City praises Sandy Bloom

Published 4:34 am Friday, February 23, 2018

The Bogalusa City Council meeting Tuesday started with council president Gloria Kates amending the agenda to recognize a recently deceased member of the prior administration. Kates said she wanted to recognize Sandy Bloom “for her wisdom and commitment to excellence.” She also said she wanted to recognize Public Works Director James Hall, whose mother just passed away.

Then, the council got down to business. It unanimously adopted an ordinance to authorize the mayor to accept the low bidder, Ricoh, for the multifunction copier, scanner, printers, and managed print services. The company will handle a total of 13 devices for the Public Works Department, the City Council Office, and Police Headquarters for a total expense to the city of $1,034.83 per month.

The council also agreed to authorize the mayor to enter into a contract between the city and Nobles and Associates to provide professional services for Bogalusa Cemetery and Ponemah Cemetery. Nobles will reportedly find and mark all graves in both cemeteries, and the prices will not increase.

Fate Ferrell, who spoke from the public, said, “I think we need to get markers.”

Kates said FEMA “finally” approved the estimate for damages to the Bogalusa Cemetery from the March 2016 flood.

The third and last ordinance up for adoption allows the city to incur debt, and issue a Revenue Anticipation Note in a principal amount not to exceed $950,000. The ordinances were all approved unanimously.

When it was Public Participation time, Terry “Foots” Quinn went back to an issue that has come up at the prior meeting, when the council voted in favor of a resolution ordering and calling a special election on April 28 to authorize a special 15-mill property tax for the city employees’ retirement system.

“Of course no one wants anybody to lose their retirement, but I’m getting sick and tired of any time somebody has a problem, they think of taxes,” he said. “I hope we can find a way other than that.”

Shortly thereafter, Malcolm Moses expressed concern about, “the people whose houses you want to tear down,” and about the redundancy he said he sees in some city offices. Then, Moses got around to taxes.

“We can’t keep laying the burdens on the people,” he said. “It’s going to kill the community.”

Airport Manager Louis Busby said there are “quite a few” ongoing projects at the George R. Carr Memorial Air Field, but they are 100 percent funded by Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation and Development.

The council also approved the recommendations of Charlotte Johnson and Tony Durand to join the Planning and Zoning Board.