Arnaudville cultural district in the works?

Marie Dawson

Arnaudville – At last week’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen, artist and entrepreneur George Marks briefed members on the city’s application to create the “Deux Bayous Cultural District” under a new program administered by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

The program, authorized last year by the Louisiana Legislature, provides tax incentives for cultural activities to spark community revitalization.

Earlier this summer, the board unanimously passed a resolution requesting cultural district status for its burgeoning arts community, including the Frederick l’Ecole des Arts, the music of Acadiana Performance Series and many other educational and artistic projects.

The program would include a comprehensive plan authored by the city to address the zoning needs of the cultural district. Cultural industries include such things as culinary arts, design, film and digital media, and the visual, music, literary and performing arts.

Official review of the applications will begin on Sept. 1 and applicants will be notified of their decision by Oct. 1.

In other business:

•Mayor Kathy Richard announced that she had been approached to allow the city ball park to be used as a site for a private benefit. The applicant had agreed to supply insurance coverage for the event. Mayor Richard asked for comments from the Board of Aldermen, since private use of this park would be setting a precedent. The board decided to table the matter until the mayor has had an opportunity to consult with the city attorney.

•Alderman Ricky LaGrange asked for the floor to comment on the condition of certain private properties that needed to be mowed. Mayor Richard said she was aware of those properties and that prior to sending a letter of formal complaint, she would try and contact the owners individually and ask them to comply with the town ordinances. She also asked that one or more councilmen assist her with these contacts. If the situation remains unresolved, then an official notice would be sent to the last known address of the owners, the grass would then be cut and the owners would be billed for that service.

•The public works department reported that work on White Street has been completed with gravel and culverts added. It was also noted that speed bumps would soon be appearing on some streets

•The parks and recreation department reported that the basketball and softball seasons have just been completed.

•The police department reported that during the previous month there were 48 complaints, eight accidents, and four traffic citations. There was a request from the department for approval to advertise for one full-time office and one part-time officer. Alderman Todd Meche made the motion and it was seconded by Alderman Louis Stelly. The motion was approved unanimously.

•Sealed bids for water system improvements were then opened. Alderman Meche made a motion to accept the apparent low bid of $210,625 from Stelly Construction, contingent upon the bid being in order. The motion was seconded by Chester “Doc” Broussard and was passed. Other bidders were C & G Logan Construction, LLC, $298,030; Bihm Construction, $238,814.50; RLM. Inc., $232,850; and Construction Pro, Inc., $222,800.

•Engineer Kenny Boagni said he and Mayor Richard are continuing to work on the purchase of the Prairie des Femmes water system and that final figures would be presented shortly.

•The mayor asked for a motion to accept the services of Dowling Accounting to assist with budget preparation and bank reconciliation. Alderman LaGrange made the motion and it was passed unanimously after being seconded by Todd Meche.

•The bid of John’s Auto Repair to purchase a 1999 Crown Victoria police vehicle for $200 as surplus property was also approved.

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