Council bans motor homes, campers from Historic District

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By Carolyn Roy, carolyn@natchitochestimes.com

The City Council introduced an ordinance Monday that will keep large motor homes and other recreational vehicles from parking in the Historic District. The ordinance lists recreational vehicle motor coaches, campers, oversized vans or other types of vehicles that have kitchen living quarters, facilities or living space or that is longer than one parking space.

The ordinance originally prohibited those vehicles during the week and weekend of the Christmas Festival but they have become problematic year-round, especially on Front Street. The council took the final vote on the ordinances that expands the Economic Development Zone to include all hotels and motels in the city. There was a final vote on another ordinance that levies an additional 1 cent sales tax in those same zones. Councilman Eddie Harrington said that initially he was against the additional 1 cent being levied on just the hotel and motels on Interstate 49.

He voted for the new ordinance because all of the hotels will have the same tax rate and the tax is not on food and retail businesses. The council appointed an animal advisory committee to provide for animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals at the City shelter. The member are Humane Society members Juanita Murphy and Kathy Owsley, Hope for Paws Rescue representative Rachel Leblanc, Police Chief Micky Dove, Councilman Dale Nielsen and vet tech Katie Coody. The terms are for four years.

The council approved a change order for $68,424 at the Natchitoches Sports and Recreation Park. It is for gravel parking behind a maintenance area and mechanical equipment on the baseball pavilion. There have been four change orders, the first one being a minus $1,071,534. The others were for $95,002, $3,624 and $68,424. The park is on schedule for substantial completion status Dec. 20. The next council meeting will be Nov. 25. The City offices will close Nov. 28-29 for Thanksgiving.