Facelift possible at Arts Center

415 Sanford St., Natchitoches

By Carolyn Roy carolyn@natchitochestimes.com

The Natchitoches Arts Center and City Council meeting room could get a facelift if bids come back in line. At the council meeting Monday, the council passed a resolution to advertise for bids for new HVAC, electrical, paint and flooring. The renovation will include changing the layout so the council will face the street, installing a drop ceiling and removing paint from the windows. There will also be an update to offices at the entrance and construction of a bathroom. An alternate to the plans includes a covered passage from City Hall to the arts center. Chief of Staff Edd Lee said structural work has already been done to the building.

415 Sanford St.

The deadline for bids is Nov 6 at 3 p.m. The utility department will improve electrical services by purchasing less than an acre on Collins Road from Richard and Pamela King for $5,000. The department will build a booster station on the property so it can add more meters in Water Works District One. The City will enter into a lease/purchase agreement for two Farrara fire trucks at a cost of $515,824 to be paid for in installments of $115,575 for five years. The annual payments will be made from the Hazard Tax Fund. The new trucks will replace two older ones.

428 Williams Ave.
Rezoned for vacation home

The council passed the ordinance listing several structures for demolition within 30 days if work does not progress. Much of the meeting was spent discussing properties on the list. Julius Eli Jr., of San Diego, Calif., was there to talk about property at 415 Sanford St. He plans to improve the structure in the three phases with work complete in a year. Director of Planning and Zoning Juanita Fowler asked Eli to submit his plans in writing and said the structure would be demolished if he has not done significant work by the end of the year.

426 Sibley St.

Joe Irchirl has done some work on the house at 411 Sanford but was told he needed to obtain a permit and do more than just board the windows. Mayor Lee Posey said the public works department and Waste Connections had done significant work to clean up debris since neighbors often complained about the area. “It’s a mess back there,” Posey said. Cora Evans spoke about a house at 528 Sibley St. saying her brother was in the process of purchasing the site and hoped to demolish the house and build a new one there. Fowler said her office could give an extension until the end of January but would demolish it in February if work was not done.

Paul Morgan said he has a plan of action for improvements to the historic hotel at the corner of Lafayette and Sixth streets.

Other business included:

•Introduced rezoning from R-1 Multiple Family to R-1 Multiple Family Special Exception at 428 Williams Ave., for James and Mary Whitehead to operate vacation rental home •Extension of franchise with Cane River Paddle & Pedal Sports

•Introduction of bid of $780 per ton for liquid chlorine for water treatment plant from Brenntag Southwest Inc., of Houston

•Banking service agreement with Sabine State Bank & Trust Co.

By resolution, the City approved the following:

•Name Liz Knecht interim director of finance

• Apply for grant from La. Office of Community Development for improvements to water system

•Certificate of completion for tennis complex pavilion including change order for decrease of $1,031 for revised contract of $311,584 The next City Council meeting will be Monday, Oct. 22.