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

May 13, 2014
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, Rev. Alex Earl, Pastor of Faith United Baptist Church.

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

Dr. Armstrong welcomed everyone to tonight’s meeting and said there are positive things going on in the city and hopes that it will continue positively and is proud to be in Monroe.

Mrs. Ezernack welcomed each one present and said she had a very good meeting with Cypress Point Homeowners Association several weeks ago and invite them as well as others to attend the Council Meetings.
Ms. Blakes welcomed and thanked each one present; Ms. Blakes announced the temporary railroad crossing closure that would begin on May 14, 4:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m. for areas of Powell Avenue at White Street, South College Avenue, and White Street Railroad crossings on both sides. In recognition of Happy Week a lucky winner in the audience, (Miss Ashley) won a token of happiness and it was presented to her by Councilwoman Blakes. 
Mr. Wilson welcomed each one present and thanked Chief Holmes and Ms. Johnnie Thomas for going out to Francis Towers, there was an update by the citizens and he said he would follow up with them.  He mentioned that he has been getting calls about the crime in the City and has been going door to door talking with the citizens about crime and getting ideas on what can be done to work together and one of the ideas was that officers slowly drive through the community to show their presence; he stated in  speaking with citizens they wanted the program that was instituted in the past called "Stop, Walk and Talk” to be reinstituted.  He addressed Mr. Janway in reference to the lots being mowed and said there were lots on the Southside that were still overgrown  which had not been cut.  He said the city is cutting the highways and right-of ways and that the inner city need to be cut; he said he is aware that the city is being paid $35,500 to cut the highways and right-of-ways but the inner city should be cut and the taxpayers deserve more.  He stated for the record that the State should take care of the State and the City, the City.  He mentioned citizens talking about the  roadside trash and that Pastor Moore is not present, but is on his way and that the trash has been there for six weeks and is still there as of 5:50p.m. and we must and will do better.

Mayor Mayo stated he was happy.

Mr. Clark welcomed everyone present and stated how they were important.  He congratulated all graduates throughout the City as well as their parents, significant others and those in the community who assisted the graduates in making it to this point.  He reflected on his special day back in 1994 and that it is a very important and proud day for the Graduates and he celebrates them.  He recognized Rev. Earl and Bishop Walker.  He echoed Councilman Wilson’s remarks relating to crime and asked that Chief Holmes would set up a meeting to see where we are with the crime issues.  He thanked Public Works for going out in the area of Oregon Trail and cutting the grass in an overgrown lot, as citizens had complained about the high grass and snakes behind MLK School as well as the high grass behind Comfort Suites.

Upon a motion of Mr. Wilson and seconded by Ms. Blakes, the minutes of the Legal and Regular Session of April 22, 2014 were unanimously approved as presented. (There were no comments from the public).

PRESENTATION: NONE.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: NONE.

PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS:

1310 South 5th Street (D4) (Owner - Alice J. Rush) (Curator) "Notice to Show Cause” was served. Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to be given 60 days or until July 13, 2014, in which to bring the structures into compliance with the code or demolish the structures and clean the lot.  (There were no comments from the public).


Mr. Kelly stated that in speaking with the son of the property owner today, the property owner is deceased.  He stated the son has plans to remodel the structure to live in it, although no permits have been taken out.  Mr. Wilson asked if the man was living in the property and Mr. Kelly stated that he was told he wasn’t living their although his office has received reports that he is living there and can only go on his word in that he can’t prove whether he is or isn’t living there; Mr. Wilson said he drove by there and saw a dog and it appears someone is living there; Mr. Kelly said the man goes by their each day to feed the dogs and keep people from getting into the structure.

ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Ms. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Casco of Shreveport, La for the Fire Department Bunker Gear Ref # 85-1265 as recommended by the Director of Administration as being the overall lowest responsive and responsible bid. Casco complies with the specifications of this bid. The estimated cost is 50,000, which has a balance of $ 200,000.00.
(There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Casco of Shreveport, La for the Fire Department Fire Hoses Ref # 85-1264 as recommended by the Director of Administration as being the overall lowest responsive and responsible bid. Casco complies with the specifications of this bid. The estimated cost is 50,000, which has a balance of $116,000.00.
(There were no comments from the public).

RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:

Department of Administration:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Purchasing Division of the Administration Department for authorization from the City Council to advertise for a one (1) year supply contract of office supplies. Funds for these purchases will be derived from the Inventory Account, which has a balance of $93,839.00 the divisions will be billed according to purchased.  (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 authorization from the City Council to advertise for a one (1) year supply contract of Petroleum Products. Funds will be derived from the Inventory Account, which has balance of $93,839.00 the divisions will be billed accordingly.  (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt a Resolution authorizing a request for proposals for a Job Classification Plan for the City of Monroe and further providing with respect thereto. 

Comments:  Mr. James Ray, President of the American Federation of the State, County and Municipal Employees Union for the State of Louisiana and is present representing Local 2388 and came forward to offer his support of the Resolution.  He also stated that some cities have emulated the Civil Service Job Classification. 

Ms. Nell Bradley asked for the cost of the proposed classification plan.  Ms. Summersgill explained the proposed request is not just comparing salaries, but that it is a job classification plan.

Mr. Wilson said he was pleased to see this come before Council because there have been talks about increases and the men and women in not only Public Works but other departments are doing double jobs and hopefully this will be taken into consideration.

(d) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider an Application by Russell Ville Lodging dba TK’s Bar & Grill, 1051 Martin Luther King, Monroe, LA 71201 for a 2014 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (Distance Report Cleared). (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes asked if the residents in the surrounding area been contacted regarding this action.  Mr. Tim Lewis of Tax Revenue explained that the Bar was inside of the Clarion Hotel.

(e) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider an Application by Harvey Houston dba H & A Events, 507 Martin Luther King, Monroe, LA 71201 for a 2014 Class F Alcoholic Beverage Permit. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved. (Distance Report Cleared).  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Benya Marshall came forward on Mr. Houston’s behalf to answer any concerns by Council.

Department of Planning & Urban Development:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Consider request for a Conditional Use Permit for Alcohol Beverage Sales (on-premise) by Brady Ragland dba Turner Food Systems, 4099 Northeast Dr., Monroe, LA. This major conditional use permit authorizes the use of alcohol sales for on-premise consumption only at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum and other venues on the ULM Campus by Turner Food Systems. Planning Commission recommends approval with a 4-1-1 vote. A liquor license still needs to be applied for by the applicant.

Comments:  Ms. Bradley asked if the permit was to sell alcohol at ULM games. Ms. Poret said the permit was for events being held at Fant Ewing Coliseum and believed the business had other locations on campus as well that he wishes to sell alcohol at as far as concessions.

Ms. Bradley said that she opposes this request, because of crime, ULM already having a lawsuit and that there will be children there; she said Council should stand up and that the city does not need the sales tax that much.

 Mr. Ragland of Turner Food Systems acknowledged a study that West Virginia University did, that there is less crime in the stands if you sell alcohol at games versus people drinking on the outside and then coming in.  Mr. Clark asked if this was for ULM events only and Mr. Ragland said yes it was and that they do concessions at all athletic facilities and concerts; they would not do it if there was a high school game.

Mr. Blakes asked if ID’s would be checked and Mr. Ragland said each time someone comes to the bar that ID’s are checked; you can only purchase two beers at a time. Ms. Blakes asked if hard liquor would be sold and Mr. Ragland stated at sporting events, only beer; at concerts, hard liquor also; ULM PD is present at every event.

Ms. Ezernack asked how this came about and if the University had approached the company to provide this service.  Mr. Ragland stated yes the University did approach the company to provide the service.

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Consider request for a Conditional Use Permit for Alcohol Beverage Sales (off-premise) by Dr. Mahmoud S. Kahil/Joseph Hakim, 4430 DeSiard St., Monroe, LA. This major conditional use permit authorizes the use of alcohol sales for off-premise consumption only at a proposed grocery store to be developed at 4430 DeSiard Street. Planning Commission recommends approval with a 5-0-1 vote. A liquor license still needs to be applied for by the applicant.  (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Consider request for a Conditional Use Permit for Alcohol Beverage Sales (off-premise) by Polestar Development, LLC, 1840 McKeen Place, Monroe, LA. This major conditional use permit authorizes the use of alcohol sales for off-premise consumption only at a proposed grocery store to be developed at 1840 McKeen Place. Planning Commission recommends approval with a 5-0-1 vote. A liquor license still needs to be applied for by the applicant. (There were no comments from the public).

Legal Department:  NONE.

Mayor’s Office:

(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6235,  authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor
Agreement with the Miss Louisiana Organization and further providing with respect thereto.

Comments:  Ms. Nell Bradley asked what the amount of the sponsorship was and are they charged for using the Civic Center and do the City get free tickets to the event.  Ms. Summersgill stated it was $25,000 cash and that they are charged for using the Civic Center and that they do receive free tickets.

Ms. Ezernack said she believes it is listed in the agreement what they give including some tapes.  Ms. Bradley asked who do the tapes go to and Mrs. Ezernack responded that she doesn’t know.   Ms. Bradley suggested a contest be held at some of the radio stations to give the citizens a chance to win some of the free tickets.

Department of Public Works:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Water Treatment Plant a Division of the Public Works Department for Council approval to advertise for bids for the purchase and installation of (1) electrical switchgear unit located at Bartholomew Pump Station. The estimated cost of the item and services is $115,000.00. Funds for this purchase will be derived from the Water Capital Fund, which has a balance of $4.5 million.  (There were no comments from the public).

Council:

(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6236,  granting an exception to the Open Container Ordinance to the Radio People 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).

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6237,  authorizing the payment of Attorney Fees and further providing with respect thereto. (Clark) (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6238,   authorizing the appointment of Luffey, Huffman, Ragsdale & Soignier, Certified Public Accountants, as Auditors for the City of Monroe for a period of one (1) year, and further providing with respect thereto. (Armstrong) (There were no comments from the public).

(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6239,  authorizing Proworks Production, LLC to provide video and television
Professional services for the Monroe City Council. (Clark)  (There were no comments from the public).

Department of Community Affairs:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6240, to approve a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City of Monroe and Renewal, Inc. and further providing with respect thereto.

Comments:  Bishop Walker, Renewal Inc. explained the proposed agreement in that he this is their seventh year partnering with the City and he stated the community has a problem with the youth particularly the boys and if during the summer that if there are no programs that they could end up being a part of gangs and this would deter their involvement of being in gangs and am asking that the City once again would partner with them.

Ms. Blakes asked if it was for boys and girls or just boys. Mr. Walker stated that right now it would be   boys playing basketball; the girls will be cheerleaders.  Ms. Blakes asked if the activities would be from 9:00 am-1:00 pm and understands that the Community Centers do not open until 1:00 p.m. Mr. Clark said he received a call from a local physician who would be sponsoring a team and that he will also be sponsoring a team as well for the entry fee of $195 payable to Bishop Walker at the Lighthouse Church.  Mr. Clark’s team the Showboaters will be coached by Mr. Lewey Mims and assisted by him.

Police Department:  NONE.

Fire Department: NONE.

Engineering Services:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6241, authorizing the City of Monroe to enter into a right of way agreement between the City of Monroe and Entergy Louisiana, Inc., and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Consider a request to authorize the purchasing manager to advertise for bids on the Hadley Street Pump Station Improvements Project. The estimated cost of this project is six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000.00).   (There were no comments from the public).

(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6242,  accepting the bid of Industrial Roofing & Construction LLC of Sterlington, La, in the amount of $110,620.00 for the Monroe Masur Museum Roof Repair and further authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a contract for said work. (There were no comments from the public).

(d) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6243, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to execute Change Order No. one (1) for the new fire station at the Monroe Regional Airport, between the City of Monroe and Breck Construction Co. Inc., for a decrease of $238,260.00 of said project.  (There were no comments from the public).

INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:

(a) Upon a motion by Dr. Armstrong and seconded by Ms. Blakes to Introduce an Ordinance amending Chapter 25.5 of the Monroe City Code Entitled "Peddlers, Transient Merchants, creating rules and regulations for mobile food vendors, to establish permits and permitting fees and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Summersgill explained that the original Introductory Ordinance would be substituted with the new Introductory Ordinance that was presented tonight by Legal.  Ms. Summersgill presented Council with the new Ordinance and explained the amendment to the Ordinance.

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack and seconded by Ms. Blakes and was approved with Mr. Wilson voting no, to remove the Introduction of the Ordinance from the Agenda.  (There were no comments from the public).

Upon a motion by Dr. Armstrong, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and approved with Mr. Wilson voting no to add to the Agenda the  Introduction of  the Ordinance amending Chapter 25.5 of the Monroe City Code Entitled "Peddlers, Transient Merchants, creating rules and regulations for mobile food vendors, to establish permits and permitting fees and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no comments from the public).
 
Chairman Clark read the Amended Introductory Ordinance:  An Ordinance Amending Chapter 25.5 of the Monroe City Code Entitled "Peddlers, Transient Merchants, creating rules and regulations for mobile food vendors, to establish permits and permitting fees and further providing with respect thereto.  

Mr. Wilson commented that upon just receiving the amended copy and in speaking to some of his constituents, that there are concerns about the Ordinance and the constituents not knowing anything about it and at this time he will not support the Ordinance.

Ms. Blakes commented that since Council is just receiving the addition of the Amended Ordinance and not having the appropriate time to read over it,  if they can pass over this item until the next meeting.  Ms. Summersgill said it could be passed over, but that Dr. Armstrong wanted it on the Agenda and there is nothing substitutive changed and she explained what was changed for example, La. Department of Health and Human Services was changed because that is the right name for that department; and a reference to no alcoholic beverages can be sold and everything else was pretty much the same.  Ms. Blakes asked Dr. Armstrong was he okay with how it was presented and move forward;  he stated that he would like to move forward with the Ordinance.  Ms. Blakes stated that since it is only up for Introduction tonight that she will ask her questions later.

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Clark and approved with Mr. Wilson voting no, to
Introduce an Ordinance amending Chapter 25.5 of the Monroe City Code Entitled "Peddlers, Transient Merchants, creating rules and regulations for mobile food vendors, to establish permits and permitting fees and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and failed with Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. Ezernack and Ms. Blakes voting no; Mr. Wilson voting yes; Mr. Clark abstaining to not Introduce an Ordinance revoking a 10’ x 450’ section of an unnamed alley from the eastern right-of-way line of Jasmine Street to the western right-of-way line of Myrtle Street and further providing with respect thereto. (P&Z).

Comments:  Mr. Janway stated to the Council that he did not think revoking this Ordinance was in the best interest of the City because the City have both a water and sewer line in the alley way.

Ms. Blakes asked who was asking that this Ordinance be revoked; Mr. Janway said that he wasn’t sure and this right-of-way has always been there and has been maintained, as there are pictures in Council’s packet to show that it is maintained. 

Mr. Clark asked why the item was on the Agenda tonight; Mr. Janway said he had no idea why it was on the Agenda, but that the Sewer department did issue a memo to the Planning and Urban Development identifying the sewer line and that both a water and sewer line is in the alley.

Ms. Ezernack stated that the Planning and Zoning did deny this particular request.  Ms. Blakes asked Ms. Poret who was asking for the right-of-way.  Ms. Poret came forward and said the request came from her Department and that  they are working with someone in the area; Mr. Clark asked if it was a homeowner; Ms. Poret said yes; Mr. Clark stated to Ms. Poret that he is trying to understand why it is on the Agenda.

Ms. Bradley came forward and asked if this was for the guy who lived on the corner that wanted to add a pool and she stated yes, that is what she thought.

Dr. Armstrong said he called and talked with Mr. Mike Rally about this proposed Ordinance and that there is a bit of a conflict regarding the information in the packet as it states:  the changing conditions in the area are not sufficient to justify the above request and in the end it stated the Monroe Planning Commission had a majority vote for approval and they did not; they voted not to approve it as what Ms. Poret indicated and there is some confusion and it is not sufficient and doesn’t think they did not recommend that this be enacted.

Ms. Blakes asked Ms. Summersgill where did Council stand with this issue; Ms. Summersgill stated that it is an Introduction of an Ordinance and Council can vote not to Introduce it or Introduce it and vote it down. 

(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Clark to Introduce an Ordinance revoking McKeen Place from the west property line of Lot 1, America’s Park subdivision, Unit 4 east to its terminus approximately 120’ to its terminus and further providing with respect thereto. (P&Z). 

Comments:  Ms. Poret came forward and stated that they have found out that since it has gone to Planning Commission that there is a water line that runs in the revoked park and there was an easement there before because it was right-of-way and need to retain an easement in the revoked park and would like to add a condition that if this is not developed in six months or so that it would revert back to the City.

Mrs. Ezernack stated that she would like to amend the Ordinance as it was introduced for the City to retain an easement for the water line  and also if the property is not developed in six months period, that the easement would revert back to the City.

Motions were withdrawn by Mr. Wilson and Mr. Clark.

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Clark to amend  the Ordinance revoking McKeen Place from the west property line of Lot 1, America’s Park subdivision, Unit 4 east to its terminus approximately 120’ to its terminus and add for the City to retain an easement for the water line  and also if the property is not developed in six months period, that the easement would revert back to the City further providing with respect thereto. (P&Z).

Comments:  Ms. Nell Bradley asked if the six months meant the starting of the project; Ms. Poret said yes.  

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to Introduce an (Amended) Ordinance revoking McKeen Place from the west property line of Lot 1, America’s Park subdivision, Unit 4 east to its terminus approximately 120’ to its terminus and add for the City to retain an easement for the water line  and also if the property is not developed in six months period, that the easement would revert back to the City further providing with respect thereto. (P&Z).  (There were no comments from the public).

(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance extending and enlarging the boundaries of the City of Monroe, Louisiana, providing for the recordation of the entire boundary as amended: establishing the effective date thereof, and providing further with respect thereto. (P&Z) (There were no comments from the public).

(e) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana and authorizing the Clerk to Publish Notice of Public Hearing to zone a ±5.06 acre tract of land, more or less, presently located in Ouachita Parish to R-4, High Density Residential District. This property presently does not have zoning classification as it is being annexed into the city and is more particularly described as follows: Units 1-18, Claiborne Place Condominiums and otherwise known as 3900 Chauvin Lane - APPLICANT – Claiborne Place Condominiums Homeowners Association (P&Z) (There were no comments from the public).

(f) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana and authorizing the Clerk to Publish Notice of Public Hearing to rezone a ±4.14 acre tract of land presently zoned O-S, Open Space/Recreation District to B-3, General Business/Commercial District, presently located in Ouachita Parish and more particularly described as follows: 4400 DeSiard Street – APPLICANT - Polestar Development (P&Z)  (There were no comments from the public).

(g) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana and authorizing the Clerk to Publish Notice of Public Hearing to rezone a ±.14 acre tract of land presently zoned R-4, High Density Residential to B-2, Neighborhood Business District, presently located in Ouachita Parish and more particularly described as follows: 4250 DeSiard Street – APPLICANT – Taylor-Robertson, LLC (P&Z)  (There were no comments from the public).

(h) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana and authorizing the Clerk to Publish Notice of Public Hearing to rezone an existing B- 2, Neighborhood Business District to a B-3 General Business/Commercial District presently located in Ouachita Parish and more particularly described as follows: 1840 McKeen Place - APPLICANT: Polestar Development (P$Z)    (There were no comments from the public).

(i) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana and authorizing the Clerk to Publish Notice of Public Hearing to rezone a ±5.79 acre tract of land presently zoned B-1, Neighborhood Mixed Use District and R-1, Single Family Residential to B-3, General Business/Commercial District, presently located in Ouachita Parish and more particularly described as follows: 4450 DeSiard Street – APPLICANT – RCH Company, Inc. (P&Z)  (There were no comments from the public).

(j) 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 Ronnie L. Bass, for five thousand seven hundred seventy one and 70/100 dollars, all rights, title and interest that the City may have acquired in and to Lot twelve (12) of Square eighty-one (81) of Unit thirteen (13), Booker T. Washington Addition, Monroe, La, by Adjudication at Tax Sale dated July 17, 2001, and further with respect thereto. (Dist.3) (Legal)  (There were no comments from the public).

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION:

(a) Ordinance No. 11,471,  was offered for final adoption by Ms. Blakes and on her motion seconded by Dr. Armstrong was unanimously approved amending adopted Ordinance #11,406 Entitled "Dedicating a 60’ wide by 2,059’ long, more or less, street right-of-way (Technology Drive) located north of Century Link Drive; east of U.S. Highway 165 and west of Bayou Desiard and further providing with respect thereto”. (P&Z)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing and seeing no one come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

(b) Ordinance No. 11,472,  was offered for final adoption by Mr. Wilson and on his motion seconded by Mrs. Ezernack was unanimously approved to dedicate a utility easement from the east right-of-way line of
Technology Drive (where the Technology Drive turns south) east to Bayou Desiard and further
providing with respect thereto. (Eng.)

CITIZENS PARTICIPATION:

1.   Ms. Nell Bradley commented about the I-20 Economic Development money for Gardner Denver and if they don’t accept it will the money go back to I-20, the Airport, or will the City continue to remodel the building; she asked was the I-20 money supposed to be used to send people to Las Vegas because she thought it was supposed to be used to entice business to the City and asked if conference calls be made instead of being sent to Las Vegas.
2.  Mr. Michael Ward commented about a proposed Ordinance that was recently voted down.  He commented that if the Ordinance was presented in the way that he spoke on that it may have had a different outcome.  He said he has been instructing a Dress for Success program from high school to college and explained his understanding of where  sagging pants came from; the culture represents the incarceration and that the youth understands that is where the origin of sagging pants come from and the response of individuals knowing that it means showing their availability; he further stated points about sagging pants including how quickly it is for an individual to undress when trying to assault a woman and that it doesn’t  matter your ethnicity that this look of wearing sagging pants all looks like a swag look; children need to be protected against pedophiles who use sagging pants as a way of revealing themselves; there is nothing positive about the fashion; he encouraged Monroe to do as other City Councils have done and that is having public safety and economic growth in mind when it comes to their decisions; Cities across the nation are taking a stand on this sagging pants matter and are enforcing laws against sagging pants, fines are as steep as $250 has been issued; Shreveport and Lake Providence has and Monroe can be no different and without this law, allowing elements of the criminal mind in jail giving homage and our youth giving homage to them; giving women less of a fighting chance against a rapist; exposing our children to  sexual indecency; reducing potential tax dollars and pushing the envelope for future attire issues.
3.   Mr. Scott Dixon spoke about the Food Ordinance and appreciates the Introduction of Ordinance. He stated he and his wife owns a small fleet of food trucks and does business in Monroe and some surrounding cities.  He thinks that as the Ordinance stands that it should not be amended as stated in Section 25.5-44 of the previous draft in Item O.  His concern was why protect land based restaurants from a mobile restaurant and gave an example of Burger King and Arby’s in that they are located on Louisville Avenue and is within three hundred feet of each other and should not be protected against another competitor.  Another concern was as the Ordinance stated his question was "written permission from whom, mom, dad, the restaurant owner, permit office?”; government has no role in protecting one business to the detriment of the other and the point of accuracy and not having ambiguity in Item I, paragraphs two (fifty feet) and three (twenty five feet) lists two conflicting distances for the responsibility of the food truck operator in keeping debris and trash off of the ground; appreciate if legal could remove the ambiguity and not protect land based businesses with the three hundred feet clause.
4.  Mr. Jason Cohenour, Business owner on Hudson Lane stated that he has been in business for fifteen years and on Hudson Lane for about a decade.  Mr. Cohenour stated twelve days ago his friend Harry Collins was murdered at his business on Hudson Lane in broad day light around 5:00 p.m. and also shootings occurred on South 1st, Hippolyte and Erin Streets; no one died this weekend but five people did go to the hospital; he further stated his views as to why the crime and what can be done to combat the crime along with the rankings of crime statistics for a city of the size of Monroe.
5.  Mr. Wayne Hackney reported the roof on Emily P Robinson is leaking; the Public Works is picking up trash with the boom and is making holes in front of houses because of the boom and that when the holes were dug, Mr. Hopkins sent someone in to refill the holes; he reported that there are trees that were blown down a year ago from the tornado and that have not been picked up on the west side of South Grand Street across from the old nursing home that is closed and stated that there are piles all along South Grand Street.
Mr. Janway, Public Works addressed the issue of the trees along South Grand and stated that about two weeks ago the Tensas Levee Basin began clearing an area of levee and that there are several piles of trees cut down by the levee board and they will pick up the piles in addition to grinding the stubs. 
There being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:21 p.m., upon motion of Ms. Blakes and seconded by Mr. Wilson.

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 an appointment to listen to the minutes tape.

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