City Council creates Texas Street Economic Development District; will finance depot renovations

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Carolyn Roy
A local bank has come forward to buy $2 million in revenue bonds that will finance renovations to the Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot.
At the City Council meeting Monday, bonding attorney William Boles said BOM gave an excellent fixed interest rate of 4.5 percent for 25 years. “It was a good deal,” Boles said of the debt service.
The council unanimously adopted a resolution that will give City employees a four-day weekend by declaring Sept. 2, the Friday before Labor Day, an official City holiday.

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One new planning and zoning item was introduced, a request by Reginald Smith to rezone 1230 Washington, the Crabs-in-a-Bucket restaurant, from B-3 Commercial to B-3 Commercial with additional B-A zoning to allow for alcohol consumption on premises. The vote will come at the Aug. 22 meeting. Smith was represented by his son, Reginald Smith Jr., manager of the restaurant that has been open about 10 months.
Ordinance #46 was unanimously adopted. It created the Texas Street Economic Development District that will offer tax breaks to businesses operating within that district. Attorney Michael Busada said the terms of the incentives are yet to be determined and will be outlined in another ordinance.
Resolution 69 was adopted and grants the authority to advertise for liquid chlorine for the water treatment plant. The liquid chlorine sanitizes the City drinking water.
Resolution 70 was adopted and authorizes the City to execute a grant with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and La. Dept. of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD). The funds will be used for maintenance on two runways. The City will be reimbursed 90 percent by the FAA and 10 percent by LaDOTD.
Councilperson Rosemary Elie asked if the grant will cover maintenance to Wallenburg Drive, the street that leads to the airport. The grant will not because approaching streets are low priority for funding.
Councilperson Eddie Harrington said it was impressive that so much work is done at the airport through grants that reimburse the City for the costs.
Grant writer Nicole Gray gave a brief report on the $400,000 grant the City has been awarded for an upgrade to Richardson Park. Among what the grant will pay for are blight removal, playground equipment with consideration for abilities, walking track with LED lights, remodeled restrooms and parking spaces. The City will add a basketball area.
Bids for the project could be advertised in the next two weeks.
The La. Community Development Block Grant is awarded through the Love Louisiana program.
The council unanimously adopted the following ordinances that were introduced at previous meetings:
•Ordinance #45 awarded the bid for the West Natchitoches Water Main Replacement, Phase I to low bidder Pulley Construction Inc. of Benton at a bid of $669,000.
•Ordinance #47 authorized the City to donate surplus Christmas Festival lighting and sets to the town of Boyce.