Parish sewer projects start; charter changes introduced
With long awaited sewer extension projects under way in the Bakertown area east of Franklin, the parish is ready to begin the expropriation process in the St. Peter Street area to acquire rights of way for that project on the western boundary of the parish.
St. Mary President Paul Naquin told the parish council Wednesday that once that process is complete the project should be able to proceed before the end of the year.
The project has been tied up for years while the parish researched property ownerships.
“We should have did this 10 years ago,” Naquin said.
In other announcements Naquin said bids will be opened on Feb. 4 on the project to remodel the second floor of the Blevins building that is adjacent to the courthouse in Franklin. Once complete, the floor will be occupied by non-parish entities currently housed in the courthouse.
In other business Wednesday the council:
—Introduced ordinances amending the Home Rule Charter. The same ordinances were introduced in 2010 but failed to pass, according to Chief Administrative Officer Henry “Bo” LaGrange. They all apply to the council and include setting three consecutive term limits regardless of holding single member or at-large seats; an increase in single member pay from $450 to $750 a month and at-large pay from $800 to $1,100 a month; and an increase in the parish president’s salary from $12,000 per year to $36,000. An ordinance deducting pay for missing more than three meetings in a year without a viable excuse was pulled for legal review. The ordinances require passage by two-thirds of the council. If adopted they would be placed on a ballot for voter approval and if passed would go into effect after the following election. The council heard from Franklin resident Barry Granger who said he would not vote for council raises.
—Heard from Bill Frey of Progressive Waste Solutions who said his company has had no complaints from the public since measures were taken to improve garbage collections.
—Introduced an ordinance adopting the Unified Development Code and Zoning Map. The council will hold a workshop next Wednesday at 6 p.m. to review changes to the zoning law.
—Introduced an ordinance declaring certain real property as surplus in the Parish of St. Mary.
—Passed resolutions on a local service agreement with Morgan City on the use of a dump truck; amendment of the engineering agreement with Miller Engineers & Associates, Inc. on the Franklin Drainage, Yellow Bayou and Hanson Canal Floodgates and levee improvements projects; a purchase agreement with Louisiana Wetlands, LLC; professional service agreements with LJC Planning & Design, LLC on the Atchafalaya Basin Program and at Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport; endorsement of participation in the Enterprise Zone Project by LAD Services LLC; and their Project No. 20131311 to participate in the benefits of the Enterprise Zone Program.
—Changed the time of the Feb. 26 council meeting from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. so that councilmembers may attend the Police Jury Association annual convention in Baton Rouge later in the day.
—Reappointed all current members of the Water and Sewer Commission 1 board of directors.