Monroe City Council Minutes

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District #1
Dr. Raymond A. Armstrong
Vice Chairman                                       

District #2                                                    
Mrs. Gretchen H. Ezernack 

District #3
Ms. Betty Blakes

District #4                                                    
Mr. Kenneth Wilson
 
District #5
Mr. Eddie Clark
Chairman

City Council
CITY OF MONROE, LOUISIANA
Post Office Box 123
Monroe, Louisiana 71210-0123
Phone (318) 329-2252
Fax (318) 329-3416

Minutes for Council Meeting
November 12, 2013
6:00 p.m.

There was a legal and regular session of the City Council of the City of Monroe, Louisiana held this date at the Council's regular meeting place, the Council Chamber, City Hall Building, Monroe, Louisiana.

The Honorable Eddie Clark, Chairman, called the meeting to order. He then asked the clerk to call the roll.

There were present: Council members Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. Ezernack, Ms. Blakes, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Clark.

There was absent: None.

Chairman Clark announced that a quorum was present and that the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance would be led by Ms. Blake’s designee, Ms. Jacqueline Benjamin, Council Secretary.

Chairman Clark proceeded by acknowledging the time for special announcements and/or communications.

Dr. Armstrong welcomed everyone tonight and said that he was pleased to see the students from Barkdull Faulk School in attendance at tonight’s Council Meeting and the students will learn how government is carried out and how laws are enacted.  Dr. Armstrong stated that he was pleased to see everyone in attendance and thanked them for coming.

Mrs. Ezernack welcomed everyone tonight and said that she appreciated everyone’s participation in city government.  She said she looked forward to a good meeting with a lot of dialogue and input.

Ms. Blakes thanked everyone for coming out and she acknowledged the students of Barkdull Faulk Elementary School for attending tonight.  Also, she thanked the City of Monroe for showing kindness to the Neal Family in the loss of their son Dillon.  She asked prayers for the families of Former DA Johnny Carl Parkerson and Rev. Dave Sellers.  She thanked the Veterans for their service to our country and for keeping us safe.  Ms. Blakes encouraged everyone to go out and vote on Saturday and stated that taxes and term limits are on the ballot.

Mr. Wilson acknowledged the students from Barkdull Faulk Elementary School.  He said he spoke with Ms. Summersgill about the lighting in the alleys on the Southside and that the lighting is needed because of the recent burglaries on the Southside.  Mr. Wilson thanked Public Works for taking care of the trash on Beauregard and Georgia Street.  He thanked the Veterans for their sacrifice and service.

Mayor Mayo reminded everyone about the upcoming tax renewals on the ballot for this Saturday’s election.  The renewals are critical for the services that are provided for the city and explained the renewal taxes are maintenance, public safety and recreation taxes. He asked the citizens to vote for the three milages and thanked those who have already voted.  He said these milages come up every 10 years and this is the second time since his being Mayor and that the taxes passed overwhelmingly the last time and hopes it will have at least fifty plus one this time.

Mr. Clark thanked everyone for coming out and recognized the students from Barkdull Faulk Elementary which is in Councilman Wilson’s District and it also borders his district.  He deferred ninety seconds of his time to Mr. Ray Jones to introduce the students.  Mr. Jones along with the students came forward and gave a history of the school as well as the students giving a presentation.

Mr. Clark thanked Mr. Jones and the students for their presentation and thanked the parents for allowing them to come.  He stated to other students and other schools who may be watching, that the city council chamber is opened to all of our youth.  He said you don’t have to be an adult to come to the meetings and invited students to come and showcase their talents in that we can learn from the students and they learn from us as well. He acknowledged Mr. Johnson, Principal of Barkdull Faulk and said he knows that the school will be looking for additional sponsors, not necessarily money, but time and that anyone interested should get with Mr.  Jones.  He also acknowledged Mr. Byrd Minter’s attendance tonight.

 Upon motion of Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson the minutes of the Legal and Regular Session of October 22, 2013 and the Legal and Special Session of November 4, 2013 were unanimously approved as presented. (There were no comments from the public). APPROVE MINUTES OF THE LEGAL AND REGULAR SESSION OF OCTOBER 22, 2013 and the LEGAL AND SPECIAL SESSION OF NOVEMBER 4, 2013:

PRESENTATION:  NONE.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  NONE.

PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS:

1. 506 Morton Street (Owner - Laverne M. Conley. A request was made by Code Enforcement to remove item from agenda.  Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to remove item from agenda.  (There were no comments from the public).

2. 804 Beverly Street (Owner - Cynthia Renee Reitzell)  "Notice to Show Cause” was served.  Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved for the owner to be given 120 days or until March 12, 2014 in which to demolish the structure, remove obnoxious growth and clean the lot. (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Kelly of Code Enforcement came forward and reported that the property was located in District 5 and that the property owner has been in contact with their office.  The owner has been approved for a demolition grant but hasn’t received the grant because of the availability of funds; the funds will become available later.  

ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS:  NONE.

RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:

Department of Administration:

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Purchasing Division of the Administration Department for authorization from the City Council to advertise for a six (6) month supply contract of Work Tools, Boots and Raingear, etc. Funds for these purchases will be derived from the Inventory Account, which has a balance of $100,073.40 and the divisions will be billed according to purchase. (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Purchasing Division of the Administration Department for Council approval to advertise for a one hundred eighty (180) day supply contract of Janitorial Products. Funds for these purchases will be derived from the Inventory Account, which has a balance of $100,073.40 and the Divisions will be billed accordingly. (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Purchasing Division of the Administration Department for Council approval to advertise for a one hundred eighty (180) day supply contract of Janitorial Paper Products. Funds for these purchases will be derived from the Inventory Account and billed to the divisions according to purchased. (There were no comments from the public).

(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Property Control and Facility Management Division of the Administration Department for City Council approval to purchase off the City of Alexandria Contract, a New Ford Truck F-150 Ext Cab. The estimate cost of this truck is $20,260.50 funds for this purchased will be derived from the Expense Account. (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes said that she noticed we were making the purchase from Alexandria’s Contract.  Ms. Summersgill stated that yes we were piggybacking off of their contract.

(e) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Consider Application by Abdulrahman Abdulla & Khaled Nagi dba K&A Stores, 565 MLK St., Monroe, LA 71201 for a new 2013 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (Distance Report Cleared, Cert. of Occupy Cleared.) (There were no comments from the public).

RENEWALS

(f) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to Consider nineteen (19) 2013 renewal applications for Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (There were no comments from the public).

(g) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider twenty (20) 2013 renewal applications for Class B Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (There were no comments from the public).

(h) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider one (1) 2013 renewal applications for Class C Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (There were no comments from the public).

(i) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider three (3) 2013 renewal applications for Class E Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (There were no comments from the public).

(j) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Consider two (2) 2013 renewal applications for Class F Alcoholic Beverage Permits. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (There were no comments from the public).

Department of Planning & Urban Development:     NONE.

Legal Department:  

(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to add to the agenda to Adopt a Resolution of the City of Monroe Authorizing the Purchase of Software Equipment for the Prosecuting Department from New Dawn Technology and Further Providing with Respect Thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes asked if this agenda item had already been done during a previous Council Meeting.  Ms. Summersgill stated that she apologized for it coming up like it has tonight.  Ms. Summersgill said they had not received the bids/proposals back until last Thursday. She said they asked for permission to seek proposals and this is the result of the request for proposals.  She said out of five they received only one back and she stated that she would not ask for consideration of the add on, except they are having problems in Prosecuting pulling up records and the Police Department and the amount  came back at what they thought it would be.  Mr. Clark asked the amount and Ms. Summersgill said it was $98, 101.

Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6150 of the City of Monroe Authorizing the Purchase of Software Equipment for the Prosecuting Department from New Dawn Technology and Further Providing with Respect Thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Mayor’s Office:     NONE.

Department of Public Works:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6151 accepting the bid of Industrial Roofing in the amount of $47,000.00 (funds will be used from the Air Industrial Park Fund) for the roof replacement on the FAA Field Sector Office Building.  (There were no comments from the public).

Council:

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6152 confirming the appointment of Sam T. Shaw to the Southside Economic Development District Board of Commissioners and further providing with respect thereto. (This item was passed over at the last meeting.)  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Dr. Armstrong asked Mr. Sam T. Shaw was present to stand up and be recognized.  He was not present.

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6153 confirming the appointment of Ester Gallow to the Southside Economic Development District Board of Commissioners and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6154 granting an exception to the Open Container Ordinance to the Downtown Economic Development District (Commander Christmas) pursuant to Monroe City Code Sec. 12-231 D. (Open Container Ordinance), and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Gatling came forward and explained to Council more on the Commander Christmas Event.  She stated that this event would get national exposure and the response has been overwhelming.  Several media outlets have called to get information on the event.  She stated this event would have great economic impact.

Department of Community Affairs:   NONE.

Police Department:   NONE.

Fire Department:   NONE.

Engineering Services:

(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6155 authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to execute Change Order No. One (1) to Civic Center Arena Chiller replacement, between the City of Monroe and Byrnes Mechanical Contractor, Inc. for a decrease in the contract amount of $21,500.00, of said project and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by  Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6156 accepting the bid of D&J Construction, Inc., in the amount of $1,169,175.00 for Monroe Regional Airport; North & Mid-Ramp Rehabilitation- Phase II, and further authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a contract for said work.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Holland if they had met the DBE goals.  Mr. Holland said he would have to check the contract and normally there is a minimum of five percent DBE participation and believes this one is at six percent.  He said some of the jobs are specified field items such as asphalt, and there is not a DBE in the area that does this type of work.  He said if there is a DBE percentage then they would make sure that it is taken care of per the requirements.  Mr. Wilson asked who was a part of the City’s DBE Committee.  Mr. Holland responded by saying that there are several members and don’t exactly know all of them but did say Greg Yoes, Toney Gibson and Jackie Slack were on the committee.  Mr. Wilson said his concern was that several small businesses wanted to participate in city business.  Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Holland if a record was kept of all of the DBE participants and how much the city spends.  Mr. Holland said there is a list of all DBE’s, projects and the percentage.  Mr. Wilson asked if Mr. Holland could provide him with a list of the 2012 DBE participants.  Mr. Holland said that he could provide him with a copy of the 2012 DBE participants.  Ms. Blakes asked Mr. Holland how often the committee meets.  Mr.  Holland said that mainly they have big jobs that they need to discuss and that they have "call meetings” and that their job does not require DBE participation. Ms. Blakes said that we are spending a million dollars on this project and asked if a meeting would be held on this item.  Mr. Holland said there would be a meeting because they have regular annual meeting on this particular project.  He said these are DOTD funded projects and are part of the requirements in order for the city to get reimbursed.  Mr. Clark asked what percentage was DOTD funding this project.  Mr. Holland said that usually it is funded at one hundred per cent and this project is funded at one hundred percent.  Mr. Chris Fisher added the Airport and Transit DBE participation have their own way of calculating DBE participation which comes from the Federal Government.

INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance authorizing the appropriation of $150,000.00 for the Monroe City Council and further providing with respect thereto. (Armstrong)

Comments:  Ms. Gloria Walker came forward and asked if Council already had a budget and if this amount was another $150,000.  Mr. Clark said this is the same $150,000 which came before Council at a previous Council Meeting in the form of a Resolution.  The City Attorney apologized for the error as it should have been brought as an Ordinance and tonight it is being done in the correct form of an Ordinance.  

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance authorizing the City of Monroe to take corporeal possession of the property described below and sell to King Ollie Baptist Church, for two thousand twenty-eight and 92/100 dollars, all rights, title and interest that the City may have acquired in and to lot two (2) of block twelve (12) of unit six (6), Humphries Airport Addition, District 3, Monroe, La, by adjudication at tax sale dated June 21, 2000, and further with respect thereto. (Legal Dept.)   (There were no comments from the public).

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to Finally adopt Ordinance No. 11,438 accepting the donation of a Solar Audio Post from the Selman Field Historical Society for the Monroe Regional Airport, and further providing with respect thereto. (Public Wks.)  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Finally adopt Ordinance No. 11,440 amending Chapter 37, Zoning, and Article III, Districts, Division 5. Other Districts, Section 37-122, C-1, Campus District of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Monroe, Louisiana; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith. (P&Z) 

Comments:  Ms. Ingrid Gray came forward to comment on this agenda item but was told by Chairman Clark that this particular agenda item did not relate to what her concern was.  He informed her of the correct agenda item that was before Council tonight which was Item E.

(c) Upon a motion by, Dr. Armstrong seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Finally adopt Ordinance No. 11,441 rescinding Ordinance No. 11,422 adopting Millage Rates and further providing with respect thereto. (Admin.)  (There were no comments from the public).

(d) Upon a motion by Dr. Armstrong, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Finally  Ordinance No. 11,442  authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into an agreement for Traffic Analysis Services with Neel-Schaffer and further providing with respect thereto.(Eng.)  (There were no comments from the public).

(e) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Clark with Mrs. Ezernack, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Clark and Ms. Blakes voting Yes and Dr. Armstrong voting No was approved to Finally adopt Ordinance No. 11,443 amending the City of Monroe Code of Ordinances deleting Chapter 32, Subdivisions; Chapter 37, Zoning; and the Official Zoning Map for the City of Monroe in their entirety and adopting an updated Chapter 32, Subdivisions; Chapter 37, Zoning and Official Zoning Map for the City of Monroe and further provided with respect thereto. (P&Z) (This item was passed over at the last meeting.) 

Comments:  Ms. Ingrid Gray stood and explained her opposition to the Zoning Restrictions that Planning and Zoning proposed and what City Council would be voting on at tonight’s meeting. 

Mr. Byrd Minter came forward in regard to this agenda item and stated his thoughts that the procedure to allow this zoning ordinance was not properly followed through advertisements and notifications to the public.  He asked that this zoning change be rejected until it can be handled properly but he stated to most of all find out why it wasn’t properly handled.

Mr. Ben Marshall spoke and thought this zoning change would enhance the area of which the zoning is for.  He thinks that those citizens who are against this zoning change are protected by deed restrictions.

Mr. Clark said in reference to the advertisements of the zoning change and with the zoning information being presented to Council that it was done properly.  Ms. Poret commented to the inquiry by the Citizens and Mr. Clark’s statement about the proper notification with the advertisement of the zoning change.  
Ms. Poret explained the process of advertising stating that they advertised above and beyond what they were supposed to advertise for.  She stated that they had eight meetings in which they advertised three times in the News Star since having the Free Press and did in both papers.  She stated it is no secret and they have been working on this for two and a half years.  

Ms. Ingrid Gray added that in the past the City would put a sign on the property and this had not been done. 

Ms. Blakes said that since Council had just received this information and City Attorney Summersgill proceeded to explain that she was just seeing the

Mr. Fisher took to the podium to clarify what the zoning agenda item was.  He stated this is a city wide zoning being done and not an individual zoning change.  This is changing the entire zoning ordinance for the City of Monroe that hasn’t been done in fifty years.  We can not pick each individuals property to rezone, this would be considered part zoning if it was done that way. In speaking of the corner lot, the B-3 is residential and small business, it doesn’t mean that it will be that.  He said the deed restriction that is on the property stays there.  

Dr. Armstrong asked Ms. Poret to explain to him how the zoning ordinance passed would affect the individual property that Ms. Ingrid Gray was concerned about.  He said there are deed restrictions on individual lots.  Ms. Poret answered they don’t enforce deed restrictions or subdivision covenants; they just deal with zoning ordinances, the Deed restrictions are a civil document and that’s between the property owner and buyer and seller. Dr. Armstrong then asked that if this ordinance is passed is it correct that the particular lot not be zoned for anything other than residential.

Dr. Armstrong asked if this Ordinance is passed does it remove it from being residential.  Ms. Poret said it does not remove it.  It is being rezoned to be one which is a mixed use, it allows single family and townhouses and less intense business use, i.e. offices and restaurants, no liquor sales or fast food restaurants.  Dr. Armstrong stated in reference to the zoning map, that there were eight planning meetings and input from the city.  Ms. Poret said no, the last Council Meeting it was advertised in the paper.  Dr. Armstrong asked if there was a final meeting to discuss the current map with the changes (he stated the map was not available at the meeting).  Ms. Poret said the changes on the current map were just a handful and there were corrections made as a result of the Planning Commission Meeting and things such as the schools being rezoned and they weren’t done on the map; there were technical corrections made as a result of the Planning Commission Meeting and nothing was added.  Dr. Armstrong asked Ms. Poret in her opinion does she think the plans were adequately advertised to the public for this map and the zoning; no further public notice needed to be made relative to this.  Ms. Poret said that she believes so.

Mr. Wilson asked if the map is on the website.  Ms. Poret said the map has been on the website since the map was put together and each time major changes have been made, the map is updated to reflect those changes.  She stated the text has been on the website for six months. 

(f) Upon a motion by, Ms. Blakes seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to add to the Agenda An Emergency Ordinance Declaring the Condition of the Stormdrain at the Plum Street Underpass (Northside) to be an Emergency Necessitating Immediate Repairs and Further providing with Respect Thereto. (There were no comments from the public).

Dr. Armstrong asked if Council had an estimate of the work to be done and the cost and where the money will come from.  Mr. Holland came forward and stated that the project is still being reviewed but they have one ball park price that will be between $80,000-$90,000.

Upon a motion by, Ms. Blakes seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt An Emergency Ordinance No. 11,444 Declaring the Condition of the Stormdrain at the Plum Street Underpass (Northside) to be an Emergency Necessitating Immediate Repairs and Further providing with Respect Thereto. (There were no comments from the public).

CITIZENS PARTICIPATION

1.  Ms. Charlena Handy came before Council and asked on behalf of her grandmother as to why her water bill was $5,000 and the water had been off for three months.  Councilman Clark asked where the property was located and she stated it was located at 804 Louise Anne Street.  Ms. Johnnie Thomas, a neighbor of Ms. Handy’s explained that their water had been cut off for three months and they received a bill in the amount of $5,213.  She further explained their water bill situation.  Mr. Clark said they would work to get the family some relief/and or get them to the right person.  He stated with Council being the Legislative Body that they don’t have control over this matter and that it is an Administrative issue and to link you with the right person, Ms. Summersgill, Ms. Haney and/or the Mayor. 
 
2.  Ms. Johnnie Thomas expressed her concern over the petition for a red light on Texas Avenue.  She asked the Mayor if he could assist with this concern and any help would be appreciated.  Ms. Thomas said she has collected over 2,000 signatures on the petition and that the red light is really needed.

3.  Mr. Kevin Zurik of Shreveport, La, managing member of Sunrise Hospitality.  He has a proposed hotel development location to be in northwest quadrant of Garrett Road and I-20. 

There being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:28 p.m., upon motion of Mr. Wilson and seconded by Mr. Clark.

Mr. Eddie Clark
Chairman

Carolus S. Riley
Council Clerk

Jacqueline Benjamin
Council Secretary

For extended details on the council meeting please call the Council Clerk Monday-Friday at
329-2252 to schedule and appointment to listen to the minutes tape.

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