Carolyn Roy | News Editor
There was little or no controversy at the Parish Council meeting Monday with the most discussion being about who to hire to redistrict the parish. Council member Jim Kilcoyne motioned to hire Strategic Demographics LLC, the company that submitted the lowest price of $20,000, but that was voted down by Patsy Ward-Hoover, Chris Paige and Marty Cheatwood.
Paige then motioned to contract with Data Center of Kenner that submitted a bid of $22,500. Ward-Hoover said Data Center had been in operation longer than Strategic Demographics LLC and owner Cedric Floyd had met with some of the members. The motion passed with John Salter and Jim Kilcoyne voting against it. The big news about roads is the Council adopted a motion to execute a certificate of substantial completion for the resurfacing of Fish Hatchery Road.
The council also adopted a resolution authorizing Parish President John Richmond to award the bid for resurfacing Bermuda Road to Regional Construction LLC in the amount of $2,028,833. Part of the resolution is that Richmond will negotiate with the Cane River Waterway Commission about also paying for resurfacing a feeder road to St. Paul Baptist Church.
Parish resident Mark Megason still wants answers about work done on the Allen-Marthaville Road where large chunks of concrete were used to fill potholes. He wants to know who ordered the work done but got no answers at the meeting. Paige said he inspected the road that has not been worked on in 10 years although it is still in the maintenance system. Paige said he was appalled to see the amount of materials on the road that is not heavily traveled but leads to a deer camp. Megason said someone told him that Richmond ordered the work done but Richmond said he did not.
“The answer is no,” Richmond said.
“I hear you but I don’t believe you,” Megason said.
Richmond said that highway department reports are public record. “It’s all there,” Richmond said, adding that the work cost $4,500. He told Megason he could call the highway department to get more details. The department will research records to see if the name of the person who requested the work is can be found. Richmond also said that he will readvertise for a public works director starting this week. Only four people applied and two failed to show up for an interview.
The Council approved the following appointments/reappointments:
•David Guillet, to the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission
•Elvin Shields to the Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission
•Michael Sesvold to the Natchitoches 911 Board
•Ludlow McNeely to the Waterworks District 2 Board
Three ordinances were introduced and will be voted on at the January meeting. They are: •Zoning amendment to 3.64 acres from IA to B1 for a business office for Butte Tribe at 118 Campti Bayou Road in Campti.
•Zoning change from IA to B-3 for restaurant with alcohol sales on 1.15 acres at 1678 Hwy. 504 near Interstate 49.
•Put Quitman Mitchem Road back into the Parish road system. The name now is the Donald Tynes Road.
The council adopted the following resolutions:
•One stating that Parish has complied with requirements of Federal Off-System Bridge Replacement Program.
•Removed Section 1.11 recording policy in Personnel Manual due to difference with La. Constitution and Revised Statues. The section removed prohibits employees from recording or arranging for another to record, by audio or visual means, conversations or activities of another employee without the consent of the party being recorded.
•Will ask La. Attorney General for opinion on legality of recording policy in personnel manual.
•Authorized OCS Executive Director Sharon Harris to enter into and sign Low-Income Home Energy Assistance agreement for period Oct. 21, 2021-Sept. 30, 2023 to receive and administer LIHEAP funds.
The council authorized several other items that included:
•Change the January meeting to Wednesday, Jan. 19 instead of Jan.17 that is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
•Change the June meeting to Wednesday, June 22 because of observance of Juneteenth Day.
•Authorized Parish President to hire consultant for grant management approved by the La. Watershed Initiative Project for East Natchitoches drainage improvements.
•Authorized Parish President to execute certificate of substantial completion for Fish Hatchery Road.
•Approved amended 2021 amended budget and proposed 2022 budget for North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory Commission.
•Approved Good Samaritan agreements with Chris Neugent on Brandon Cotton Road and Claude Wilson on Cox Lane Road.
At the January meeting, the council will discuss whether to delay additional Good Samaritan agreements because of strain on highway department to furnish road materials. •Revision to Good Samaritan agreements for removal of highway director’s name and yearly renewal of Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) allowing it to be terminated by either party with 30-day written notice. The current policy requires name of highway director to be on CEOs with each one required to be filed in the Clerk of Court?s office with filing fees. Omitting the name of the director will result in fewer filings and a savings of about $3,500 annually.
•Authorized Parish President to execute amended CEA with Cane River Waterway Commission that provides for additional funding by commission for resurfacing of Bermuda Road and award contract to low bidder, Regional Construction LLC in the amount of $2,028,833.
•Awarded bid to Despino’s Tires for tires; Wear Parts & Equipment for grader blades; FFT Trucking for silty clay soil; Madden Contractors for stone riprap 30-pound, stone riprap 3×5 and base coarse aggregate SB2; Diamond B. Construction for HP cold mix.
Ward-Hoover announced that she will seek election to the Natchez mayor’s job in January.