Input wanted at plan meeting
Published 8:42 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Locals will have the opportunity to offer input on the Bogalusa Comprehensive Plan during a public meeting next week, according to Personnel Director Sandy Bloom.
As part of her department head report during the June 3 City Council meeting, Bloom announced that a public meeting on the comprehensive plan will take place Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bogalusa Senior Center, located at 603 Willis Ave.
Urging all residents to attend, she said the plan is not just for people who work for the city. It is a plan for the future and for Bogalusa youth, she said.
“Please take that into consideration,” she said. “Become involved and encourage youth to become involved.”
The city contracted Dana Brown and Associates to develop and help initiate the plan intended to guide sustainable and successful growth of Bogalusa.
Bloom said researchers have gone to places such as Northshore Technical Community College to get comments and ideas about the plan, and input has been sought at two previous public workshops, as well.
Those who are unable to make it to the June 17 meeting can learn more about the plan by visiting www.bogalusaplan.com and can make comments online at www.facebook.com/bogalusaplan.
Giving the next report, Director of Public Works James Hall addressed comments made by Bogalusa resident Johnny Williams during the previous council meeting.
Williams had alerted the council members to a drainage problem on Avenue B. He said the street sees high water during times of heavy rainfall, impeding safe passage of the road.
Hall said the drains are not the source of the problem.
A crew from Rayburn Correctional Center does trash pickup along Avenue B every Monday morning, but the state has declared that pine bark and woodchips are not litter. That material is what is clogging the drains, he said.
He said he has personally driven over to Avenue B the last couple of times it has flooded to investigate. Each time, 1 to 2 inches of bark was lying on top of the drains. When he pushed the bark in with his foot, the water began to flow, he said.
Since it is a state highway, Hall said he called the state Department of Transportation and Development to inquire about the issue. He said the agency is planning to send the city a sign that will warn motorists that the road floods when there is heavy rainfall.
Additionally, Director of Administration Jerry Bailey announced that sales taxes were up again in April. He said the city collected $113,361 more this April than it did at the same time in 2013.
“For the year, cumulatively, we are still at minus 3.9 percent,” he noted.
He said a big reason for that is the fact that a one-time purchase of $250,000 was made by a local industry last February.
However, he said city sales tax collections are now only about $100,000 behind where they were at this time last year.
“If we keep collecting at the rate we are, we’ll more than meet our goal,” he said.
Giving his May report, Fire Chief Richard Moody said there were no structure fires for the month. He said that is the first time that’s happened since he’s been chief.
“We’ve been doing a lot of fire prevention, so maybe that’s a sign it’s working,” he said, adding that the department also saw no grass fires during May.
That month, the department responded to one vehicle fire, nine motor vehicle accidents, 59 medical calls, 11 service calls, 11 false alarms and five hazardous condition incidents and made three animal rescues.
Chief Joe Culpepper said the Police Department responded to 1,155 complaints in May and made about 200 arrests. Officers worked 44 traffic accidents, provided 33 escorts and made nine driving while intoxicated arrests.
The department also serviced 39 community service workers, who provided 33 hours of service and picked up 227 bags of trash, he said.