Council addresses street name changes, property purchases

Published 9:24 am Friday, February 8, 2013

The Bogalusa City Council passed all four ordinances on its agenda Tuesday, but one was amended and the other three were not unanimously approved.

The first ordinance would put a moratorium on street name changes and billboards for 180 days to enable guidelines to be put in place. The Planning and Zoning Board and Director of Public Works James Hall are reportedly working to establish the guidelines.

The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Councilman Teddy Drummond then proposed an amendment to drop the moratorium period to 90 days for just the billboards. Vice President Doug Ritchie said he would like to include both street names and billboards in the amendment, and said the period could be extended if additional time is needed.

The council approved the amendment unanimously.

The remaining three ordinances asked for the acceptance of purchase offers by one buyer for three different adjudicated city properties.

Council President Wendy Perrette asked why the city was making the sale when it just contracted with a company, Archon Information Systems, to handle that business. She said the council did not know about the action, and that the buyer, William D. King, got a “steal.”

The total price for what adds up to about half a block just southeast of the paper mill is $2,900.

Administrator Jerry Bailey said the sale was in progress long before the city made the contract with the outside company. He said the sale had been properly advertised in The Daily News and online, and that all the proper procedures had been followed.

Mayor Charles Mizell interjected that the council was not required to pass the ordinances, and several council members discussed the possibility of letting them fail so that Archon could potentially “start a bidding war” and bring in more money for the properties.

But the company is not expected to be in a position to conduct the sale until the end of May, and Councilman Michael O’Ree said it would not be fair to make King, who “did the legal steps,” wait that long.

The council passed the ordinances to accept King’s offers with Perrette voting against all three.

The next council meeting will be held one day early, on Monday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 p.m.