The Mayor and Board of Aldermen met in a Regular Scheduled Meeting with the following members present; Mayor Maurice Harris, Alderwoman Edna Mitchel, Alderman Jerome Martin, Alderman Justin Bessix and Alderman John Carriere. Alderwoman Veronica Hill was absent.
Also present was CPA Jacob Waguespack and Town Attorney Gerard Morgan.
Roll Call: Mayor Harris opened the Public Hearing with a Roll Call, Pledge and Prayer.
Public Hearing was opened with a motion from Alderman Martin, seconded by Alderwoman Mitchel and unanimously approved by the Board in attendance.
CPA Jacob Waguespack presented the 2023-2024 budget to the public and explained that four line items needed to be amended.
Audience comments: Councilman Jewell was in favor of the budget. He explained that the Parish had new businesses coming that would increase revenues for the town and parish.
Chief Washington questioned a salary increase. Budget will be amended to include this increase.
A motion was made by Alderman Martin, seconded by Alderman Bessix and unanimously approved by the board in attendance to close public hearing and return to regular scheduled meeting.
Announcements: Mayor Harris announced that the Fall festival is scheduled for 11-7-23.
Audience comments: Sam Watson candidate for Parish Councilman addressed the Board. He informed the board that he was qualified and ready for the position.
Garrick Scott complained about bids not being fairly accepted. He feels the Town should look to Maringouin first.
We had a complaint from a citizen about the toxic waste from one of the lift stations. She feels something needs to be done. She was informed that the pumping station is checked Monday, Wednesday and Friday weekly,.
Tammi Fabre, candidate for State Representative handed out her information outline her qualifications.
Ms. Vorise explained she was at the meeting to meet with Roger Morris of Stoner Island. She questioned the board about permits for work being done at Stoner island. She feels town has not followed the ordinance.
Approval of minutes: A motion was made by Alderman Carriere to approve the minutes of the August 14, 2023 meeting. Motion was seconded by Alderman Bessix and unanimously approved by the Board in attendance.
New Business: A motion to approve the 2023-2024 budget and amend the ordinance to increase salary of the Fire Chief was done by Alderman Martin, seconded by Alderman Carriere and unanimously approved by the Board in attendance.
The Resolution to participate in the State of Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was adopted by a motion from Alderman Carriere, seconded by Alderman Bessix and unanimously approved by the board in attendance.
The Ordinance to increase the salary of Policy Chief, Fire Chief and Clerk was made by motion from Alderman Martin, seconded by Alderwoman Mitchel and unanimously approved by the board in attendance.
It was announced that he plans for the fall festival are almost completed. The date was changed to November 11th in hopes the weather will be cooler. Flyers will be mailed out advertising.
Old Business: CPA Jacob Waguespack presented the Council with the financial statements of July, 2023. He informed the board that the 2022-2023 budget was amended. He informed them the sales taxes are continuing to do good and the collections are in good shape.
The police call log was presented to the board for the month of June since there was no July meeting.
Fire: Chief Washington reported 13 calls last month. Training and meeting has been done. Has a unit down.
Police: Police Chief informed the Board that he had some radios that they didn’t use anymore and he was going to donate them to Melville.
Maintenance: Public works director Lee Butler advised the board that everything was okay at this time. His gas inspection only had two problems that have been fixed. He advised the board that water grant was available and he is in needs of valves for the water system.
Committee reports: Finance, Ms. Hill was absent.
Utilities: Mr. Carriere reported that there were 121 on the delinquent list but a large number of them have been collected and only three are off.
Personnel: Mr. Bessix informed the board that custodian has been hired.
Building & grounds: Alderwoman Mitchel questioned the board about the bridge on 76. It either needs to be repaired or removed. Requests for bids to repair will be done.
Roads, streets and drainage: Alderman Martin requested information on the LED lights that have been submitted months ago.
Adjournment: There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by a motion from Alderman Carriere, seconded by Alderman Martin.