The City Council meeting Monday night may have set some kind of record since the meeting that began at 5:30 p.m. adjourned at 5:38. The longest discussion was at the pre-meeting and was about an ordinance to address recreational vehicle parking in the Historic District. An over-sized recreation vehicle that parked on Front Street during the Meat Pie Festival prompted discussion on whether an ordinance was needed to address such vehicle parking during festivals.
The first proposal that banned those type vehicles parking in the Historic District was scrapped after a business owner said it would interfere with commerce among the stores in the district. Mayor Lee Posey said other suggestions prohibiting those parking on Front Street and narrow side streets did not seem feasible. He will get more input about the problem.
The only prohibition to parking in the Historic District now is that no truck or motor vehicle that weigh more than three-quarter tons, or any trailer, can park more than 24 hours. Those vehicles can be removed and stored in a safe place by the City. The only exception is that recreational vehicle motor coaches and similar vehicles cannot park in the Historic District from the Wednesday preceding the first Saturday of each December that is designated as Christmas Festival Day.
When someone asked if the paved parking lot on Third Street could be used, Posey said Hotel St. Denis was paying the City for the lot to be used for its guests. The City built the parking lot but the hotel is paying the City back with $50,000 annual payments. The council cast an affirmative vote on an ordinance approving the lease of the water tower to New Cingular Wireless CS for installation of its antennas and other communications instruments. The water tower is on School Drive in the East Natchitoches Recreation Complex behind East Natchitoches Elementary School. Cingular will pay a one time administrative fee of $2,500. The council introduced two ordinances that will authorize purchase of two strips of land that will join Parc Natchitoches property to Northwestern State property for a walking track and other recreation ventures .
One tract of land is owned by the Bruce Family Holdings LLC and the other is owned by Wayman Ham Jr., and Rose Ham. Both pieces of property will be bought for $8,000 each. Each strip of land is 75 feet wide. The council passed three resolutions. The first approves contracting with Cunningham Agency Inc., for airport liability insurance for a $7,619 annual premium. Two other address engineering and administrative aspects related to applying for a La. Community development Block Grant. There will be no City Council meeting Dec. 23.
City offices will close Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.