start with 2020.”  Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Does this mean that our Parish employees’ insurance will be going up?” Ms. Lockhart, replied, “I don’t know that for sure, but it’s a good chance it could happen. There could be an increase in what the Parish has to pay, as far as ask our employees to pay anything, I can’t answer or say right now.”  Councilman Paige, replied, “At some point we need to look at the way we do business with this insurance with this insurance company that does the consulting for the Parish we need to change or look at a better way we have in place with that, this is simply a bit much and this is coming strictly from this District, I don’t know how the others feel we really need to revisit giving the consulting to an insurance agent. Thank you.” Ms. Lockhart asked for any other questions. There were none.

 

 

 

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Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Interim Director of Planning and Zoning Mr. David Kees, Jr. Mr. Kees, begins by saying, “You should have received my reports we took in a little over $20,000 total in permit fees and we paid out to IBTS about $15,000. Permits seems to be going up right now on new construction, new housing is doing well right now. A good thing that is coming up right now, is when you-all approved the contract with IBTS for the next two years that allowed us to get their permit software and to implement it with the Parish and this will allow us to set the online application and except credit cards for the permit fees this will make it a lot easier for the people in the Cloutierville, Natchez, and Goldonna area that has Internet access to instead of taking off from work and drive 45 minutes to an hour to get into town and drive back they will be able to initiate it online and make the payment online and also streamline some of the workflow in the office as well. Mr. Kees asked if there were any questions and there was none.

 

Councilman, Chris Paige, begins, “David, people in Payne Subdivision has contacted me about double Wide’s and single Wide’s, Is it a going thing now, that single wide’s can be placed anywhere within Payne Subdivision, one time we talked about it, it supposed to be on the back side, now there coming into some areas and I’m getting phone calls about it, and I’m wanting to find out and the public is needing to know.”

 

Mr. Kees, replies, “At this point, Payne Subdivision on my zoning map is zone as Industrial Agriculture which will allow for a manufactured home to be placed on any lot in Payne Subdivision as the Parish we cannot enforce Subdivision, that would have to be done by the people in the Subdivision which means any restriction on a manufactured home can be placed on the lot in Payne Subdivision it has to be done by a Subdivision Covenant with the people in that Subdivision. So as far as the Parish concern as far as my role is, when someone comes in to do a permit for a mobile home in Payne Subdivision, I must allow it according to our Ordinance. Now there has been some talk about we have had a lot of things that the Planning Commission seem to pass in previous years that didn’t make it to the Police Jury or the Parish Council as it was supposed to by Ordinance some members on the Planning Commission spoke with some legal people by possibly Introducing an Ordinance that the Parish Council would retroactively enforce all actions taken by the Planning Commission in previous years, now that may create some other problems especially with that manufactured homes deal, because they did it as a special exception in Payne Subdivision and that’s not allowed under the Ordinance; so I’ll have to see what legal says about things like that when we run into it and we might alleviate some questions from people if we would go that way.”

 

Councilman Paige, stated, “Well, that ‘s the concern they have right now and that’s why I’m bringing it to you. Thank you.”

 

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Parish President.

 

Parish President, “Thank you Mr. Chairman, I’m going to go over a couple of the items and I’ll answer questions on any you may have.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CAPITAL PROJECTS:

 

  1. Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase I: The construction has been completed with a final cost of $187,155.46, after the execution of two deductive change orders.  Due to the cost of Phase I being less than projected, there is a balance of $71,511.00 that is available for use in an additional contract designated as Phase IA.  The Parish is waiting on approval from Facility Planning and Control to close out the project and issue final payment to the contractor.

 

  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.  Following approval from Facility Planning and Control, the Parish will solicit bids for the work.

 

Courthouse Security Improvements:

 

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.  Approval of the contract award is included on the agenda for the meeting on September 16, 2019. 

 

  1. The Parish awarded the contract for the construction of new handicap parking spaces to Page Builders, LLC in the amount of $6,450.00. The work has been completed and the project is in the closeout phase.    

 

  1. HC Restrooms (Main Courthouse): The architect recommended the project scope be reduced to making certain modifications to the existing restrooms in order to reduce the project cost.  These renovations are included in the HC Ramp project referenced above.

 

LOUISIANA WATERSHED INITIATIVE:

 

On June 13, 2019, Louisiana Office of Community Development hosted a Parish Leadership Briefing in Natchitoches for the parishes in northwest LA.   At the meeting, we were informed of the new Louisiana Watershed Initiative for storm water management.   Attending from the Parish were Mr. John Richmond, Public Works Director, Mr. Nick Verret, Parish Engineer, and the president. 

 

During the presentation, we were afforded the opportunity to provide feedback on planned procurement efforts for data collection, data management and numerical modeling to address our flood control concerns. 

 

The Watershed Initiative is utilizing recovery dollars in a proactive approach with the aim of improving water management before the next disaster.  Additional meetings will be held as more information becomes available.

 

 

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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.

 

RURAL BROADBAND CONFERENCE:

 

On September 4, 2019, the Parish attended the Rural Broadband Conference held in Covington, LA.  The conference was organized by Senator Bill Cassidy and included presentations by representatives of the Federal Communications Commission, USDA Rural Development and the Delta Regional Authority.  It also included remarks by State Senator Beth Mizell who is an advocate for broadband development statewide.

 

In his opening remarks, Senator Cassidy informed those present that the federal government has appropriated 22.4 Billion Dollars over the next 10 years for broadband infrastructure improvements.  The federal grants will go directly to broadband service companies to assist them in the cost of the improvements. 

 

Councilman Rachal asked, “How many hours a week does Mr. Verret works a month? Parish President, responded, “His most recent time sheet had 20 hours or something on it and some months are less than that.” Councilman Rachal, asked, “Does he have an Assistant?” Parish President answered, “Yes, he has a contract person that he uses for paperwork, spreadsheets and forms, but it’s a saving for the Parish to let her do that.” Councilman Rachal, responds, “How many hours does she works?” Parish President, responded, “Mr. Rachal, I’ll be happy to give you that information if you like to have it, if I knew you wanted it, I would have brought the data with me. I try to bring what I think you might ask.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Yes, I will like to have that, and her rate of pay is.” Parish President, replied, “I’ll make a note, but some months it may be 10 hours and some months it may be 30 hours it depends on what we have going on.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover begins, “I have a question for the President and Mr. Rachal, I understand there’s an opening on the Hospital Board and I’m asking the President will you be making that appointment, Mr. Rachal, Did you resign from the Hospital board?” Councilman Rachal, replied, “I did.” At this time Parish President, asked, “Did you send me a copy?” Councilman Rachal, replied, “You know I sent you a resignation that night, Mr. President.” Parish President, replied, “If you said you did, you did.” Councilman Rachal, replies, “You accepted, and you told me you were sorry, I did it.”

 

Mrs. Carolyn Roy, asked, “Did you resign or what?”  Councilman Rachal, replied, “It’s still in litigation and I can’t talk about it, but I did resign and there will be further actions from my side of it. I’m not responding to nothing else, I’m through with that.”

 

Mrs. Carolyn Roy, “What’s the litigation, your resignation?” Councilman Rachal, responded, “A lawsuit against someone else and that’s all I’m going to say.” At this time the Parish President, responded, “I knew, I was just messing with you.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Oh, I knew.”  Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, the Parish President, “Oh, you did know.” Parish President, replied, “Oh, yes I knew.” Councilwoman, Hoover replied, “But the Council didn’t know, we didn’t know.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “It hasn’t been settled yet, that’s why nobody knew.” Councilman Paige, responded, “Why is this such a secret? Isn’t this the people’s hospital? Isn’t the Hospital Board for the people of this Parish? For someone to say, we slide it to you under the table that’s just unacceptable, I’ve been sitting here a long time to know, Mr. Scarborough you’ve been here a long

 

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time, have you heard of such? I never heard such. Now this is the way we operate; so be it. I’m going to sit back in my sit and go to the bathroom in a minute, this is just not acceptable.”

 

Parish President, responds, “Mr. Paige, I sit here month after month and listen to these insinuations and allegations of sliding things under the table. I didn’t interrupt you Sir, so you be quiet. I listen to this stuff, he recently resigned and what I normally do once someone resigns I nominate someone for your approval, I let you know who’s off the board and whom I’m recommending we’re handling this one the same way we handle all the other ones. Thank you, Sir.”

 

The Chairman asked was Parish President was finished, and at that time Councilman Paige, responded, “I’m not. I’m wondering if this is acceptable. You sit here and say, you didn’t get the letter, and you did get the letter, if I’ve done that, Ms. Roy I think you’ll have me plastered all over the Natchitoches Times tomorrow, big ole brown, black, blue writing whatever, I just want you to understand that when I sit here and I say no, I don’t support you as a journal if you can’t print the truth, we don’t need you up here.”  Councilman Rachal, asked, “Ms. Roy was you aware of an issue and you made a phone call to ask me about being on the board or something?” Ms. Roy, replied, “Yes, I did, but I’m not telling you who told me.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “I already know.”

 

Councilwoman Hoover, now responds, by saying if we’re putting everything out there so let’s put it out there, “I’m asking the President, I understand you have taken a laptop, keys and they have been put on administrative leave, tell us about that. One of our employees have been put on administrative leave with pay and I heard that, the Council didn’t know anything about it. Why the Council don’t know?”

 

Parish President responds, “Mrs. Hoover your question goes directly to a matter that’s intended to be discussed during Executive Session this evening and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions in Executive Session.” Councilwoman, replied, “Okay, I appreciate that, Thank you.”

 

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, August 19, 2019.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt the minutes of the    regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, July 15, 2019.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

           Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 11.

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Ms. Karen Terrell to the Natchitoches parish Library Board of Control.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appoint Ms. Karen Terrell to the Natchitoches parish Library Board of Control.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Mr. Ludlow McNeely to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appointment of Mr. Ludlow McNeely to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Mr. Mark Waskom to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appointment of Mr. Mark Waskom to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the appointment of Ms. Dee Dee Dunagan to the Natchitoches Parish Housing Authority 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 appoint Ms. Dee Dee Dunagan to the Natchitoches Parish Housing Authority Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 12.

 

 

Council to consider the appointment of Mr. Jimmy Atherton to the Saline Lake Game and Fish Preserve Commission to replace Mr. Tony Swords.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby appoint Mr. Jimmy Atherton to the Saline Lake Game and Fish Preserve Commission to replace Mr. Tony Swords.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

First Adoption of proposed Ordinances: None

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Public Hearings:

 

  1. Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

  1. Conduct a public hearing with the Natchitoches Parish Council Sitting as a “Board of Review” to hear any and all protests or complaints on values of property for assessment purposes fixed by the Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby open the public Hearing to hear the followings:

 

  1. Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

  1. Conduct a public hearing with the Natchitoches Parish Council Sitting as a “Board of Review” to hear any and all protests or complaints on values of property for assessment purposes fixed by the Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried             Motion Passed

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 13.

 

Discussion B

 

Mrs. Dollie Mahoney, Tax Assessor came to discuss the one complaint that was filed and the 2019 assessed values.

 

One Appeal and that’s Aaron they want to change their personal property from $615,066 to $201,348 Aaron’s is appealing all over the State and they appealed two years ago. We have several rents to own companies in Natchitoches Parish and Aaron’s is the only one feels that they shouldn’t be paying for rent to own furniture.

 

General Information on the report from 2018 to 2019 there has been an increase in the assessed values

 

 

2018

2019

Difference

TOTAL ASSESSED VALUE

$404,912,294

$412,890,794

+$7,978,500

TOTAL TAXABLE VALUE

$351,720,676

$359,085,223

+$7,364,547

TOTAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

$53,191,618

$53,805,571

+$613,953

PUBLIC SERVICE

$103,272,670

$104,432,620

+$1,159,950

 

 

                     TOTAL DOLLARS RECEIVED

 

TAXING DISTRICT

TAXPAYER

AMOUNT 2018

TAXPAYER

AMOUNT 2019

 

DIFERENCE

ROAD DISTRICT 40

$1,2015,995

$1,230,952

+$24,957

GENERAL ALIMONY

INSIDE CITY

OUTSIDE CITY

 

 $191,661

 $835,776

 

$195,459

$853,672

 

+$3,798

+$17,896

COURTHOUSE MAINTENANCE

$1,055,162

$1,077,255

+$22,093

LIBRARY

$2,813,766

$2,872,682

+$58,916

HEALTH UNIT

$1,055,162

$1,077,255

+$22,093

 

Mrs. Dollie Mahoney also introduced her chief deputy who’s the newly Tax Assessor, elect, Mr. Tim Page, he will be sworn in January 2021 so there’s no confusion Ms. Mahoney is still the Tax Assessor until January 2021.

 

Discussion A

 

  1. Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

There was a couple of neighbors that was concerned about the noise, but there were two individuals Mr. Steve Harkins have 2 lots next to the property and Ms. O’Brien has the property right next to it. They are concerned about the pond that they would be sharing with Rutledge if they moved there.  Mr. Bill Rutledge said he’s going to fix the property up, where they’re going to build a shop, they going to make the property looks better and there will be no sign on the road, and they will not have any walk-in customers. Nancy Rutledge came to talk about the pond, because her husband didn’t hear the problem concerning the pond. The pond will be cleaned and build and pier and stock it with fish for their grandchildren can fish, there has been sewage leaking in it from the old house, and that will be taken care of since

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 14.

 

 

they are a plumbing company. They are welcome to over to use the pond if needed.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby close the public Hearing.

 

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

 

Action on Proposed Ordinances:

 

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby Adopt Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

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

 

Ayes:     Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:     Councilman Paige

Ayes:     Councilman Rachal

Ayes:     Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:     Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to approved or deny the assessed value levied by                                             the Tax Assessor, Dollie C. Mahoney.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the assessed value levied by the Tax Assessor, Dollie C. Mahoney.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 15.

 

Resolutions:

 

Council to adopt Resolution in recognizing the importance of 

the United States Census and encouraging all Natchitoches Parish Resident to Participate in being Counted.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby to adopt Resolution in recognizing the importance of the United States Census and encouraging all Natchitoches Parish Resident to Participate in being Counted.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried             Motion Passed

 

Councilwoman Hoover wanted to let everyone know there’s job available with the census from $20.00-$40 for management. Councilman Paige thought Mrs. Hoover was going to tell why it’s important to participate because of the numbers in your communities, you need to be counted in your community.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Other Agenda Items:

 

Council to consider awarding the construction contract for the Courthouse ADA Renovations to DSW Construction, LLC, Many, LA., in the amount of $120,775.00, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the Notice of Award and Construction Agreement upon receipt of the contractor’s performance and payment bonds and certificate of insurance.

 

Councilman Rachal, wanted to know what was the first amount that the President rejected due to cost from Prothro Construction last year. It was around $130,000 and something. Parish President asked the Treasurer did she have that cost. And Parish Treasurer looked and found it was

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby award the construction contract for the Courthouse ADA Renovations to DSW Construction, LLC, Many, LA., in the amount of $120,775.00, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the Notice of Award and Construction Agreement upon receipt of the contractor’s performance and payment bonds and certificate of insurance.

 

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 approving the Louisiana Department of Economic Development of the following action pursuant to §503(H)(1) of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 16.

 

Tom Frazier, Controller from Alliance was there to explain that there was a clerical error on the application and Baton Rouge approved that, but it still must go through the municipal areas also. It’s 1.2 million dollars for five new jobs and five new jobs is about $150,000 and that’s the correction that was made. It didn’t change the amount of money that was spent that’s basically all that happened. 600 employees are at the company. Councilman Hoover, stated, “The employees are not being paid what they should be paid, and I’m not for giving large corporation money; when we ask our constituents for taxes, but we’re giving 80 percent tax breaks for people who have money.”

 

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 approve the Louisiana Department of Economic Development of the following action pursuant to §503(H)(1) of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Nays:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood                   Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider approving the Parish President to secure additional legal Counsel for employment matters at the recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office.

 

Parish President wanted to address it after the Executive Session because everyone would be better informed on what’s going on.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider approving the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

 

At this time Councilman Russell Rachal, called for Mr. Sanders to come up to speak.  Mr. Sanders begins by saying “We have been operating with five, but they did have seven on the Board, but two has been absent over a year and everything has been working smoothly. We are not in a municipality to appoint any board members, we have no form of city government

 

Councilman Paige, replied, “I have two different friends that served on the Board down there for years, and he call me about two to three months ago and he was really destruct, hurt feelings about not being no longer to serve down there and I just wonder why there’s so many volunteer firemen are leaving your Corp down there.?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “We only had two to leave and that’s because of an argument between the two of them.”  Parish President asked, “How many Fire Fighters they have now than a year ago?” and Mr. Sanders replied, “About 24.” Parish President asked, “Is it increasing or decreasing?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “It’s increasing.”

 

Councilman Paige, asked, “Did the chief down there, did he resign?”

Mr. Sanders, response, “Yes, Sir.” Councilman Paige, replies, “I know my friend doesn’t mind me calling his name, Mr. John Gregory are those the two individuals you’re talking about?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Yes, Sir.” Councilman Paige, replied, “I don’t think they had a disagreement with one another they had a disagreement to how it was

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 17.

 

operated.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “No, they had a disagreement with each other.” Councilman Paige and Councilwoman, Hoover, both said, that’s not what was told to them.

 

Parish President gave the briefing on the Louisiana Law that a Fire Board can have 5 board members and there was a Statue passed some years ago that allows the Parish of Natchitoches, that they may appoint 2 additional members to each Fire District Board, it’s not mandatory, but if they choose too and at some time in the Police Jury they decided to do that. Parish President, stated, “I think Mr. Sanders wants to continue to operate with just the 5. But the Council can vote to allow you to do that, but they can turn around and vote it back to 7, because they can’t change State Law, it’s their decision.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover asked, “Who’s the chair of the Board?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Me.” Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Who’s the Chief?” Mr. Sanders, replied, my son Michael Sanders.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Is there’s a problem with that?” Councilwoman Hoover, replied, “Yes….and then Councilman Rachal said, “Don’t you have a letter to this in your possession, Sir?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Yes.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, begins to talk about the fire ratings are high, and everyone is not please with this Fire District. This is the same Fire District that got into trouble with the Ethics Board, but with the other Board members, not the current members. Councilwoman, Hoover, also mentioned that other Fire Districts are not please as well with Fire District 1. And Councilwoman Hoover, stated, “I’m not in favor of you changing it from 7 to 5.” Councilman Rachal begins to read the opinion that Mr. Sanders had and passed out to all Council members. Councilman Rachal, read that the son had been Chief a period before Mr. Sanders became Chairman, he could stay as Chief and he can be promoted, because he’s not getting paid for this, he draws zero salary.

 

Councilman Chris Paige talked everyone should be able to get along and you have had fires in the past and people didn’t want to respond and that’s not the way is should be and that can be very dangerous. People must try to get along and Mr. Sanders also agreed with that and he also stated he have came in Councilwoman Hoover’s area and no volunteers would volunteer, and Councilwoman Hoover asked, “Do you want me to tell you why?” and Mr. Sanders, replied, “Yes, I would love to know why.” Councilwoman, Hoover, stated, “They say, they don’t want to work with you.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “When someone else comes up to step up and take this headache, I’m doing this off my time, and my money.” Councilwoman, Hoover, said, “They had someone giving his time and was commended on the work up here and because of you.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “I didn’t fire him, he quit.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “Because of you.” At this time Chairman Bedgood, stopped it, and got back with business at hand.

 

Councilman Paige, asked, “Who asked for this to be put back on here?” Councilman Rachal, responded, “It was tabled last month, and this is my District and I asked Ms. Sheryl to put it back on here.”

 

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 the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 18.

 

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

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Consider an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all other terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.”

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all other terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.”

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider execution of the following documents by the               Parish President

  1. Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to authorize the Parish to work with CRNHA, Inc. on projects of mutual benefit, and
  2. Amendment No. 1 to Cooperative Agreement between CRNHA, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to provide general overview and agreement for the Bermuda Bridge Engineering Feasibility Study.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve

  1. Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to authorize the Parish to work with CRNHA, Inc. on projects of mutual benefit, and
  2. Amendment No. 1 to Cooperative Agreement between CRNHA, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to provide general overview and agreement for the Bermuda Bridge Engineering Feasibility Study.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

    

Visitors for Non-Agenda Items. (3 minutes)

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 19.

 

Rodney Schamerhorn, he’s a Candidate for State Representative for District 24 and you must be involved in all the meetings and not just a select few. He wanted the people to know he’s has been attending the Council meetings and he doesn’t think the other two of his opponents have even shown up to one. It’s important to represent everyone and everything.

 

Germaine Winn wanted to take the time to tell the Council that their road is terrible, and they need all the help they can get to come out and fix it.  Mrs. Winn, stated, “I didn’t know when, I was calling Ms. Jo, that I needed to continue to call her to asked them to come out and fix the road, if that would help, we’ll call repeatedly. I feel bad when I call, and I continue to wait and wait for someone to come out.”  There was more conversation about the road, that Bermuda roads had craters and people have made another road lane on the side of the road to try and skip potholes. The most important thing about this, if a person hit a pothole the wrong way, the river is right there.

 

Chairman Bedgood wanted the Council and Bermuda road residents know, “I don’t know when this may happen, but me and the Road Superintendent we have acquired 185 yards of Reclaim, from 1226 in my District, that’s chip up black top, so hopefully, they want turn it loose right, now, and naturally I would like to have it all, but if it’s feasible to put some of that on Bermuda Road, if they can do that, it’s coming to the Parish, I’ve called Baton Rouge myself, I told Mr. John about and he told Mr. Nowlin, we have that coming, so that will help.”

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

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,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby go into Executive Session

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

     Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilman Rachal               Motion didn’t Passed

 

At this time Councilman Paige, asked, “Mr. Mansour, Do we have to go into Executive Session because some of these things need to be talked about and this the public monies they have the right to know and time and time again we sit here and try to go into Executive Session and these two people always stand to block it. I don’t know what’s the problem, but it is one, we supposed to be here taking care of the people’s money of Natchitoches Parish and when you have people out here filing lawsuit after lawsuit, after lawsuit and we can’t here and protect the people’s money, people might not need to be here or they may be working for somebody else that’s out there running these meetings and having them tell them what to do, before they arrive here tonight. One thing for sure I don’t know if it’s an importance for us to go into Executive Session to talk about these two particular items, but I’m willing to talk about them because it needs to be talked about and the people needs to know who’s filing lawsuits how much, we need

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 20.

 

to pull documents, let me tell you something some of the people tell me about some of these lawsuits the people needs to be filing lawsuits on the people whose filing the lawsuits maybe we can make some of the money back that we paid them down through these years, now that’s what they tell me.”

 

Parish Attorney, Mansour, responded, “There’s an exception in the Louisiana Revised Statue title 42:17 that provides exceptions to the open meeting law and it says a public body may hold an Executive Session pursuant to revised Statue 42:16 for one or more of the following reasons: under (A)(2) it provides one of the reasons to go into Executive Session is strategy sessions or negotiations with respect to litigations, prospective litigations after formal written demand or litigations during an open meeting with having a detrimental effect on the litigating position of the public body. My job is to provide defense to certain litigations and there’s a detrimental effect on the public body when we’re not able to Executive Session to discuss strategies and things that I need to do with the Counsel to protect the public body and Natchitoches Parish. We have one pending litigation and one potential litigation a threat of litigations that I intended to discuss and the Statute said if you go into Executive Session, when going into an open meeting to discuss it, will have a  detrimental effect on the litigating position. That’s why we’re asking you to go into Executive Session to prevent the detrimental effect on the public body to discuss things you if you discuss in open session it puts you in a disadvantage in a lawsuit there is certain things that the law permits you to discuss strategy and get information and know how to perceive in protecting the public.”

 

Councilman Paige, replied, “So, what you’re saying the same money that they’re suing for this Parish these are possible the same money that can fix roads out there in these people’s District, these people coming with these frivolous suits to basically to take money from people out in the rural areas who can’t get Pardee Road fix, that can’t get Harmony Road fix, and who can’t get Bermuda Road fix, because of these types of lawsuits that we have people sitting up here protecting those individuals because they’re possible friends maybe, I don’t know but they need some explaining to explain to these people and have then have the audacity to sit here and talk about continue serving, I can see if you’re leaving a position, and say, “Oh, I’m not running no more” but to sit here and to block this body, the tax payers money, and you’re already sitting up here saying we don’t have a penny to fix a road, and yet, somebody want to file a lawsuit and have made all kind of monies up here this is sad, really sad.”

 

Parish Attorney, Mansour, replies, “Not being able to discuss it in Executive Session has a detrimental effect on our ability to defend Natchitoches Parish in the litigation.” Councilman, Paige, “Certain ones are being informed by certain individuals and they don’t care to know, but the bottom line of it is I just don’t get it, If it was me they would have me plastered over the Natchitoches Times, Shreveport Times and probably would show a connection, they pay for people signs, they pay people qualifying fee, there’s a lot of things going on up here and people really need to know.”

 

Parish Attorney Mansour, replied, “There’s another item on the agenda, I thought I would be able to brief you on in Executive Session, Mr. Chair if you care to read that one now.”

 

Councilman Chris Paige, responded, “To hire an attorney, are we stupid or what, this will be taking from the roads again.”

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

 

 

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Council to consider approving the Parish President to secure additional legal Counsel for employment matters at the recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office.

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Why would we do it?” Parish President replied, “Good question, we had in the last couple of years, two lawsuits filed against the Parish that involved Personnel matters and they was filed in the Federal Court in Alexandria and in both instances we used Gold Weems Law Firm, Steven M. Oxenhandler, I know you remember that name, one had to do with Head Start and the other with an employee here in the Courthouse, Mr. Oxenhandler did a great job and he got both of those cases dismissed before trial, it costed us some money, in the Braxton’s matter the attorney fees was $36,000 we filed for a motion to get attorney fees, which has been never granted but the Federal District judge granted Attorney fees to the Parish and it was $23,000 pending a demand of the plaintiff attorney challenging it that challenge has not been completed yet, and I told Mr. Oxenhandler to go after it, and maybe if we can get that $23,000 it will message other people if you’re going to file suit and it gets dismissed before it goes to trial you will have to pay some attorney fees. The District Attorney there’s a lot of branches to law, and employee law it isn’t one of the laws our District Attorney’s Office handles and they recommended we use them again and I accepted their advice.”

 

Councilman Rachal, asked, “Why you’re coming to us now, when you didn’t do it on the first two cases?” Parish President, replied, “I felt like since the questions that was raised at the last time, I will just bring it out here to discuss it to see what you-all wanted to do.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “See that’s why you should always be transparent, see how that came back to bit us.”

 

There was more discussion on this between Councilman Paige and Hoover and Councilman Paige, replied, “We have to do something when the people’s money is in question, because it’s handwriting on the wall.” Councilman Rachal, wanted to know, “Is these two cases here are the Parish Council involved in them?” The actual litigation that is listed is L. Alan McMurtry vs. the Parish Council and Parish President in the capacity as Parish President.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “So it doesn’t involve us?” Parish President, replied, “I said the Parish Council.” There was discussion among the Council and then Councilman Chris Paige, asked, “What’s the other case? Parish President, replied, “It’s on the agenda.” Councilman Chris Paige, replied, “Let the people know, read it out.” Chairman Bedgood read the agenda item again.  Councilman Rachal, asked for the Lynda Vance lawsuit, “Does that involve the Council or just the Parish President?”  Parish Attorney, replied, “It involves the Natchitoches Parish Government, the Parish of Natchitoches, Council members individually is not sued, but it’s incumbent on the Council members to give directions on the litigations and discuss strategies so during an open session can be detrimental to the people.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Has there been two lawsuits filed or a lawsuit and a request to mediate before a lawsuit?” Parish Attorney, replied, “Apparently you know there has been one lawsuit filed Mr. McMurtry and as you stated, there has been a threat of litigation.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “So there’s not two lawsuits filed right, so far?”  Parish Attorney replied, “There’s one lawsuit filed, and threat of another lawsuit. The threat came from the attorney of Lynda Vance.” Councilman Rachal, stated, “We know because you’ll sent us a letter saying it, that how I know.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the Parish President to secure additional legal Counsel for employment matters recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilman Rachal

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried       Motion Passed

 

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

           Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover            Motion Passed

 

Since there was no other business the meeting was adjourn:    

 

Attest:

 

                                           __________________________

                                           Rodney Bedgood, Chairman

_________________________

Sheryl Frederick,

Council Clerk

 

 

 

More discussion was on this matter, this money if we receive it will go in the General Fund for what ever use the Parish see fit to spend it on. That discussion will come later.

 

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 for Natchitoches Parish to participate in the Opioid’s Litigation.

 

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

 

 Ayes:  Councilman Paige  

 Ayes:  Councilwoman Hoover  

 Ayes:  Councilman Rachal

 Ayes:  Councilman de Graffenried 

 Ayes:  Councilman Bedgood                 Motion Passed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Kenneth Ellzey, IT Administrator for the Parish Government gave a presentation on online You Tube Video streaming, the Parish already have the equipment and you don’t have to pay anything for it and the Parish can live stream they’re on meetings a camera would be mounted in the back and there will be audio, additional to that we would have a You Tube Channel and load all the older audio meeting because that’s public information anyway. He should a version on his phone which wasn’t even connected to WIFI and it worked fine and then he showed a version on his pad using WIFI and it worked also. Mr. Ellzey is asking the Council for approval to move forward.

 

Council to consider approving the Video Streaming of the Natchitoches Parish Council meetings on the Natchitoches Parish Website and from the Council Meeting room using the equipment from the Parish of Natchitoches.

 

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 Video Streaming of the Natchitoches Parish Council meetings on the Natchitoches Parish Website and from the Council Meeting room using the equipment from the Parish of Natchitoches.

 

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 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 touch about 25 to 26 percent of the Districts and put down about 2000 yards of material out on the non- paved roads and pothole patching on the paved roads. Most of the money went in Districts 4 and 5 and we have a detailed list of the roads. If you have any immediate questions, I’ll be glad to answer them.”

 

Councilman, Chris Paige, replied, “I understood, you said it was spent in the larger Districts and I think Ms. Hoover and myself, I know we talk about it time and time again that’s where the problem and I think that has to be looked at, at some point or another, I think tonight you have a lot of people from the Bermuda Road area and they’re in Mrs. Hoover’s District and they don’t understand and they see not a whole lot of work is being done down there in Mrs. Hoover’s District, for instance I don’t remember what the numbers are for this month, but from month to month Mr. Rachal would have $100,000 dollars spent and Mr. Bedgood District have close to $100,000 spent and when it comes to Mrs. Hoover’s District she will have $2,000, $3,000 and $10,000 on a good month and when you talk about the percent of people that lives down the road, Bermuda road when you talk about those amount of people traveling up and down that road on a day to day basis you’re from 500 to 700 people a day and that’s just off the top of my head, I don’t have an exact count, but a lot of those rural roads that you’re talking about and spending a lot of money on in the rural Districts 20 to 30 people travel down those roads, not saying they don’t need attention, but we’re trying to say fairness needs to be displayed and the way the money is disbursed, I don’t know the equation on how you disbursed the money but that needs to be look at as well, in a better and fair way. There is no way you go out and talk about a tax and

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those people from that area is going to support a tax, when they only get $3,000 dollars a month and that’s absurd some how we’re going to have to find a fair way to disburse money, not by how many miles of

road but how many people lives we’re going to affect, I don’t know who comes up with the equation, but it needs to be looked at.”

 

Mr. John Richmond, responded, “I can certainly tell you how the work load is distributed, it’s distributed by the number of calls that comes in from a particular area and the needs for those calls and while, I certainly understand what you’re saying and I will not dispute what you’re saying. We get a lot of calls and the majority of our calls are from District 4 and District 5 with complaints about the road, not saying that Bermuda road and folks like Bermuda road don’t call they certainly do and we get there with a grader in that area as quickly as we can, but that’s how it happens, when people calls into the office.”

 

Councilwoman Hoover, begins, “Chris and I have been communicating and just to add to what he said and to give the total amount $2,426.62. I’ve had people from Bermuda road to call me, because they had a question and I asked them to be here tonight, the question is, they want to know why Bermuda road singled out in a lawsuit? I’ll like for the President to tell them why they were single out in a lawsuit because they asked for their road to be fixed and if the President can recognized Mr. Woody and he can come up because he’s representing Bermuda road and I don’t want to take away from them, because they can speak for themselves.”

 

Mr. Linwood “Woody Delphin, came to speak on behalf of the residents on Bermuda road. Mr. Delphin, stated, “John, you guys are doing good, but that dust is really bad, my shoes should be black, but they’re not because of the road and the buses, they have four buses that pass down there real fast and you have people walking with their kids and families most are going over the 35 speed zone, we’re seeing this all the time. Dust is everywhere. How would you like to be inside your home and have your dust coming towards you too, it’s helping somewhat.” Mr. Delphin wanted, Mr. Richmond to start doing something for the people on Bermuda road, because they need attention.

 

Councilman Paige, stated, “Mrs. Hoover brought up about a lawsuit, it’s really disturbing and we have Executive Session to discuss things that pertains to the people’s business and for one reason or another we haven’t been able to go into Executive Session to do what’s best for the people of the Parish, now another thing the individual who filed the lawsuit; which I don’t understand that, but Bermuda road people are trying to get to the church down there, a lot of people have funerals down there, and a lot of people live down there; then this gentleman apparently same gentleman who has filed a lawsuit is having the audacity to go around and ask your family members in East Natchitoches and all of that for a vote, that he wants to be in a Parish Council seat, you need to understand what this lawsuit is all about and who is filing the lawsuit, it’s very important when you talk about you can’t get to your church, you can’t bury your love ones, and you can’t get home. People need to understand who these people are who’s out here filing lawsuits talking about the reasons they filed a lawsuit, because they declared an emergency, anytime you jump ahead of something on the schedule for as a regular day to day schedule and sometimes people jump ahead because they want a yes vote up here apparently that has happened in the past and if somebody declared an emergency to fix a road, I’m not going to sit here in this District and be opposed and file a lawsuit against anybody in this Parish that wants their road fixed, if it’s declared an emergency, you can declare whatever you want to declare it, just go fix those people roads and that’s my opinion on that, now all these smart butts up here who’s filing lawsuits and saying hey look, they didn’t do the right procedure, these people trying to get to church and trying to bury our

 

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love ones, and a lot of us are saying we’re Christians, we love the Lord, come on now, let’s get real here.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, continues, by saying, “Not only to get to Church from day to day, but my question to the President is why? The constituents want to know why Bermuda road was target for a Lawsuit?”

 

Parish President, replied, “There has been a reference to a lawsuit, obvious reasons I can’t go into details about it, the lawsuit itself, but I can say, I’m not aware of any lawsuit that specifically target the Parish because of Bermuda road. The Parish took some steps, steps that was needed to take a lawsuit ensued but there was a number of roads including Bermuda that benefited from what the Parish did, it wasn’t just for Bermuda.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, “Let me just say, I understand there was other roads, but Bermuda road, the lawsuit was about Bermuda road because I asked for emergency funding is that correct?”  Parish President, replied, “Yes, Mrs. Hoover, you asked for emergency, a Declaration of Emergency funding in order to get materials to fix Bermuda road. The Parish issued an Emergency Declaration which was much broader it was for the entire Parish, so I want to make that distinction.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, “I definitely wanted you to clear that up because, and I said it before, that when I called you, you made commitment to me, not so ever, other than you would get with he Public Works Director to go out and view that road, then later I’m hearing that, actually it was you, (referring to Councilman Rachal) pulling up something, I had on fix the roads, but the President never at any point, that he was going to do anything and then we ended up in a lawsuit. The people were just concerned, Why Bermuda road, was the target.”

 

There was more conversation on patching and fixing Bermuda road and other roads.

 

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.”

 

There was more discussion about the Cane River Waterway Commission and the President said, he couldn’t answer for them, but he will try again to ask for help with the Bermuda Road. More discussion took place about roads and Ms. Matreka Moses, came up to ask about getting general maintenance on Bermuda road, and that they do call, because Ms. Jo knows her when she calls. Councilwoman, Hoover also wanted to know about the status of the Capital Outlay on Bermuda Road, Pardee Road, and Harmony Road. The Parish President, replies, to this question by saying, “No, Bermuda road has not been funded we refiled on the Federal level on the BUILD application like we done last year, for Bermuda, Pardee, and Harmony Road. I talked to the folks up there and they’ve invited us to come up there to make a presentation we’re trying to schedule a date, they said we can’t promise the dollars, but we can grant you the time to talk to the people who grants the dollar. We’re working on that.” Councilwoman, replied, “Please let us know, I will make myself available, I surely wants to go for Bermuda road.”

 

Chairman, Bedgood, then recognizes Ms. Sharon Harris, OCS Executive Director. Ms. Harris sent her reports and said Head Start is no longer under her department anymore.  Ms. Harris wanted to know since her

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reports were sent in mail was there any questions, comments or concerns.

 

Parish President wanted Ms. Harris to give an update on the Head Start Close Out. Ms. Harris, stated, “The close out, we’ll still not closed out yet, they have extended us until October, because we’re still having some concerns with the transfers of the facilities. We’re waiting on a Federal action to transfer the buildings from the Federal Office of Head Start. The Parish is waiting on them.”

 

Ms. Carolyn Roy wanted to know where the new facilities are going to be, but Ms. Harris didn’t want to quote anything that she wasn’t sure of and she told Ms. Roy that information should come from Save the Children.

 

Councilwoman, Hoover wanted to know, “When are you going to be doing the utilities assistance again?” Ms. Harris, replied, “We’re doing it, it’s ongoing applicants can call, concern citizens can call, and we’ll send out to them an application intake form and they can fax it back to us and it goes much faster that way, but it’s on a daily basis anytime.”  

 

Councilman Chris Paige, replied, “Ms. Harris, we have some students out there, can you break that down a little more for them what you’re talking about?” Ms. Harris did do that to let them know about the program in simpler form.

 

Chairman Bedgood then recognizes Parish Treasurer Julie Lockhart Ms. Lockhart, stated, “To expand on the Head Start Close out, we’re not spending any Parish funds it’s just to administer to close the funds to move the facilities that we’ve talked about the Mansfield buildings moved to Natchitoches for the use of the Parish and some confusion from Regional Head Start on what process we need to do that; also Breda is being used right now by Save the Children and that was not transferred to them when we transferred all the other equipment because there was some confusion whether it had to be a bill of sale so we do need to execute a bill of sale so they can take possession of that facility. Going forth, next month we must introduce the budget for 2020, upcoming I’m going to have some Personnel Manual revisions changes that I’m going to need you all to look at and to adopt or help with also accounting procedures and purchasing procedures, next month we’re going to be busy and Insurance, probably will be a little trickier this year because we loss the headcount from Head Start. Any questions?”

 

Councilman Paige wanted to know in short version why the Budget item was removed from the Agenda. Ms. Lockhart, replied, “I’m looking at all the budget and instead of trying to piece it, I’ll try to knock it all out at one big change, because it’s going to be a lot of things that is going to have to change to close out 2019 and have a good start with 2020.”  Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Does this mean that our Parish employees’ insurance will be going up?” Ms. Lockhart, replied, “I don’t know that for sure, but it’s a good chance it could happen. There could be an increase in what the Parish has to pay, as far as ask our employees to pay anything, I can’t answer or say right now.”  Councilman Paige, replied, “At some point we need to look at the way we do business with this insurance with this insurance company that does the consulting for the Parish we need to change or look at a better way we have in place with that, this is simply a bit much and this is coming strictly from this District, I don’t know how the others feel we really need to revisit giving the consulting to an insurance agent. Thank you.” Ms. Lockhart asked for any other questions. There were none.

 

 

 

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Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Interim Director of Planning and Zoning Mr. David Kees, Jr. Mr. Kees, begins by saying, “You should have received my reports we took in a little over $20,000 total in permit fees and we paid out to IBTS about $15,000. Permits seems to be going up right now on new construction, new housing is doing well right now. A good thing that is coming up right now, is when you-all approved the contract with IBTS for the next two years that allowed us to get their permit software and to implement it with the Parish and this will allow us to set the online application and except credit cards for the permit fees this will make it a lot easier for the people in the Cloutierville, Natchez, and Goldonna area that has Internet access to instead of taking off from work and drive 45 minutes to an hour to get into town and drive back they will be able to initiate it online and make the payment online and also streamline some of the workflow in the office as well. Mr. Kees asked if there were any questions and there was none.

 

Councilman, Chris Paige, begins, “David, people in Payne Subdivision has contacted me about double Wide’s and single Wide’s, Is it a going thing now, that single wide’s can be placed anywhere within Payne Subdivision, one time we talked about it, it supposed to be on the back side, now there coming into some areas and I’m getting phone calls about it, and I’m wanting to find out and the public is needing to know.”

 

Mr. Kees, replies, “At this point, Payne Subdivision on my zoning map is zone as Industrial Agriculture which will allow for a manufactured home to be placed on any lot in Payne Subdivision as the Parish we cannot enforce Subdivision, that would have to be done by the people in the Subdivision which means any restriction on a manufactured home can be placed on the lot in Payne Subdivision it has to be done by a Subdivision Covenant with the people in that Subdivision. So as far as the Parish concern as far as my role is, when someone comes in to do a permit for a mobile home in Payne Subdivision, I must allow it according to our Ordinance. Now there has been some talk about we have had a lot of things that the Planning Commission seem to pass in previous years that didn’t make it to the Police Jury or the Parish Council as it was supposed to by Ordinance some members on the Planning Commission spoke with some legal people by possibly Introducing an Ordinance that the Parish Council would retroactively enforce all actions taken by the Planning Commission in previous years, now that may create some other problems especially with that manufactured homes deal, because they did it as a special exception in Payne Subdivision and that’s not allowed under the Ordinance; so I’ll have to see what legal says about things like that when we run into it and we might alleviate some questions from people if we would go that way.”

 

Councilman Paige, stated, “Well, that ‘s the concern they have right now and that’s why I’m bringing it to you. Thank you.”

 

Chairman, Bedgood then recognizes Parish President.

 

Parish President, “Thank you Mr. Chairman, I’m going to go over a couple of the items and I’ll answer questions on any you may have.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CAPITAL PROJECTS:

 

  1. Payne Subdivision Streets, Phase I: The construction has been completed with a final cost of $187,155.46, after the execution of two deductive change orders.  Due to the cost of Phase I being less than projected, there is a balance of $71,511.00 that is available for use in an additional contract designated as Phase IA.  The Parish is waiting on approval from Facility Planning and Control to close out the project and issue final payment to the contractor.

 

  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.  Following approval from Facility Planning and Control, the Parish will solicit bids for the work.

 

Courthouse Security Improvements:

 

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.  Approval of the contract award is included on the agenda for the meeting on September 16, 2019. 

 

  1. The Parish awarded the contract for the construction of new handicap parking spaces to Page Builders, LLC in the amount of $6,450.00. The work has been completed and the project is in the closeout phase.    

 

  1. HC Restrooms (Main Courthouse): The architect recommended the project scope be reduced to making certain modifications to the existing restrooms in order to reduce the project cost.  These renovations are included in the HC Ramp project referenced above.

 

LOUISIANA WATERSHED INITIATIVE:

 

On June 13, 2019, Louisiana Office of Community Development hosted a Parish Leadership Briefing in Natchitoches for the parishes in northwest LA.   At the meeting, we were informed of the new Louisiana Watershed Initiative for storm water management.   Attending from the Parish were Mr. John Richmond, Public Works Director, Mr. Nick Verret, Parish Engineer, and the president. 

 

During the presentation, we were afforded the opportunity to provide feedback on planned procurement efforts for data collection, data management and numerical modeling to address our flood control concerns. 

 

The Watershed Initiative is utilizing recovery dollars in a proactive approach with the aim of improving water management before the next disaster.  Additional meetings will be held as more information becomes available.

 

 

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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.

 

RURAL BROADBAND CONFERENCE:

 

On September 4, 2019, the Parish attended the Rural Broadband Conference held in Covington, LA.  The conference was organized by Senator Bill Cassidy and included presentations by representatives of the Federal Communications Commission, USDA Rural Development and the Delta Regional Authority.  It also included remarks by State Senator Beth Mizell who is an advocate for broadband development statewide.

 

In his opening remarks, Senator Cassidy informed those present that the federal government has appropriated 22.4 Billion Dollars over the next 10 years for broadband infrastructure improvements.  The federal grants will go directly to broadband service companies to assist them in the cost of the improvements. 

 

Councilman Rachal asked, “How many hours a week does Mr. Verret works a month? Parish President, responded, “His most recent time sheet had 20 hours or something on it and some months are less than that.” Councilman Rachal, asked, “Does he have an Assistant?” Parish President answered, “Yes, he has a contract person that he uses for paperwork, spreadsheets and forms, but it’s a saving for the Parish to let her do that.” Councilman Rachal, responds, “How many hours does she works?” Parish President, responded, “Mr. Rachal, I’ll be happy to give you that information if you like to have it, if I knew you wanted it, I would have brought the data with me. I try to bring what I think you might ask.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Yes, I will like to have that, and her rate of pay is.” Parish President, replied, “I’ll make a note, but some months it may be 10 hours and some months it may be 30 hours it depends on what we have going on.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover begins, “I have a question for the President and Mr. Rachal, I understand there’s an opening on the Hospital Board and I’m asking the President will you be making that appointment, Mr. Rachal, Did you resign from the Hospital board?” Councilman Rachal, replied, “I did.” At this time Parish President, asked, “Did you send me a copy?” Councilman Rachal, replied, “You know I sent you a resignation that night, Mr. President.” Parish President, replied, “If you said you did, you did.” Councilman Rachal, replies, “You accepted, and you told me you were sorry, I did it.”

 

Mrs. Carolyn Roy, asked, “Did you resign or what?”  Councilman Rachal, replied, “It’s still in litigation and I can’t talk about it, but I did resign and there will be further actions from my side of it. I’m not responding to nothing else, I’m through with that.”

 

Mrs. Carolyn Roy, “What’s the litigation, your resignation?” Councilman Rachal, responded, “A lawsuit against someone else and that’s all I’m going to say.” At this time the Parish President, responded, “I knew, I was just messing with you.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Oh, I knew.”  Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, the Parish President, “Oh, you did know.” Parish President, replied, “Oh, yes I knew.” Councilwoman, Hoover replied, “But the Council didn’t know, we didn’t know.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “It hasn’t been settled yet, that’s why nobody knew.” Councilman Paige, responded, “Why is this such a secret? Isn’t this the people’s hospital? Isn’t the Hospital Board for the people of this Parish? For someone to say, we slide it to you under the table that’s just unacceptable, I’ve been sitting here a long time to know, Mr. Scarborough you’ve been here a long

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 10.

 

time, have you heard of such? I never heard such. Now this is the way we operate; so be it. I’m going to sit back in my sit and go to the bathroom in a minute, this is just not acceptable.”

 

Parish President, responds, “Mr. Paige, I sit here month after month and listen to these insinuations and allegations of sliding things under the table. I didn’t interrupt you Sir, so you be quiet. I listen to this stuff, he recently resigned and what I normally do once someone resigns I nominate someone for your approval, I let you know who’s off the board and whom I’m recommending we’re handling this one the same way we handle all the other ones. Thank you, Sir.”

 

The Chairman asked was Parish President was finished, and at that time Councilman Paige, responded, “I’m not. I’m wondering if this is acceptable. You sit here and say, you didn’t get the letter, and you did get the letter, if I’ve done that, Ms. Roy I think you’ll have me plastered all over the Natchitoches Times tomorrow, big ole brown, black, blue writing whatever, I just want you to understand that when I sit here and I say no, I don’t support you as a journal if you can’t print the truth, we don’t need you up here.”  Councilman Rachal, asked, “Ms. Roy was you aware of an issue and you made a phone call to ask me about being on the board or something?” Ms. Roy, replied, “Yes, I did, but I’m not telling you who told me.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “I already know.”

 

Councilwoman Hoover, now responds, by saying if we’re putting everything out there so let’s put it out there, “I’m asking the President, I understand you have taken a laptop, keys and they have been put on administrative leave, tell us about that. One of our employees have been put on administrative leave with pay and I heard that, the Council didn’t know anything about it. Why the Council don’t know?”

 

Parish President responds, “Mrs. Hoover your question goes directly to a matter that’s intended to be discussed during Executive Session this evening and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions in Executive Session.” Councilwoman, replied, “Okay, I appreciate that, Thank you.”

 

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, August 19, 2019.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby adopt the minutes of the    regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, July 15, 2019.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

           Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood         Motion Passed

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 11.

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Ms. Karen Terrell to the Natchitoches parish Library Board of Control.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appoint Ms. Karen Terrell to the Natchitoches parish Library Board of Control.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

           Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Mr. Ludlow McNeely to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appointment of Mr. Ludlow McNeely to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

           Ayes:      Councilman Paige

           Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the re-appointment of Mr. Mark Waskom to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby re-appointment of Mr. Mark Waskom to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Council to consider the appointment of Ms. Dee Dee Dunagan to the Natchitoches Parish Housing Authority 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 appoint Ms. Dee Dee Dunagan to the Natchitoches Parish Housing Authority Board.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 12.

 

 

Council to consider the appointment of Mr. Jimmy Atherton to the Saline Lake Game and Fish Preserve Commission to replace Mr. Tony Swords.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby appoint Mr. Jimmy Atherton to the Saline Lake Game and Fish Preserve Commission to replace Mr. Tony Swords.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

First Adoption of proposed Ordinances: None

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Public Hearings:

 

  1. Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

  1. Conduct a public hearing with the Natchitoches Parish Council Sitting as a “Board of Review” to hear any and all protests or complaints on values of property for assessment purposes fixed by the Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby open the public Hearing to hear the followings:

 

  1. Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

  1. Conduct a public hearing with the Natchitoches Parish Council Sitting as a “Board of Review” to hear any and all protests or complaints on values of property for assessment purposes fixed by the Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried             Motion Passed

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 13.

 

Discussion B

 

Mrs. Dollie Mahoney, Tax Assessor came to discuss the one complaint that was filed and the 2019 assessed values.

 

One Appeal and that’s Aaron they want to change their personal property from $615,066 to $201,348 Aaron’s is appealing all over the State and they appealed two years ago. We have several rents to own companies in Natchitoches Parish and Aaron’s is the only one feels that they shouldn’t be paying for rent to own furniture.

 

General Information on the report from 2018 to 2019 there has been an increase in the assessed values

 

 

2018

2019

Difference

TOTAL ASSESSED VALUE

$404,912,294

$412,890,794

+$7,978,500

TOTAL TAXABLE VALUE

$351,720,676

$359,085,223

+$7,364,547

TOTAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

$53,191,618

$53,805,571

+$613,953

PUBLIC SERVICE

$103,272,670

$104,432,620

+$1,159,950

 

 

                     TOTAL DOLLARS RECEIVED

 

TAXING DISTRICT

TAXPAYER

AMOUNT 2018

TAXPAYER

AMOUNT 2019

 

DIFERENCE

ROAD DISTRICT 40

$1,2015,995

$1,230,952

+$24,957

GENERAL ALIMONY

INSIDE CITY

OUTSIDE CITY

 

 $191,661

 $835,776

 

$195,459

$853,672

 

+$3,798

+$17,896

COURTHOUSE MAINTENANCE

$1,055,162

$1,077,255

+$22,093

LIBRARY

$2,813,766

$2,872,682

+$58,916

HEALTH UNIT

$1,055,162

$1,077,255

+$22,093

 

Mrs. Dollie Mahoney also introduced her chief deputy who’s the newly Tax Assessor, elect, Mr. Tim Page, he will be sworn in January 2021 so there’s no confusion Ms. Mahoney is still the Tax Assessor until January 2021.

 

Discussion A

 

  1. Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

There was a couple of neighbors that was concerned about the noise, but there were two individuals Mr. Steve Harkins have 2 lots next to the property and Ms. O’Brien has the property right next to it. They are concerned about the pond that they would be sharing with Rutledge if they moved there.  Mr. Bill Rutledge said he’s going to fix the property up, where they’re going to build a shop, they going to make the property looks better and there will be no sign on the road, and they will not have any walk-in customers. Nancy Rutledge came to talk about the pond, because her husband didn’t hear the problem concerning the pond. The pond will be cleaned and build and pier and stock it with fish for their grandchildren can fish, there has been sewage leaking in it from the old house, and that will be taken care of since

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 14.

 

 

they are a plumbing company. They are welcome to over to use the pond if needed.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby close the public Hearing.

 

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

 

Action on Proposed Ordinances:

 

Council to consider Adopting Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby Adopt Ordinance 013-2019 to effect a zoning change from an I-A Industry-Agriculture District to an B-1 Business District for commercial use on a 3.77 acre tract of land, parcel #0010277800, situated in Section 83, T9N, R7W along Louisiana Highway 3278 in Natchitoches, as shown on the Survey attached hereto; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

 

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

 

Ayes:     Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:     Councilman Paige

Ayes:     Councilman Rachal

Ayes:     Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:     Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to approved or deny the assessed value levied by                                             the Tax Assessor, Dollie C. Mahoney.

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilman Russell Rachal that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the assessed value levied by the Tax Assessor, Dollie C. Mahoney.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 15.

 

Resolutions:

 

Council to adopt Resolution in recognizing the importance of 

the United States Census and encouraging all Natchitoches Parish Resident to Participate in being Counted.

 

On motion by Councilman Russell Rachal, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby to adopt Resolution in recognizing the importance of the United States Census and encouraging all Natchitoches Parish Resident to Participate in being Counted.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood   

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried             Motion Passed

 

Councilwoman Hoover wanted to let everyone know there’s job available with the census from $20.00-$40 for management. Councilman Paige thought Mrs. Hoover was going to tell why it’s important to participate because of the numbers in your communities, you need to be counted in your community.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Other Agenda Items:

 

Council to consider awarding the construction contract for the Courthouse ADA Renovations to DSW Construction, LLC, Many, LA., in the amount of $120,775.00, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the Notice of Award and Construction Agreement upon receipt of the contractor’s performance and payment bonds and certificate of insurance.

 

Councilman Rachal, wanted to know what was the first amount that the President rejected due to cost from Prothro Construction last year. It was around $130,000 and something. Parish President asked the Treasurer did she have that cost. And Parish Treasurer looked and found it was

 

On motion by Councilman Chris Paige, duly seconded by,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby award the construction contract for the Courthouse ADA Renovations to DSW Construction, LLC, Many, LA., in the amount of $120,775.00, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the Notice of Award and Construction Agreement upon receipt of the contractor’s performance and payment bonds and certificate of insurance.

 

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 approving the Louisiana Department of Economic Development of the following action pursuant to §503(H)(1) of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 16.

 

Tom Frazier, Controller from Alliance was there to explain that there was a clerical error on the application and Baton Rouge approved that, but it still must go through the municipal areas also. It’s 1.2 million dollars for five new jobs and five new jobs is about $150,000 and that’s the correction that was made. It didn’t change the amount of money that was spent that’s basically all that happened. 600 employees are at the company. Councilman Hoover, stated, “The employees are not being paid what they should be paid, and I’m not for giving large corporation money; when we ask our constituents for taxes, but we’re giving 80 percent tax breaks for people who have money.”

 

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 approve the Louisiana Department of Economic Development of the following action pursuant to §503(H)(1) of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Nays:      Councilwoman Hoover

Nays:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood                   Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider approving the Parish President to secure additional legal Counsel for employment matters at the recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office.

 

Parish President wanted to address it after the Executive Session because everyone would be better informed on what’s going on.

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider approving the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

 

At this time Councilman Russell Rachal, called for Mr. Sanders to come up to speak.  Mr. Sanders begins by saying “We have been operating with five, but they did have seven on the Board, but two has been absent over a year and everything has been working smoothly. We are not in a municipality to appoint any board members, we have no form of city government

 

Councilman Paige, replied, “I have two different friends that served on the Board down there for years, and he call me about two to three months ago and he was really destruct, hurt feelings about not being no longer to serve down there and I just wonder why there’s so many volunteer firemen are leaving your Corp down there.?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “We only had two to leave and that’s because of an argument between the two of them.”  Parish President asked, “How many Fire Fighters they have now than a year ago?” and Mr. Sanders replied, “About 24.” Parish President asked, “Is it increasing or decreasing?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “It’s increasing.”

 

Councilman Paige, asked, “Did the chief down there, did he resign?”

Mr. Sanders, response, “Yes, Sir.” Councilman Paige, replies, “I know my friend doesn’t mind me calling his name, Mr. John Gregory are those the two individuals you’re talking about?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Yes, Sir.” Councilman Paige, replied, “I don’t think they had a disagreement with one another they had a disagreement to how it was

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 17.

 

operated.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “No, they had a disagreement with each other.” Councilman Paige and Councilwoman, Hoover, both said, that’s not what was told to them.

 

Parish President gave the briefing on the Louisiana Law that a Fire Board can have 5 board members and there was a Statue passed some years ago that allows the Parish of Natchitoches, that they may appoint 2 additional members to each Fire District Board, it’s not mandatory, but if they choose too and at some time in the Police Jury they decided to do that. Parish President, stated, “I think Mr. Sanders wants to continue to operate with just the 5. But the Council can vote to allow you to do that, but they can turn around and vote it back to 7, because they can’t change State Law, it’s their decision.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover asked, “Who’s the chair of the Board?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Me.” Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Who’s the Chief?” Mr. Sanders, replied, my son Michael Sanders.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Is there’s a problem with that?” Councilwoman Hoover, replied, “Yes….and then Councilman Rachal said, “Don’t you have a letter to this in your possession, Sir?” Mr. Sanders, replied, “Yes.”

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, begins to talk about the fire ratings are high, and everyone is not please with this Fire District. This is the same Fire District that got into trouble with the Ethics Board, but with the other Board members, not the current members. Councilwoman, Hoover, also mentioned that other Fire Districts are not please as well with Fire District 1. And Councilwoman Hoover, stated, “I’m not in favor of you changing it from 7 to 5.” Councilman Rachal begins to read the opinion that Mr. Sanders had and passed out to all Council members. Councilman Rachal, read that the son had been Chief a period before Mr. Sanders became Chairman, he could stay as Chief and he can be promoted, because he’s not getting paid for this, he draws zero salary.

 

Councilman Chris Paige talked everyone should be able to get along and you have had fires in the past and people didn’t want to respond and that’s not the way is should be and that can be very dangerous. People must try to get along and Mr. Sanders also agreed with that and he also stated he have came in Councilwoman Hoover’s area and no volunteers would volunteer, and Councilwoman Hoover asked, “Do you want me to tell you why?” and Mr. Sanders, replied, “Yes, I would love to know why.” Councilwoman, Hoover, stated, “They say, they don’t want to work with you.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “When someone else comes up to step up and take this headache, I’m doing this off my time, and my money.” Councilwoman, Hoover, said, “They had someone giving his time and was commended on the work up here and because of you.” Mr. Sanders, replied, “I didn’t fire him, he quit.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “Because of you.” At this time Chairman Bedgood, stopped it, and got back with business at hand.

 

Councilman Paige, asked, “Who asked for this to be put back on here?” Councilman Rachal, responded, “It was tabled last month, and this is my District and I asked Ms. Sheryl to put it back on here.”

 

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 the Resolution from Fire District #1 to change the membership of the Fire District #1 Board of Commissioners from seven to five members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 18.

 

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

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Consider an amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all other terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.”

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the amendment to the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Campti Field of Dreams to modify the termination date from May 31, 2020 to October 31, 2019, with all other terms in the agreement remaining in effect, and to authorize the Parish President to execute the amendment in connection therewith.”

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

Council to consider execution of the following documents by the               Parish President

  1. Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to authorize the Parish to work with CRNHA, Inc. on projects of mutual benefit, and
  2. Amendment No. 1 to Cooperative Agreement between CRNHA, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to provide general overview and agreement for the Bermuda Bridge Engineering Feasibility Study.

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve

  1. Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to authorize the Parish to work with CRNHA, Inc. on projects of mutual benefit, and
  2. Amendment No. 1 to Cooperative Agreement between CRNHA, Inc. and the Parish of Natchitoches to provide general overview and agreement for the Bermuda Bridge Engineering Feasibility Study.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Rachal

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Ayes:      Councilman de Graffenried        Motion Passed

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

    

Visitors for Non-Agenda Items. (3 minutes)

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 19.

 

Rodney Schamerhorn, he’s a Candidate for State Representative for District 24 and you must be involved in all the meetings and not just a select few. He wanted the people to know he’s has been attending the Council meetings and he doesn’t think the other two of his opponents have even shown up to one. It’s important to represent everyone and everything.

 

Germaine Winn wanted to take the time to tell the Council that their road is terrible, and they need all the help they can get to come out and fix it.  Mrs. Winn, stated, “I didn’t know when, I was calling Ms. Jo, that I needed to continue to call her to asked them to come out and fix the road, if that would help, we’ll call repeatedly. I feel bad when I call, and I continue to wait and wait for someone to come out.”  There was more conversation about the road, that Bermuda roads had craters and people have made another road lane on the side of the road to try and skip potholes. The most important thing about this, if a person hit a pothole the wrong way, the river is right there.

 

Chairman Bedgood wanted the Council and Bermuda road residents know, “I don’t know when this may happen, but me and the Road Superintendent we have acquired 185 yards of Reclaim, from 1226 in my District, that’s chip up black top, so hopefully, they want turn it loose right, now, and naturally I would like to have it all, but if it’s feasible to put some of that on Bermuda Road, if they can do that, it’s coming to the Parish, I’ve called Baton Rouge myself, I told Mr. John about and he told Mr. Nowlin, we have that coming, so that will help.”

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

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,

Councilwoman Patsy Hoover that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby go into Executive Session

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

     Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried

Nays:      Councilman Rachal               Motion didn’t Passed

 

At this time Councilman Paige, asked, “Mr. Mansour, Do we have to go into Executive Session because some of these things need to be talked about and this the public monies they have the right to know and time and time again we sit here and try to go into Executive Session and these two people always stand to block it. I don’t know what’s the problem, but it is one, we supposed to be here taking care of the people’s money of Natchitoches Parish and when you have people out here filing lawsuit after lawsuit, after lawsuit and we can’t here and protect the people’s money, people might not need to be here or they may be working for somebody else that’s out there running these meetings and having them tell them what to do, before they arrive here tonight. One thing for sure I don’t know if it’s an importance for us to go into Executive Session to talk about these two particular items, but I’m willing to talk about them because it needs to be talked about and the people needs to know who’s filing lawsuits how much, we need

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 20.

 

to pull documents, let me tell you something some of the people tell me about some of these lawsuits the people needs to be filing lawsuits on the people whose filing the lawsuits maybe we can make some of the money back that we paid them down through these years, now that’s what they tell me.”

 

Parish Attorney, Mansour, responded, “There’s an exception in the Louisiana Revised Statue title 42:17 that provides exceptions to the open meeting law and it says a public body may hold an Executive Session pursuant to revised Statue 42:16 for one or more of the following reasons: under (A)(2) it provides one of the reasons to go into Executive Session is strategy sessions or negotiations with respect to litigations, prospective litigations after formal written demand or litigations during an open meeting with having a detrimental effect on the litigating position of the public body. My job is to provide defense to certain litigations and there’s a detrimental effect on the public body when we’re not able to Executive Session to discuss strategies and things that I need to do with the Counsel to protect the public body and Natchitoches Parish. We have one pending litigation and one potential litigation a threat of litigations that I intended to discuss and the Statute said if you go into Executive Session, when going into an open meeting to discuss it, will have a  detrimental effect on the litigating position. That’s why we’re asking you to go into Executive Session to prevent the detrimental effect on the public body to discuss things you if you discuss in open session it puts you in a disadvantage in a lawsuit there is certain things that the law permits you to discuss strategy and get information and know how to perceive in protecting the public.”

 

Councilman Paige, replied, “So, what you’re saying the same money that they’re suing for this Parish these are possible the same money that can fix roads out there in these people’s District, these people coming with these frivolous suits to basically to take money from people out in the rural areas who can’t get Pardee Road fix, that can’t get Harmony Road fix, and who can’t get Bermuda Road fix, because of these types of lawsuits that we have people sitting up here protecting those individuals because they’re possible friends maybe, I don’t know but they need some explaining to explain to these people and have then have the audacity to sit here and talk about continue serving, I can see if you’re leaving a position, and say, “Oh, I’m not running no more” but to sit here and to block this body, the tax payers money, and you’re already sitting up here saying we don’t have a penny to fix a road, and yet, somebody want to file a lawsuit and have made all kind of monies up here this is sad, really sad.”

 

Parish Attorney, Mansour, replies, “Not being able to discuss it in Executive Session has a detrimental effect on our ability to defend Natchitoches Parish in the litigation.” Councilman, Paige, “Certain ones are being informed by certain individuals and they don’t care to know, but the bottom line of it is I just don’t get it, If it was me they would have me plastered over the Natchitoches Times, Shreveport Times and probably would show a connection, they pay for people signs, they pay people qualifying fee, there’s a lot of things going on up here and people really need to know.”

 

Parish Attorney Mansour, replied, “There’s another item on the agenda, I thought I would be able to brief you on in Executive Session, Mr. Chair if you care to read that one now.”

 

Councilman Chris Paige, responded, “To hire an attorney, are we stupid or what, this will be taking from the roads again.”

 

Chairman Bedgood stated the next item on the agenda

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 21.

 

Council to consider approving the Parish President to secure additional legal Counsel for employment matters at the recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office.

 

Councilwoman, Hoover, asked, “Why would we do it?” Parish President replied, “Good question, we had in the last couple of years, two lawsuits filed against the Parish that involved Personnel matters and they was filed in the Federal Court in Alexandria and in both instances we used Gold Weems Law Firm, Steven M. Oxenhandler, I know you remember that name, one had to do with Head Start and the other with an employee here in the Courthouse, Mr. Oxenhandler did a great job and he got both of those cases dismissed before trial, it costed us some money, in the Braxton’s matter the attorney fees was $36,000 we filed for a motion to get attorney fees, which has been never granted but the Federal District judge granted Attorney fees to the Parish and it was $23,000 pending a demand of the plaintiff attorney challenging it that challenge has not been completed yet, and I told Mr. Oxenhandler to go after it, and maybe if we can get that $23,000 it will message other people if you’re going to file suit and it gets dismissed before it goes to trial you will have to pay some attorney fees. The District Attorney there’s a lot of branches to law, and employee law it isn’t one of the laws our District Attorney’s Office handles and they recommended we use them again and I accepted their advice.”

 

Councilman Rachal, asked, “Why you’re coming to us now, when you didn’t do it on the first two cases?” Parish President, replied, “I felt like since the questions that was raised at the last time, I will just bring it out here to discuss it to see what you-all wanted to do.” Councilwoman, Hoover, replied, “See that’s why you should always be transparent, see how that came back to bit us.”

 

There was more discussion on this between Councilman Paige and Hoover and Councilman Paige, replied, “We have to do something when the people’s money is in question, because it’s handwriting on the wall.” Councilman Rachal, wanted to know, “Is these two cases here are the Parish Council involved in them?” The actual litigation that is listed is L. Alan McMurtry vs. the Parish Council and Parish President in the capacity as Parish President.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “So it doesn’t involve us?” Parish President, replied, “I said the Parish Council.” There was discussion among the Council and then Councilman Chris Paige, asked, “What’s the other case? Parish President, replied, “It’s on the agenda.” Councilman Chris Paige, replied, “Let the people know, read it out.” Chairman Bedgood read the agenda item again.  Councilman Rachal, asked for the Lynda Vance lawsuit, “Does that involve the Council or just the Parish President?”  Parish Attorney, replied, “It involves the Natchitoches Parish Government, the Parish of Natchitoches, Council members individually is not sued, but it’s incumbent on the Council members to give directions on the litigations and discuss strategies so during an open session can be detrimental to the people.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “Has there been two lawsuits filed or a lawsuit and a request to mediate before a lawsuit?” Parish Attorney, replied, “Apparently you know there has been one lawsuit filed Mr. McMurtry and as you stated, there has been a threat of litigation.” Councilman Rachal, replied, “So there’s not two lawsuits filed right, so far?”  Parish Attorney replied, “There’s one lawsuit filed, and threat of another lawsuit. The threat came from the attorney of Lynda Vance.” Councilman Rachal, stated, “We know because you’ll sent us a letter saying it, that how I know.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019                                         Page 22.

 

 

On motion by Councilwoman Patsy Hoover, duly seconded by,

Councilman Chris Paige that the Natchitoches Parish Council,

in regular and legal session, does hereby approve the Parish President to secure additional legal Counsel for employment matters recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office.

 

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

 

Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover

Ayes:      Councilman Paige

Ayes:      Councilman Bedgood

Nays:      Councilman Rachal

Nays:      Councilman de Graffenried       Motion Passed

 

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

           Ayes:      Councilwoman Hoover            Motion Passed

 

Since there was no other business the meeting was adjourn:    

 

Attest:

 

                                           __________________________

                                           Rodney Bedgood, Chairman

_________________________

Sheryl Frederick,

Council Clerk