Council OK’s armband rule for drinking establishments

Published 8:44 am Friday, August 22, 2014

The Bogalusa City Council on Tuesday tackled the problem of underage drinking in the city.

Council members amended a section of the Bogalusa Code that previously made it unlawful for any person engaged in the business of selling or serving alcoholic beverages to permit anyone under 21 to frequent or hang around such an establishment. The amended ordinance allows persons 18-21 to enter such establishments as long as there is armband identification established for all persons present.

According to the ordinance, those persons under 18 shall be issued a red armband and cannot be served or consume alcoholic beverages on the premises. Those over 21 shall be issued green armbands.

The Council accepted the amended ordinance by a 5-1 vote. Councilwoman Oneita Graham opposed.

In July, the Council voted to ban anyone under 21 to be inside such an establishment.

In other business, the Council accepted an ordinance to authorize Mayor Charles Mizell to solicit bids to convert a portion of The Salvage Store at 209 Industrial Parkway for a freezer area. The business formerly was located in the old Gaylord Chemical Building.

Washington Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Ryan Seal spoke on behalf of The Salvage Store warehouse and distribution center owner Ron Feske, who owns stores in four towns.

“He currently has 90,000 square feet,” Seal said. “He needs more freezer space. He wants to be able to build a freezer in the back part of the building for more freezer area. We can reflect in rent for the cost of the freezer.”

Seal estimated total cost of the freezer, including construction, to be approximately $800,000.

Construction will be up for bids.

“We’ve looked at his needs and his wants,” Mizell said of Feske. “His wants appeared to be a little bit bigger than his needs. He’ll have to give us specifications that are necessary. When we have that, the work will go out for bids.”

Seal said he thought it would be a good investment.

“We’re going to build a professional freezer area if the price is right,” Seal said. “We’re going to be good stewards of the public’s money.”

The Council also approved an ordinance authorizing Mizell to enter into a lease agreement with Brennan Wholesale, located at 415 South Columbia St., for office space for the Main Street Program.

Robin Day, executive director of the Main Street Association, rented her former office on South Columbia Street to Wild Blue, a women’s boutique.

The Council accepted a resolution expressing the support of constitutional amendments to assist municipalities in the fight against blighted property.

“(Blighted property) is a problem statewide,” Councilman Teddy Drummond said.

The Council introduced an ordinance authorizing Mizell to enter into an agreement with Progressive Waste Solutions for collection and disposal of city waste until Nov. 30, 2016.

Also, Bogalusa Project Manager Melvin Keith said a request for the $315,000 rehabilitation grant was recently approved by the Louisiana Housing Corp. The grant money is to be used for the repair of homes damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“When we get our certification package from the state, we’ll start notifying the public,” Keith said.