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Fiscal administrator grants permit to ‘condo’ project

Joey Richard, the fiscal administrator for the city of Bogalusa, voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance allowing a condominium project to be constructed on property located at West 16th Street and Avenue I and H, during a meeting of the Bogalusa City Council.

Specifically, the ordinance states: “An ordinance to issue a special use permit to American Dream Homes of Washington Parish, LLC for construction of condominiums allowing three (3) to six (6) multi-family units per lot of property located at West 16th and Avenue I and H, specifically Block 28, Lots 1-40, and to provide for related matters.”

Richard introduced the ordinance, and was the lone vote.

During an Oct. 15 council meeting, the council rejected a similar ordinance by a 4-3 vote. However, Richard re-introduced the ordinance at the Nov. 19 council meeting, where he stated that he believed that the tax revenue from the project would be beneficial to the city’s financial well-being.

During Tuesday’s meeting, which lasted a little more than two hours, many members of the public spoke out against the project. Some citizens also spoke in favor, but the vast majority were against it. Several council members also stated that they would have voted against it again, although their votes would have been meaningless as Richard’s vote is the only one listed on the ordinance.

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said Tuesday that she was not against the project entirely, but just against the proposed location.

Again Tuesday, Richard stated that he believed the project would be beneficial for the long-term health of the city. He said it would create tax revenue, bring in new residents, create jobs, and encourage economic activity both immediately and into the future.

District Judge William J. “Rusty” Knight appointed Richard as the fiscal administrator for the city of Bogalusa, during a hearing held in late May.

A fiscal administrator replaces locally elected officials in times of financial trouble. Administrators have the power to raise fees, cut services, lay off employees and perform other actions in order to keep municipalities’ budgets in line.

For much more on this story, see the weekend edition, Dec. 7-8, 2019, of The Daily News.