Bogalusa Council approves budget revision

Published 8:25 am Friday, October 10, 2014

The Bogalusa City Council Tuesday night approved an ordinance to revise the 2014 budget.

City Administrator Jerry Bailey reported the City’s sales tax was up by 0.3 percent for September. He said the 2014 sales tax revenues for January to August is $4,907,022.

“We hope in the coming months things will pick up a little bit,” Bailey said.

In other business, the City Council approved a resolution authorizing an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Bogalusa and Washington Parish government during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The resolution concerns Bogalusa’s need to repair streets, sidewalks and drainage to Austin Street from Carolina to Alabama Avenue. The resolution was necessary because parish government has the necessary equipment and labor that the city lacks.

Also, the council introduced four ordinances. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and give their input about the ordinances before they are voted on at the next council meeting on Oct. 21.

The ordinances include:

• A request for a zoning change at 1100 College St. from A-3 Residential to B-1 Business to open a snowball stand at 1100 College St.

• A request for a zoning change at 544 East Ave. from from A-3 Residential to B-Business to open a reception hall at 544 East Ave.

• Authorization for Bogalusa Mayor Charles Mizell to contract with International Paper for the Tenant Improvements for a paper storage warehouse located at 215 Industrial Parkway Drive.

• Authorization for Mizell to enter into a lease agreement with low bidder, G. Farley Grantham, to build hangars at the George S. Carr Memorial Airport.

“Regarding the hangars, there is a process we went through,” Mizell said. “We got permission from the FAA to build four new hangars, which I’m excited about.”

The City Council heard from Bogalusa resident Gloria Kates during public discussion. Kates addressed the council from prepared notes.

“On Sept. 17, it was announced that DOTD Administrator Allison Schilling with Mayor Charles Mizell and Sen. Ben Nevers viewed roads that will be improved as a result of $5 to $8 million in state and federal aid received for road work and improvements in Bogalusa,” Kates said. “As a resident of District A, I have observed and request to know if you have accessed the following road repairs and traffic hazards, only to name a few.”

Among the matters she inquired about were:

• Second Avenue repairs;

• The 400 block of Louisiana Avenue;

• The 500 block of Huron Road’s condition;

• The 500-600 block St. Augustine Street’s road condition; and

• The Poplas Street bridge.

“If I may I would like to submit this observation for possible review,” Kates said.

During the department head reports, Director of Personnel Sandy Bloom said the city is slowly working toward renovating Lake Vista east of town.

“We’re trying to pay as we go,” Bloom said of the library. “Last year, we got $25,000 in state funding and paid to move it and do foundation work. This year we have replaced missing boards, windows, painted and added a small porch. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne spoke with Mayor Mizell about our dreams for the park to be a welcome station.”

Main Street Manager Robin Day reported the Harvest Festival is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 downtown.

“It’s all about the city giving back to the community,” Day said.

She also said the “Tis the Season Street Stroll ” is slated for Nov. 29 and 30.

Recreation Department Director Landon Tims explained to the council how successful the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival was the previous weekend and told the body of upcoming events.

In his closing remarks, Mizell talked about bringing revenue to the city.

“We’ve talked about people coming into our city with these activities,” Mizell said. “Within our city limits, we’re limited to the amount of revenue we can raise within our city. We’ve filled out paperwork to get grants. Most grants have a match to go with them. The ones readily available are 50 percent match. There’s a specific $800,000 grant that tells us what we can do with it. Our match is $112,000. We can put up $112,000 in match money and benefit from it. But if you don’t have the matching funds, you can’t get the grant. Grants aren’t free.”