City may borrow up to $950K

Published 2:33 am Friday, January 22, 2016

The Bogalusa City Council voted Tuesday to ask the State Bond Commission to borrow up to $950,000.

The loan is defined as a “Revenue Anticipation Note,” because it is quickly paid off once the bulk of the city’s tax revenue comes in at the end of a calendar year. It is a common procedural action taken every year.

“This is a precautionary thing,” City Attorney Dale Branch explained. “If we do need (additional money during the year), we’ll have everything in place if we pass this ordinance.”

Branch said that money borrowed through a Revenue Anticipation Note must be repaid by March of the following year.

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said that the city met with the Bond Commission in March 2015 and requested to borrow “up to $1.9 million.” However, the city only had to borrow $700,000, and is on track to repay that loan in time.

“We’d love to not have to borrow anything,” Perrette said.

District A council member Gloria Kates asked if there was any record of the specific expenditures on which the $700,000 loan was spent. Both Perrette and Director of Administration Stacy Smith explained that the money was deposited as a lump sum into the city’s general fund, and then used as needed.

Kates asked if future Revenue Anticipation Note funds could be accounted in greater detail.
At-large council member Doug Ritchie made a motion to approve the ordinance authorizing Perrette and other city officials to meet with the Bond Commission. District D council member Andy Deleon seconded the motion, which passed by a unanimous vote.
In other business, the council:

• Declared surplus property in the 1100 block of Avenue I. The specific property is defined as Block 18, Lots 16, North 25 feet of 17 and South 25 feet of 15 in the 1100 block of Avenue I in the W.J. Jones Addition.

Ritchie said that the property had been previously donated to the city, but the city has no current use for it. The city will sell the property in order to return it to the tax revenue rolls.

• Voted to condemn the property at 537 Caston Ave., after a condemnation hearing by Judge Robert J. Black.

• Approved holding an election on Nov. 8, to fill the expired term of the District D council member. The seat was vacated when Malinda White began serving as the state representative for District 75. Deleon has been filling the seat on an interim basis, but is not eligible to run in the November election.

Any applicants must have lived in District D for at least one year, per city law.

• Heard from Brent Carter, who lives outside the city limits but owns several properties in the city. He asked if the city would consider making Tallahatchee Street and a portion of Byrne Avenue as one-way traffic only.

District E council member Sherry Fortenberry said that she had talked with Public Works Director James Hall about the issue, and the city would look into if a change would be possible.

“I know how narrow that road is,” she said.

• Heard from Perrette, who noted that the city’s police department has increased productivity in recent months, and hopes to soon have six police officers working on every shift.

• Heard from Kates, who said she planned to seek the Attorney General’s opinion on the legality of the city’s policy, which limits non-agenda public participation to three minutes and no sharing or “donating” of time to other speakers.