Morgan City seeks $600K grant for road work
Wed, 2013-10-23 15:29 Harlan Kirgan
Morgan City, La.
By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
The city is trying to get grant money that could be used to improve the city’s roads.
The Louisiana Community Block Development grant is now available for the 2014-15 cycle, Angela Cramer of Community Design Group said at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Cramer said consultants would like to apply for a sewer rehab grant, but that probably would not get funded based on the amount of the problem documented. “It looks like the best option might be a street grant to redo some of the streets in low, moderate areas throughout the town,” Cramer said.
Consultants are looking at what would have the best chance of getting funded, possibly work on Levee Road, Cramer said.
The council approved two resolutions for administrative and engineering services for potential work if the grant is funded, she said. The combined services would cost a little less than $100,000 to “leverage” a $600,000 grant, Cramer said.
“We have investigated and found out we can use road royalty money for that match to better put ourselves in position for the $600,000,” Mayor Frank “ Boo” Grizzaffi said.
The council discussed looking into drafting a “saggy pants” ordinance. Councilman Louis Tamporello said the council is not looking to target a particular group of people with a potential ordinance.
“We’re just looking at having something on the books ourselves to be able to cover our own selves out here,” Tamporello said. The parish has its own ordinance, but Morgan City cannot enforce the parish’s ordinance. Therefore, the city would need its own ordinance, Tamporello said. Patterson also has a saggy pants ordinance, he said.
Tamporello asked city attorney Greg Aucoin to draft a potential ordinance similar to the parish ordinance.
Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch said he wants to be included in the discussion because the police department would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance, and has not been included in any discussion so far. The parish ordinance is lacking in “verbiage” or specificity, Crouch said.
Councilman Ron Bias said he would like to see some type of saggy pants ordinance. “In the community, it really has gotten to be a disgrace. And we need to do something about it as a governing body,” Bias said.
Bias has examined similar ordinances in other communities. Bias is also concerned with wording the ordinance specifically and not leaving the city open for lawsuits by civil rights groups.
The council voted to table the discussion and have conversations with city officials including police officers.
Grizzaffi said more than $120 million in bonds have been sold to build Louisiana Energy and Power Authority natural gas power plant in Morgan City. The building contract has not been awarded yet but the field has been narrowed down, Grizzaffi said.
LEPA expects the project to be finished in about 18 months, he said. The city will have a 10-megawatt share of the 64-megawatt plant, which it will share with five other communities.
Also at the meeting, Grizzaffi said the city’s mosquito control contract expired Oct. 4, and said it is in the city’s best interest to renew the contract through the end of the year.
In other business, the council:
—Declared Jan. 26 Sgt. F. “Rick” Riggenbach Day.
—Approved a resolution to engage auditors of Kolder, Champagne, Slaven, and Company to examine the 2013 city’s statements.
—Accepted the work done on the water treatment plant generator.
—Authorized Grizzaffi to enter into a contract with Firmin Architects for the design, plans and other related architectural services to build more cabins at Lake End Parkway.
—Approved holding a budget workshop to discuss the city’s 2014 budget at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall in the conference room.
—Approved the finance committee’s recommendations to allocate $1,465.22 from the recreation department to purchase a utility trailer.