City condemns house, grants 40 days to fix

Published 4:01 am Saturday, May 25, 2019

The city of Bogalusa voted Tuesday to condemn a property on Union Avenue, but also granted its owner time to bring the property back into compliance.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Judge Robert Black recommended for the condemnation of the structure located at 923 Union Ave. in Bogalusa.

The house’s owner, John E. Mingo, spoke before the council and said that he would start working on cleaning up the structure as soon as next week.

Mingo said that the front interior was fine; it was just the rear portion of the house that needed some improvements.

“As long as you’re working on it, the city will work with you,” city council member Oneita Graham said.

By a 5-0 vote, the council approved to condemn the property but also grant Mingo 40 days to bring it into compliance. All board members present voted for the motion — vice president Danielle Keys and board member Penny Douglas were not in attendance Tuesday.

In other business:

  • Mayor Wendy Perrette presented a proclamation declaring May 13 as “R.T. Young Day” in the city of Bogalusa. Perrette noted that Young was an important figure in Bogalusa’s civil rights history.

She presented the proclamation to two of Young’s nieces, who were in attendance.

  • The council declared notice of a special election to be held Oct. 12, seeking the approval to renew several city taxes.
  • The council approved a resolution, 5-0, to support the appointment of a fiscal administrator for the city, in accordance with state law.
  • The council approved a resolution to establish a three-member subcommittee (work group) in order to research, develop and review applicable data, documents, instructions and forms pertaining to the sale of adjudicated properties to adjoining landowners’ $1 Program. The resolution passed by a vote of 3-2. Council members Gloria Kates and Mark Irvine and president Teddy Drummond voted in favor; and Graham and council member Kenny Kellis voted against.
  • The council approved three ordinances by a vote of 5-0. They were: an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into the Master Service Agreement for Professional Services at the George R. Carr Memorial Airport between the City of Bogalusa and Professional Engineering Consultant Corporation; an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to accept the low bidder Nobles Construction for the General Dynamics (Maximus) Interior Improvements; and an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract between the Washington Parish Sales/Use Tax Centralization Commission and Sheriff and Ex-Officio Tax Collector for Washington Parish.
  • The council tabled an ordinance to amend Ordinance 1164; An Ordinance providing for sanctions to compel attendance by council members at council meetings.

Kellis said that he believed it would be better to wait for a vote when all the members of the council were present. The motion to table was approved 4-1, with only Kates voting against.

  • During public participation, citizen Fate Ferrell expressed his frustration with the council. He said that Kates’ ordinance concerning council members’ attendance was already on the books, and all the council needed to do enforce it.

He alleged that the council did not like following rules and stated that they were “just as corrupt as they are in the White House.”

Drummond interjected.

“No, you’re not going to be able to accuse people of corruption, unless you’ve got proof,” Drummond said. “That’s it. I’ve heard enough.”

“Okay, can I continue?” Ferrell said.

“No … you’ve got proof, go get your proof,” Drummond said.

At that point, a Bogalusa Police Department officer approached Ferrell and instructed for him to leave the podium.

“Why do I got to go?” Ferrell asked the officer. “For what?”

Ferrell eventually left without any additional escalation, interjecting a “Forget you, man!” comment in Drummond’s direction before moving away from the podium.

The next meeting of the Bogalusa City Council will be Tuesday, June 4, at 5:30 p.m.