Patterson mayor researching school property donation

PATTERSON, La. — Mayor Rodney Grogan told the City Council Tuesday the city is still researching how it can cooperate with the St. Mary Parish School Board’s efforts to build a new junior high school on property donated to the city in 1914.

Grogan said he had discovered that a 300-foot by 300-foot section of property in the general area of the football field was donated to the city for public park use in 1914. The School Board wants to build the new school on the property.

City attorney Russel Cremaldi said the stipulation of the donation to the city was that if the city quit using the property for a public park purpose, it must be given to the state, which will then decide how to utilize the property.

The mayor said the city still has several legal questions that need to be researched and answered before any action can be considered on what to do with the property.

“We have a great partnership with the city and the School Board,” Grogan said.

Steve Bierhorst, director of public works, pleaded with residents not to put anything into commodes besides toilet paper because the city sewer lines are being clogged.

“People are putting a lot of things in there that are not supposed to be there,” Bierhorst said. Baby wipes are a big problem, as are disposable feminine products and even razor blades, he said.

Grogan said the city received a $350,000 grant to replace sewer lines along Martin Luther King Avenue. The city needs to raise an additional $16,000 by the time work is expected to begin in the late fall, he said.

Bierhorst also asked that residents utilize the garbage cans they have been supplied rather than putting bags of trash on the curbside outside of the cans.

“Whatever will fit in a can, please put it in the cans,” Bierhorst said. “You may not see these little piles of trash picked up in the future. Public, please help us out.”

Grogan said the city is to receive an $8,000 grant to build a sidewalk on Park Street between First and Third streets. The city will match the $8,000, Grogan said.

An ordinance to create a Culture District commission was tabled. The city has utilized a state grant of $35,000, which Rep. Sam Jones helped procure in getting the district started. Jones has said there is another $70,000 available when the district proceeds with developing a plan and commission, Grogan said.

Grogan suggested the item get delayed until the next council meeting so more information can be gathered.

In other action, the council voted to:

—Continue to use The Daily Review as the city’s official journal.

—Roll forward two property taxes for 2013 that include the 12.41 mils tax rate for public improvements and 8.2 mils for the general alimony tax.

—Accept a bid of $4,500 from Bayou Vista construction company R.L. Thibodaux to demolish and remove a burned out, condemned house.

—Hire the firm of Darnall Sykes Gardes & Frederick as an accounting firm as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the water treatment grants.

—Retain Kolder, Champagne, Slaven & Company as the city’s auditing firm.

—Tabled the opening of bids on surplus items so that the bidding can be properly advertised. Another surplus vehicle was added to the list.

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