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‘Gateway’ restrictions repealed

Council handles full Sept. agenda

There are no longer business restrictions for Crowley’s gateway entrances.
The September city council meeting began with a public hearing to repeal prohibited uses in the special gateway overlay districts.
At that time, Chris Huesers spoke as a proponent for lifting the restrictions. He said he approached the council 17 months ago to have the restrictions removed.
Huesers feels that particular business should not be restricted from operating in any part of town.
The council voted 7-1 to repeal the restrictions. The only council member in opposition was Clint Cradeur, who explained that he did not think the restrictions should be lifted completely without “some sort of list that has some sort of rules for businesses to abide by.”
A second public hearing was to consider “rolling up” millage rates without further voter approval. Taxing districts are afforded this opportunity so as to meet the prior year’s revenues.
The hearing had no responses and the resolution was approved.
During the mayor’s report, Mayor Pro-tem Steven Premeaux reported the sales tax revenues have seen a 5.4 percent increase, including an increase of $180,000 last month.
He also reported the sewer user chart shows an increase of about 6.53 percent, an average of about 20 percent in comparison to the amounts collected prior to when a 20 percent increase was approved.
Premeaux also reported the budget analysis is “mostly on target.”
Figures were for 11 months of the 2019-2020 fiscal year (ended Aug. 31) and should have reflected about 91.63 percent of expenditures.
Most funds are between low 70 and high 90 percentages with the exception of the infrastructure fund, which is 1,250 percent over budget due to the three partial payments totaling about $800,000 for the city wide drainage project.
The council also approved the following agenda items:
• Partial payment estimate No. 3 to Southern Constructors, Inc., for the City-Wide Drainage Improvements in the amount of $266,931.01.
• Change Order No. 2 in the amount of $42,504 under the Southern Constructors, Inc., contract for improvements along the south side of First Street between the outfall ditch near Avenue N and Acadia Council on Aging office.
• Change Order No. 3 on the same project in the amount of $24,083.00 to complete the replacement of a manhole and street inlet and installation of a sanitary sewer main conflict box at the intersection of Avenue G and First Street.
• Resolution confirming and reauthorizing the March 11 resolution to incur debt and to borrow from the Louisiana Local Government Environmental Facilities and Community Development Authority an amount not to exceed $20 million for the city-wide street improvements including drainage.
• Authorizing Mader Engineering, Inc., to prepare the plans and specifications for “City Parking Lot Improvements” in regard to the Recreation Department program.
• Approved bids for the renovations and repairs to the Rice Festival Building, in the amount of $249,000 and Alternate Proposal No. 1 ($5,900) for the office expansion, for a total of $254,900.00, to E.L. Habetz Builders, Inc.
The resolution includes Change Order No. 1 to reduce the allowance for the sound system improvements from $25,000 to $20,000 and to use the $5,000 saving for improvements to the director’s office.
• Calling a public hearing on Oct. 7 on an ordinance for the annual budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.
The next scheduled committee meetings are on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 4 p.m. The next scheduled city council meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

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