Airport expansion ordinance brought to vote

Published 8:05 am Friday, July 10, 2015

Bogalusa District C City Councilman Brian McCree brought back up before the council a tabled ordinance authorizing Mayor Wendy Perrette to enter into a Master Service Agreement No. 3 with ARE Consultants for a partial parallel taxiway at George R. Carr Memorial Airport.

The ordinance was tabled at the June 16 meeting. The City Council unanimously accepted the ordinance.

ARE owner Bailey Sherwood addressed the council and said the idea is to make the airport safer.

“We want to add an object-free protection area so that if a plane goes down, it will protect people,” Sherwood said. “This is for safety. We’re talking about structures or trees. We can talk about easements. Together, we are trying to make the airport safer.”

Troy and Candy Crain own the property the airport is looking at to lengthen the runway. The Crains did not attend the meeting, but Sherwood said his company has had conversations with the Crains.

“The area in question is related to where the runway is,” Sherwood said. “We can’t choose to go to another property. We’ve had conversations with the Crains since the last council meeting, and they know they will be made whole or better. It’s not just the property value, but it’s also about their business as well.”

The Crains’ property was originally appraised for $147,000 in 2008. Another appraisal in 2011 had it considerably less at $28,800.

“The confusion seems to be that there are some numbers in our contract that were woefully low,” Sherwood said. “It will have to be reappraised.”

Perrette said the appraisals were not the city’s doing.

“The City of Bogalusa was not trying to purchase that land from the Crains. Individuals were,” Perrette said.

In other matters, the council accepted an ordinance authorizing Perrette to enter into a Master Service Agreement with Kyle Associates. The City Hall Annex is leaking, and the City Council requested Kyle to draw up plans to fix the leak.

Franklin Kyle owns the company, which is a full-service engineering firm primarily in Louisiana.

Three ordinances were introduced. They will have public discussion before being voted on at the July 21 meeting. The ordinances included:

• An ordinance authorizing Perrette to enter into a contract with low bidder Huey Stockstill Inc., from Picayune, Miss., for the overlay of Austin Street. Public Works Director James Hall said Stockstill bid $245,965.

• An ordinance to change 414 Superior Ave. from B-Transition to B-1 Business and 418 Superior Ave. from A-3 Residential to B-1 Business so property owners can open a pizza business at the location.

• An ordinance to change 533 Second Ave. from A-3 Residential to B-1 Business so owners can open a snoball stand at the location.

Also, blogger Lorraine Bourn read various statements disputing information concerning the city deficit, Bond Commission report, lack of transparency and various other topics.

“I think we have been transparent, or you wouldn’t have the documentation you have,” Perrette responded. “We are moving forward in the city of Bogalusa.”

Perrette alleged Bourn was upset by the fact the city severed ties in February with Bourn Technology, a company her son, Dennis, owns, which supplied WiFi to Cassidy Park. The city was paying him $3,600 per year.

Bourn later responded to Perrette’s comments about the mayor’s plans for the city.

“I would like to be sure that when the mayor makes a statement I could trust it to be true so I don’t have to check records,” Bourn said. “The public would like to know her plan for stopping the bleeding. What cuts is she making to stop the city’s bleeding funds?”