Monroe City Council Minutes

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District #1
Dr. Raymond A. Armstrong
Chairman                                       

District #2                                                        Mrs. Gretchen H. Ezernack 

District #3
Ms. Betty Blakes
Vice-Chairman

District #4                                                        Mr. Kenneth Wilson 

District #5
Mr. Eddie Clark

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

July 22, 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 Raymond Armstrong, Chairman, called the meeting to order. He then asked the clerk to call the roll.

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

There was absent: None.

Chairman Armstrong announced that a quorum was present and that the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance would be led by Councilwoman Ezernack’s designee, Rev. Lenard Montgomery.

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

Mrs. Ezernack welcomed each one present.

Ms. Blakes welcomed and thanked each one present.  Ms. Blakes commented that she was a little disturbed because it was asked that everyone would come together and thought that at this point had gotten beyond it.  She said the City is looking to bring Denver in as a one stop and noticed that the Administration has gone and met with the Chamber of Commerce and different people, except the ones that count. I feel like we’re the ones sitting here that count because you’ve got to have a majority of our votes. We haven’t been informed on anything and said that Council has only been informed by them hearing it on the TV or having read it in the newspaper.  Ms. Blakes said it wasn’t fair to Council members who have to vote on what occurs at the airport.

Mr. Wilson welcomed each one present and those from his District, including Ms. Bryant and said he had spoken with Ms. Walker at the Community Meeting last week and to continue to pray for her during her illness and he thanked Ms. Berna Dean Jones for inviting him and Council Staff, Ms. James and Mrs. Benjamin-Allen to their monthly July 10th community meeting as staff shared information about Council duty and staff functions;  Mr. Wilson mentioned the Family and Friends Day on August 23, 2014 at Emily P Robinson Center, Ms. Jones; this is for District’s 3 and 4, he and Mr. Clark will donate school supplies for this effort; On August 14, 2014, for the citizens who live in Louis Locke will receive school supplies.  Mr. Wilson acknowledged Public Works for the sidewalk project at Masur Museum and the Cooley House. He thanked Mr. Robert Johnson and staff for the work done at Lida Benton Park; District 4, yard of the month contest is ongoing through October and the winners will receive a Lowes or Home Depot $25 gift certificate.  Mr. Wilson also reported that the Mt. Nebo Park will be constructed by August 4, 2014; stated that it is part of a $400,000 project.  He offered a word of encouragement to everyone in attendance.

Mr. Clark welcomed each one present and had no further communication.

Dr. Armstrong acknowledged the leadership that the Council received under the leadership of past Council Chairman Clark, as he did a superb job as Chairman.  Dr. Armstrong recognized Cole Avery, reporter of New Star as he will be leaving News Star for a greater opportunity and wishes him well. In an effort to making more information available to the public and in keeping them better informed and the Council more efficient, Dr. Armstrong said that he will be changing several things.  He began by stating that the Council Information Packet, which is already being made available is on the city website; another change that would be considered is to have a Pre-Council meeting of sort, things being done that would help to inform the public, in some sort of fashion without having a lot of debate and hassle at Council meetings and this will be considered and maybe some of the other things that are proposed may even preclude the need for Pre-Council meetings and will look into something like this to better inform the public; he further explained the press, department heads as appropriate and the public would be invited to the Pre-Council meetings, to be explored and was canceled before with reason and will look at this; information and questions will be addressed at the meetings; another item that would be changed would be public comments from the floor and as it has been in the past when motions are made and seconded and then there are public comments and the change would be right after the motions and seconds have been made that the department heads when appropriate that they may come up before the public comment of the agenda item (resolution or ordinance), when frequently asked questions are raised and are explained during that time by  the department heads, which would allow everyone to be better informed; comments from the public will continue as they have been, as they will still be limited to the three minutes; the public can comment and can ask questions of the business at hand, but there will not be a discussion during that time between the public, the staff or the audience; the council and the department heads will take notes from the public comments being made and will try to answer all of the questions; the discussion back in forth has been nonproductive and will not continue; the comments will be limited to the business at hand and there will be no personal comments; Dr. Armstrong spoke with Mr. Barnes and met with Mr. Richard Moore and talked about re-mic the sound system, as other ways are being discussed and being looked at technology that will improve the system; he mentioned a big screen that would be attached to a computer and would be used by the council secretary to present information during the council meeting; information presented will be kept in a database by the council secretary and when needed, or if questions arise about certain agenda items, then at the time, it can be shown on the screen for the public to view.

Upon a motion of Mr. Clark and seconded by Mr. Wilson, the minutes of the Legal and Regular Session of July 8, 2014 were unanimously approved as presented. (There were no comments from the public).

PRESENTATION:   NONE.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: NONE.

PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS: NONE.

ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS:

(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the Bids Peregrine of Monroe, LA, Quill of Lincolnshire, IL, Dixie Paper Company, Minden, LA, Fuqua Paper Supply, Ruston, LA, Parker Wholesale, Bastrop, LA and Guy Paper of West Monroe, LA for a one year supply contract of Janitorial Products # 86-0198 as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with and meeting the specifications of this bid. All Vendors complies with and meets the specification of this bid and cleared by Tax & Revenue Division. (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the Bids Century Ready Mix of Monroe, LA, TXI of Monroe, LA for a one year supply contract Cement, Sand, Concrete & Gravel Ref # 86-0197 for the City of Monroe as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with the specifications of the bid. All of the vendors comply with the specifications of the bid and has been cleared by the Tax & Revenue Division.  (There were no comments from the public).

RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:

Department of Administration: NONE.

Department of Planning & Urban Development:  NONE.

Legal Department:   NONE.

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. 6282, offered by the Monroe Regional Airport authorizing Mayor Mayo to accept any grant offers from the FAA through December 30, 2014, for the Monroe Regional Airport, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Phillips explained that the Resolution being offered is to allow the Mayor to accept a grant offer of $1.6 million from the FAA.

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack, Voting YES: Mr. Clark, Mrs. Ezernack, Dr. Armstrong, Ms. Blakes; Voting NO: Mr. Wilson; approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6283, authorizing James Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute an Engineering Services Agreement between the City of Monroe and Denmon Engineering at the Monroe Regional Airport, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Phillips explained that the Resolution being offered is an agreement with Denmon Engineering to construct a parking lot fence and to repave the parking lot and other items, funding is coming from the State Capital Outlay and it is 100% funded by the State.

Ms. Blakes asked if what was being paved, already paved; Mr. Phillips stated it has not been paved; it is additional parking and is space that was on the side of the paved parking lot, 300x300.  Ms. Blakes said her paperwork said it was the existing parking lot.  Mr. Phillips said it was adjacent; Ms. Blakes said she was wondering why we would need Engineering services for something that was already there.  Ms. Blakes asked for the cost of the project and if the $26,000 was included in the total amount; Mr. Phillips said it was included and it is funded totally by the State, with no matching funds needed.

Mr. Wilson asked if Mr. Denmon had a contract with the Airport, because normally if there is a contract out there, that he gets it.  Mr. Phillips said Denmon has a Master Services agreement with the airport that is in effect; Mr. Wilson asked how long the agreement was; Mr. Phillips stated it was for five years and was approved two years ago.  Mr. Wilson asked with Council approval; Mr. Phillips said yes.

Mr. Clark stated that the total compensation between the two projects is $57,956; Mr. Clark stated to Mr. Phillips that he stated that it was for the construction of the fence, but when you look on page 3 of 15, Item 3.4.3 that states, "conduct a pre-bid conference if required, to discuss the requirements of the project with respective Bidders, Subcontractors and Suppliers”; Mr. Clark stated that Denmon is not really building the fence; they will basically assist with the design phase, etc.; Denmon at some point will help the owner (The City of Monroe) secure bids to go out and pay someone to construct the fence.  Mr. Phillips stated that Mr. Clark was correct and stated the agreement was just for the design and when that is done, the bid packet will be put together to go out to bid on the construction.  Mr. Clark said since it is not designed yet, the construction cost of the fence is unknown; Mr. Phillips said the cost is based upon the bids.  Mr. Clark said whether the project is 100% funded by grants or whatever the source was; he wanted to know why this project couldn’t be done in-house since we have a new Engineer.  Mr. Phillips said a lot of the project was done before Ms. Golden came on as the new Engineer; Mr. Phillips said they are just continuing with the process.  Mr. Clark asked what was the nature of the Master Services Agreement which is in place for five years and does it entail that there will be a lump sum paid to Denmon for the Master Services Agreement and also another fee paid for each project.  Mr. Phillips said the Master Services Agreement had projects listed but also it stated that any additional projects would be included in the agreement at that particular cost; Mr. Clark stated that this was an additional project; Mr. Phillips said it was an additional project; Mr. Clark stated that this particular project did not have to fall under the Master Services Agreement; Mr. Phillips said no, it did not have to fall under the Master Services Agreement. 

Ms. Blakes asked Ms. Golden, City Engineer, why is the City paying Denmon Engineering and she has been hired to do the services; Ms. Golden said she thought Mr. Phillips answered that question for her; Ms. Golden stated it was one of those projects that were in the works before she came on board and it is included in his budget, it is a capital outlay project which is a whole different animal and was in the works to do it through a consultant engineer.

Mr. Clark asked if it was a paid for "100% grant”.  Mr. Phillips said that was correct.

(c) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6284, authorizing James Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute an Architectural Services Agreement between the City of Monroe and Land 3 Architects, Inc. at the Monroe Regional Airport, and further providing with respect thereto.

Comments:  Bill Land of Land 3 Architect explained that the Resolution was a design project and it includes several items, a finish out of the second floor a part of the original project that wasn’t completed, facility security lighting and new lighting for the entrance way to the airport from Kansas Lane as you approach the pond,  some of the enhancements to the existing pond and fountain, the big delta emblem at the site will include improvements as well as irrigation and this is completely funded by facility planning control which includes construction and design fees and is about a $1 million to a $1.2 million project.

Mr. Clark thanked Mr. Land for his explanation of the agenda item and said he understands the 100% funding mechanism of the $1.2 million project and said his questions was for Airport Director, Mr. Phillips.  He asked Mr. Phillips of the $30 plus million Airport and we are building out the second floor and certain rooms of the airport and putting up security lighting and asked why these items were left out of a $30 million job.  Mr. Phillips answered by saying those was decisions left by the previous administration; it was not included in the construction at that particular time.  Mr. Clark asked how many years has it been since the ribbon on the airport been cut, less than five; Mr. Phillips said he was correct in the years.  Mr. Phillips said they are getting the money now to do the finishing out of that particular area.  Mr. Clark said he understands that it is easy for us to say that the project is being funded 100% by the State, etc. and that there is no sweat off of our backs and is looking at the efficiency of what we are doing, whether it is free money and coming from another source or the hundred percent or not, just trying to make heads or tails of it; Mr. Phillips said we have the opportunity to help enhance the airport and it is the goal to help make it the best airport in the state, and have the ability to create more space available for use and also to add an overall enhancement to the terminal; Mr. Clark asked that out of the $30 plus million  airport and (he travels quite frequently to different airports); he asked what percentage of that amount went into the construction of the airport; Mr. Clark asked are we looking at a $10 million  airport, a $12 million airport or is it an $18 million dollar airport; Mr. Phillips stated that the final construction costs was about $43 million; Mr. Clark said so when you back out almost about 40% is going to contractors, etc. how much went for the airport itself.  Mr. Phillips said he did not know the amount; Mr. Clark asked if Mr. Phillips would get the amount to him and Mr. Phillips said that he would.

Mrs. Ezernack stated that some of the comments that she has received are people appreciates the airport and have commented about the airport lighting, from Kansas Lane to the terminal, for something that could not have been included in the first thing and the darkness during the winter time especially when people are taking an early flight and this will be a real enhancement and an opportunity to lead someone to a great location at the airport; Mr. Phillips said what they are trying to do is improve the entranceway in and provide decorative lighting, create focal point with the pond and the delta monument and delta airlines has agreed to participate with the city in the process and has an interest in making some additional  enhancements to their monument, a partnership. 

Mr. Wilson asked if the project was in line with DBE goals.  Mr. Land said yes they were in line and would be including a minimum of ten percent and is pretty standard for a renovation project of this size. The lighting is to improve security and reduce liability.

(d) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and after discussion of the contract,  these initial motions were withdrawn; Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to amend the contract to reflect a 3 year period;  Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to Adopt as amended Resolution No. 6285, authorizing James Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a Planning and Implementation Services Agreement between the City of Monroe and Kutchins and Groh, at the Monroe Regional Airport, and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Phillips explained the Resolution is a basic agreement between the City and Kutchins and Groh and the tasks order scope 1 includes the update of the master plan and the airport city plan and is funded 100% by the FAA and is for $500,000; task order 2 covers all of the projects not included under the master plan and will be funded by the administrative costs under the FAA and state entitlement grants.

Ms. Blakes asked Mr. Phillips to explain to her the role of Kutchins and Groh and does it eliminate Mr. Phillips role.  Mr. Phillips asked in what respect she means.  Ms. Blakes asked if it was his job to manage money coming in and how it is spent.  Mr. Phillips said it is to ensure all the management meets the guidelines of the FAA and the State and Kutchins and Groh has been doing this for the airport for the last several of years; he said they put together the rates and charges for the terminals and this is something they are experts in and they are assisting the accounting in this process now and originally the employee that was handling this is no longer here and Kutchins and Groh is filling in this process and the grant management.

Ms. Blakes asked Ms. Summersgill if the contract was for five years and if so, then it exceeds the Councilmember’s terms.  She asked that the proposals not exceed Councilmember’s terms.   Ms. Summersgill stated that she understands the request, but did not know if this was something specific that FAA had required the airport to do in a certain period of time, that would need to be complied with.  Mr. Phillips stated that it was a side issue and they do not have an issue with it; Mr. Clark stated they he would move that the current Resolution be amended to reflect a contract term of three years as opposed to five years.

(e) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Water Treatment Division of the Public Works Department for approval to renew the current contracts for another (6) months. Both Vendors have agreed upon renewing for another 180 days with terms and conditions to remaining the same.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Tony Gibson, Purchasing stated that the agenda reflected "both” vendors and said the agenda item needed to be corrected to reflect that there are seven vendors in the contract. 
Ms. Blakes said she noticed some of the paperwork with one of the vendors date prior to the Council vote.  Mr. Gibson stated no and of the seven vendors he had four that wanted to renew and had to call the other three vendors to get them to renew and they did; the contract matured on July 15; Ms. Blakes acknowledged an effective date of July 8 and asked what was it referring to; Mr. Tony said that was the date the vendor called.  She then referred to a date of July 1 on one of the vendor documents; Mr. Gibson said he was trying to get this agenda item on the last agenda, because the guys have to go back and call their district managers, so forth and put it out for the last agenda and brought back for this agenda when he knew he had it in place; Ms. Blakes said that she wanted to make sure that Council is not voting on something that has already happened that should have been brought to Council before now; Mr. Gibson said no, the contracts expire on July 15th.
 
(f) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6286, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor of the City of Monroe, to sign and execute a Grant Application to the United States Department of Transportation, 2014 Small Community Air Service Development Program Grant for a new air route.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Phillips, Airport Director, stated the grant was for marketing and incentives for possible direct flights to Denver and any other markets being necessary.

Mr. Rod Guy said the grant was for $1,000,050 ; he explained that the FAA would put in $500,000 and the in-kind services would be $550,000 and $100,000 cash, would come from the Mayor’s Economic Development Fund and it would be matched by the City of Denver for a total of $500,000 and is a guarantee program and if they lose money on this flight, then the City of Monroe would make up their losses on this venture; this would possibly go for a second year where the City of Monroe  would have to come up with another $100,000 guarantees and is a part of the incentive package; the City of Monroe Airport would waive the rental services to an airline who would make the flights; the private sector would
come up with incentives; the business community is coming up with an incentive package to give to the airlines and a final deal has not been made and the whole system must be flexible; there are multiple airlines that could possibly provide the flight from Monroe to Denver and doesn’t know what type of incentive packet that will be needed to entice them.  Ms. Blakes asked about the $50,000 rental waiver; Mr. Phillips said the $50,000 was for landing fees, not rentals and this is a standard practice; Ms. Ezernack said the grant was time sensitive; Mr. Guy said that this is why it is sort of being done backwards, because they should have come to Council initially asking them to authorize $100,000 from the Mayor’s Economic Development Fund, because the grant has to be in by July 31 and will not be available again until next year; he explained that if the resolution for the grant is approved the Council is not fixed in stone on this and when it is approved and the Council says that this is not the direction that they want to go in then the Council can stop it at any time until you get to a point of negotiating a contract  with an airline. Once the contract is negotiated in the future then it is too late, because you have made a business commitment to that; he said because it is passed tonight, the Council is not fixed to a particular direction, Council is just giving the flexibility to find more funds for an incentive package for marketing to make what is being done work. Mr. Phillips said this is not the first grant that the airport has applied for and received several years ago, applied for this particular grant and received $50,000-$75,000 and this grant is for air services.  Ms. Blakes asked if Denver Airport doesn’t make the amount will it exceed $100,000; Mr. Phillips said it would not exceed.  Dr. Armstrong stated that the amount of the income agree would be stated to what the figure is.  Mrs. Ezernack stated that the opportunity for the community goes beyond the primary user of this, the citizens will be using this particular flight and is an opportunity for our flagship corporation in the community to enhance their employees who want come to our area; families can go back and forth; it cuts down on people driving to Jackson or Shreveport to go to Denver instead of them flying out of Monroe airport; we need to do everything to make this happen and this is one of our first steps toward that process. 

Mr. Wilson said he was disappointed in the Mayor for not taking Councilwoman Blakes on the trip because she is the Council representative for the airport area and wasn’t asked to take the trip.  Mr. Wilson said he was concerned that he wasn’t notified of the trip and doesn’t know if Mr. Clark or the Chairman was notified but that he read it in the paper.  Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Phillips how long was the contract for; Mr. Phillips said the contract was for as long as the airline wants to fly in and out of Monroe; but the grant is a one-time opportunity to establish the service; Mr. Guy said the grant would last one year and what services that are provided for one year is a part of the grant and if we could write another grant and go beyond a year. 

Chairman Armstrong asked if there is a long term contract and then after a year there is no grant, then what is the obligation to the City, do we come out of the airport funds to match the income guarantee after a year and we don’t get the grant and they don’t meet the requirements.  Mr. Phillips replied even if we don’t get the grant we will still try to pursue air service between Denver and Monroe; he said the incentives were already put in place before we applied for the grant.  He said the reason for moving forward was in the meeting with United was that one of the things that helped Shreveport airport to establish service was to apply for and getting this particular grant and asked us to see if it was possible to do the same and we decided to apply for the grant because it allowed Shreveport to get the service established and felt it would be beneficial for us to get the grant and add it to the incentives that we were ready to provide.

Council:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6287, appointing Sherman Butler to the Monroe Capital Infrastructure Commission, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6288, approving the appointment of Benya Marshall to the Board of Directors for the Ouachita Riverfront Development Commission and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Department of Community Affairs:  None.

Police Department:   NONE.

Fire Department:    NONE.

Engineering Services:

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and Voting YES: Mrs. Ezernack, Mr. Wilson, Dr. Armstrong and Mr. Clark; Voting NO: Ms. Blakes; approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6289  accepting the bid of Cecil D. Gassiott, LLC Contractor, in the amount of $696,000.00 for the Hadley Street Lift Station Improvements Project, and further authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a contract for said work.

Comments:  Ms. Golden stated the matter was let for public bids and received four bids on July 8 and this is the low bidder and recommending the award of the base bid to install an intake rake at the Hadley Street lift station, that is the lift station that sends things to the sewer plant itself and the rake keeps big things from going to the plant.

Ms. Blakes asked if this was a mandatory bid conference; Ms. Golden said no; Ms. Blakes said since it was not a mandatory bid conference and the list that she has doesn’t have the person’s name that the bid is being granted to; Ms. Blakes asked how are the DBE’s having an opportunity to bid.  Ms. Golden said she understands there is a separate list and doesn’t know the list that she is referring to and the list in the packet is the tabulation of the bids that were submitted.  Ms. Blakes said the list from Mr. Land’s office did not have Mr. Gassiott’s name on the list; Ms. Golden asked Ms. Blakes what list was she referring to; Ms. Blakes said Land and Ms. Golden said Land 3 was not the design professional of record, Denmon Engineering was the design professional of record; Ms. Blakes said that there were two different ones and continued to say that the company that received the bid was not on the list for the DBE’s to give them a bid; she asked how could the DBE’s compete fairly and successfully, if they don’t know who they give their bids to; Ms. Golden yielded to Mr. Holland; Mr. Holland said that this particular project is for specialty items and in most cases you do not have DBE’s that can do this type of work and the guys that pick up these bid packs are general contractors and if they request bids from DBE’s as subcontractors, and DBE’s like anyone else to pick up a bid pack like anyone else; Ms. Blakes said they did pick up a bid pack; Mr. Holland stated that the DBE picked up a bid packet and didn’t turn in their bid; Ms. Blakes said they picked up a bid packet and did turn in their bid; Ms. Blakes said the company that received the bid contract that Council is getting ready to vote on was not on the list for them to give a bid to; Mr. Holland  asked who were they bidding with or where they bidding by themselves; Mr. Holland said if they were not licensed or bonded; Ms. Blakes said they were licensed and bonded; Mr. Holland asked if they had met the requirements of the bid; Ms. Blakes stated that they did meet the requirements; Mr. Holland said it is up to them to turn in their bid packets; Ms. Blakes stated that they did  turn in their packets; Mr. Holland asked if they turned it in at the proper time and Ms. Blakes said yes; Ms. Blakes said the company was not on the list to give them the proper information; Mr. Holland said that he was at the bid opening and no one else was there. Ms. Blakes said someone else was there; Mr. Holland said the contractor that are shown on the bid tabs showed the list of bidders that were received on that particular day and believe there were four bidders and each one was named and had Louisiana license.  Ms. Summersgill explained that there is the primary contractor here and not the DBE’s; the DBE’s are not involved in this process at all and during the process when we get the low bids it is the contractor’s responsibility to go to the lists that are provided by the state or the City of Monroe about certified DBE’s and they go to the people and get bids and from those bids they put together there packages and this is how we know whether they meet or don’t meet their goals and when we have the meetings and they haven’t met the goals then we try to go out to get other DBE’s to help them meet that goal and when you talk about a DBE and he not being able to get his bid to a primary contractor it is the contractor’s job to go out and get those things and meet the goal and she said she understands what Ms. Blakes is saying but that she and Arthur were talking about two different things at the bid opening, these are general  contractors as compared to DBE’s who are putting in bids as subcontractors; the DBE’s come off of a list, this is how the contractors know to go to that person to get their bid and these people must be on the bid list and they must be certified by the state, and the city has a list, fair share in Shreveport and doesn’t know if the DBE that Ms. Blakes is talking about is certified or not, but if he is his name should be on the list and particularly if he is local, because this is what we are looking for.  Ms. Blakes said she appreciates that we would give some of the locals some business and how can they compete fairly and Ms. Summersgill said that she agrees.  Ms. Summersgill said they are working on some local DBE’s and that it has been very hard to do because to get state certified,  the DBE has to have the very exact records, they always did in the past and you didn’t find that a lot with DBE’s because they were operating more like her mom and dad, for instance her mom did the book keeping, etc. they are working on getting the list updated.  Ms. Golden said there is another list Ms. Blakes may be referring to and that is if someone asks the Engineer for a list of who has picked up plans and this list may be available and this list may not include everyone who has plans because the plans are also available online through a service and if a proactive DBE were being proactive to find out who picked up plans and got a list like that it may not have everybody;  it would have people who picked up plans from his office but through online service or for someone who picked up for someone else; Ms. Blakes asked if someone picks up a list and there are still people online that are going to bid, do you tell people that are picking up a list to tell them that they need to check online; Ms. Golden said if they do it is their own initiative to do it; Ms. Golden stated in reference to what Ms. Summersgill stated that what is being developed is a new and improved DBE process and are going to be a little more helpful as far as putting out information about upcoming projects and opportunities.  Mr. Wilson asked if Ms. Golden would provide a list of the committee when it becomes available; Ms. Golden said yes. 

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to consider request to authorize the Purchasing Manager to advertise for bids on the re-roofing of 3 community center roofs (Johnson, Marbles, and Benoit). The estimated cost of this project is $400,000.00.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Golden stated the estimated cost of the project was $400,000 and not $600,000 as it was a typo.  She also stated that the source of funding is an appropriation made by Council and the $400,000 does exceed it somewhat but it is a working updated estimate.

INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:

(a) Upon on a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance approving a Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2014, 2015
December 2016, by and between the City of Monroe and the International Union of Operating
Engineers, AFL-CIO, Local No. 216 and further providing with respect thereto. 

Comments:  Ms. Summersgill said a copy of the agreement was sent to all Council members and is a 2% increase and there are no longevity pay increase; she said there are minor incentives for getting certifications that you must have with operating engineers; it is a 2% pay increase of what other city employees have been receiving.

Ms. Blakes asked if any Union members present. Two representatives from the Union came forward.  Ms. Blakes asked if the contract was agreeable with the Union and they responded that it was agreeable. 
Mr. Wilson asked Ms. Summersgill where the City was with the study of the employee salary structure; Ms. Summersgill said that it is being worked on with personnel and it is hard because the city of Monroe over the years has had many certifications and are asking for proposals and the right information has to be given out for the proposal, and it’s the right information that is hard to get out for the proposal; Gail Ryan and Chief Bryant are working on the information for the proposal and it is at the point now of being ready to go out for proposals.

Mr. Wilson said some employees are doing two and three jobs and he spoke with Mr. Janway about this and we certainly want to give the employees their due pay.

(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance amending Section 27-7 of Article I of the Code of the City of Monroe and further providing with respect thereto. (Plumbing Code)  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes asked if this was the final or introduction; Ms. Summersgill stated it was the introduction.

(c)  Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack and seconded by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to add to the Agenda to Introduce an Ordinance authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a lease by and between the City of Monroe and Jerry Pate Turf & Irrigation, Inc., and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no comments from the public).

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a lease by and between the City of Monroe and Jerry Pate Turf & Irrigation, Inc., and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes said the add-on would put the budget over and asked where would the overage come from; Bill Baker, Director, City of Monroe Golf course said it would be taken out of the budget that they receive throughout the year, like the chemical budget, the as needed budget and will find it; Mr. Ross came forward and stated that they will take the golf course budget and there are items that can be moved from different areas of the budget that can make up for that.  Ms. Blakes asked if this is passed and we are already eight months into the year and are over budget; she asked where the emergency come from.  Mr. Baker said the emergency comes from the equipment that they have which is falling apart; the new lease would give them the correct equipment to run the golf course and are way over budget on repairs and it is time for the new lease and it will help them with bigger equipment to get the job done; he said right now they just have small equipment from the last administration that wasn’t doing the work and this will allow us to do the job with the right equipment.  Mrs. Ezernack said she read in the paperwork that it will be under a service warranty agreement; Mr. Baker said that was correct and they did not have a warranty on the last lease there was two year standard warranty and after two years if you don’t have the extended warranty then you have to pay for the damages and this new lease for repairing the equipment beyond the warranty; Mrs. Ezernack asked if this equipment would replace the equipment that we are presently using and we will be using all new equipment; Mr. Baker said yes. 

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION:

(a) Ordinance No. 11,488, was offered for final adoption by Mrs. Ezernack and on her motion seconded by Mr. Wilson was unanimously approved and adopted rescinding Ordinance # 11,382 Entitled "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)
               
The Chairman opened the Public Hearing and seeing no one come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

(b) Ordinance No. 11,489, was offered for final adoption by Mrs. Ezernack and on her motion seconded by Ms. Blakes was unanimously approved and adopted 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 – Applicant – HCI Limited Partnership &
Scott Equipment Sales LLC - (P&Z)
               
The Chairman opened the Public Hearing and seeing no one come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

(c) Ordinance No. 11,490, was offered for final adoption by Mr. Wilson and on his motion seconded by Mrs. Ezernack was unanimously approved and adopted accepting the donation of a parcel of real estate to the City of Monroe from Ouachita Parish Police Jury in connection with FP&C Project No. 50-MJ6-028-02 (US 165 Bypass to Vine Street), and further providing with respect thereto. (Legal)
               
The Chairman opened the Public Hearing and seeing no one come forward the Hearing was declared closed.

CITIZENS PARTICIPATION:

1. Earline Bryant thanked Mr. Hopkins and men for coming to south Monroe and taking care of the grass and ditches.  Macedonia Baptist Church is having their annual shoe drive on August 10 and is accepting donations and they can be dropped off at the church or buys any size shoe and drop them off.  He wants to make sure that every child has a new pair of shoes for the opening of school; last year 2500 pairs of shoes were given away.

2.  David Hartfield – Dyels asked Council to take Martin Temple CME off of the condemnation list because of the compliances that were met.  Chairman Armstrong told Mr. Dyels that he would discuss this at a later time because it was not an agenda item; Mr. Dyels said he had a challenge for that and went further to state that Council on March 25, 2014 gave the church 120 days and were under the assumption that they would come back before Council in 120 days and sent emails all of proposed work and progress on April 3 to Mr. Murphy on what they proposed to do; he said an official document was filed on April 9 to tear down on July 23, tomorrow and is reason why they are here tonight to make sure this doesn’t happen.  He read off compliances that were met and mentioned the metal roof that has been placed on the church.  He said he didn’t want to be micromanaged each time his church wanted to do something; met the compliances.  Dr. Armstrong stated he appreciated him coming and maybe Mr. Janway or Ms. Robinson can speak to him after the meeting.  Ms. Summersgill stated that Mr. Fisher has information that he can share with Mr. Dyels.  Mr. Dyels went further and asked them what about the July 23 that was recorded by the City of Monroe and asked them if they wanted to see it.  Ms. Summersgill told Mr. Dyels that the fact that something was filed doesn’t mean that it is going to be torn down tomorrow; she said Mr. Fisher has information about this and that he will share with the church and it will alleviate some of the problems.  Mr. Dyels asked Ms. Summersgill if there were still problems after the church met the compliances; Ms. Summersgill said she did not know and would need to have the compliance officer here and generally speaking they are working with the group who are in need of compliance and a report that states they have complied; Ms. Summersgill again, stated to Mr. Dyels that the fact that something was filed at the courthouse doesn’t mean that your building is going to be torn down tomorrow and Mr. Fisher is the person that you would need to speak with.

3.  Johnnie Thomas announced the Newtown Community Charity hosts their annual Scholarship Banquet and will honor two outstanding Seniors on their outstanding achievements through the school year, they will be attending college in the Fall; events Friday, July 25, 6-8, meet and greet, Johnson Carver and on Saturday night, Scholarship  Awards Banquet, Newtown Heroes Award, July 26-from 6-10pm at the Country Club Event Center, 250 Country Club Road, tickets $30; Curtis Heard will be one of the honorees and asked everyone to consider attending and tickets can be purchased from her.

4.  Donald Givens addressed the overgrown grass in the city and said he didn’t see any improvement from last year and in his opinion it is worse; He said the excuse last year was the machines were broken, and believes the City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and have seen at least 4 tractors for the ditches but he doesn’t see them in parts of South Monroe.  He said they sprayed some of the ditches on Plum St. and down Texas Avenue with grass standing 6 feet high and sprayed the ditches to kill but the weeds are standing up dead on the side of the road on the thoroughfares as well as the ditches; he said this is fine for the winter time and asked if this practice was done all over the city  or was it just being done on the South side of Monroe; he said he spoke with Mr. Tims and that city workers drive through his area with weeds so high to get to another area; there was a Code Enforcement guy that he witnessed getting on a lady whose yard was overgrown by about 2 feet high and he told the Code Enforcement guy that he understands her grass being high, but did he see the weeds alongside the highway at 7 feet high.   He said public works will instead of picking up the paper before it is mowed will mow over one piece of newspaper and make it after it is mowed into fifty pieces; he said they would leave it there and this is ridiculous; he said in some of the vacant lots some of the places they do pick it up, but on the south side, they do not; he asked if the supervisors were checking out the work that their employees are doing; he said in Ms. Blakes area and asked if anyone go around to see what the needs are in the community and these things need to be addressed; the city has all the tractors and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new tractors and now are spraying the grass to kill it then what is the purpose of buying the tractors.

Dr. Armstrong stated that someone asked about an Enterprise zone map and had it available for viewing.

Mr. Ricardo Nance came forward and stated there was a problem with a ditch on the south side on South Bayou; he stated that the ditch is polluted and a child almost got bit by a very large snake and said he would bring it back up at the next Council meeting.

There being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:46 p.m., upon motion of Ms. Blakes and seconded by Mr. Wilson.

Dr. Raymond Armstrong
Chairman

Carolus S. Riley
Council Clerk

Jacqueline Benjamin-Allen
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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