CITY OF JEANERETTE JEANERETTE, LA
MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING-BOARD OF ALDERMEN Tuesday August 23, 2022
Proceedings of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Jeanerette, State of Louisiana, at their Special meeting held Tuesday August 23, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Those present were: Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr., Alderman Clarence Clark, Alderwoman Charlene Moore, Alderman Garland Bourgeois, Alderman Willie Ward and Alderman Ray Duplechain. Also present: City Clerk Susan Colden, and Treasurer Liz Verdun and Police Chief Vallot.
Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr led in prayer and Chief Vallot led the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr. determined that a quorum was present.
Motion by Alderman Ward and second by Alderwoman Moore to expand the agenda to add item 5B to review the memo from Mr. Neal Swain with the subject Update on Operations that was sent to the Mayor and Council on 8/23/2022, Roll call
Yeas: Alderman Clark, Alderwoman Moore, Alderman Bourgeois, Alderman Duplechain, Alderman Ward
5. A. Authorization to apply for Water Sector Program Sewer Application Round 2 -Introduction of proposed plan by Mr. Gene Sellers and Mr. Todd Vincent. They outlined the proposed changes to the plant. Based on the location and age of the plant and the amount of infiltration combined with the amount of Grant dollars available, they are proposing the City considers improvements to the system. Accessibility to the plant is an issue because the road becomes impassible in wet weather. The property adjacent to the plant that is owned by the City is in a federal wetlands area and therefore cannot be easily developed. These improvements consist of purchasing a 26-acre parcel between the current plant and the Main Station. In this location would be constructed a equalization basin and a smaller plant that could process approximately 60% of the Cities waste flow. The smaller plant could be upgradeable and the old plant could be abandoned in the future. DEQ regulations are getting stricter and, in the future, it will be hard to meet those requirements with the current system. The outflow point to the Delahoussaye Canal would remain the same. During periods of high flow, the pond would store the large flow from the infiltration. The grant would provide 5 million towards the total project cost of 9.5 million and the remaining funds can come from USDA or DEQ low interest loans some of the loans have a principle forgiven, or the City can choose to issue bonds. One additional component would be the new access road to the main station, old and new plant areas. There was some discussion regarding the road and purchase of the property. Alderman Clark also questioned why can’t the money be spent on upgrading the current plant. Mr. Vincent explained that DEQ has changed the requirements, and they asked about infiltration. They also asked about developing the property that the City owns, Mr. Vincent stated that since it is a declared wetlands it complicates the use of the land. Mr. Sellers stated that tonight the Board doesn’t need to decide the details. The board just needs to decide if they are going to approve the application for the project. The City can always reject the project in the future. The conversation centered on the unique opportunity the City has with these funds available now. Aldermen Duplechain asked how much detail has to be in the application. Mr. Vincent said it was basically a one-page statement outlining what is being done, how much it will cost and where the City will be getting the funds. On motion by Alderwoman Moore and second by Alderman Ward to authorize Sellers & Associates to apply for Water Sector Program Sewer Application Round 2 in the amount of 5 million dollars, roll call vote
Yeas: Alderman Clark, Alderwoman Moore, Alderman Bourgeois, Aldermen Duplechain and Alderman Ward
5B to review the memo from Mr. Neal Swain with the subject Update on Operations, Mayor distributed copies of the email sent by Mr. Swain to the board and pointed out it was sent to the board and Mayor and to the City Clerk. The Mayor stated that he and Mr. Swain were scheduled to have a meeting concerning water and sewer operations on Monday after he had stopped at the water plant on Friday the 19th, with the meter readers and public works director Howard White and the operator questioned if they could access the facility. The Mayor then informed the council that the purchase order for the 3 soft starters was being reviewed and that was part of the items he wanted to discuss with Mr. Swain. He then stated we did approve the brine quickly. Then the Mayor outlined his claims of lack of power and DEQ testing. Alderman Bourgeois and Alderman Clark said there was no power in May and June. Then, the letter alleged the Mayor talked to the personnel in a rude matter. Then the discussion moved to qualifications of the operator, Alderman Clark said we can not tell them who they have working for them and who the operator of record is, which the Mayor disagreed and the council expressed opinions. Alderwoman Moore and Alderman Ward felt that it was not right that Statewide did not want the Mayor to show up at the plant unexpectedly. Alderman Clark pointed out that Mr. Greer had Neal change all of the locks at the lift stations and sewer plant and the only keys were at city hall and with Neal, now we don’t know who has keys. After a discussion, Alderman Clark said that Neal should be present in executive session if we are questioning their competency. After a discussion about the role of the operators and the condition of the plants, and if the proper paperwork was filed. Alderman Clark said if there is a lack of oversight it is the fault of the council, and there was a lot of opinions expressed. The board decided to request the representatives from Statewide attend the next meeting where this issue can be discussed during executive session.
Adjourn There being no further business to bring before the Board of Aldermen a motion by Alderman Clark and second by Alderwoman Moore to adjourn the meeting carried with a voice vote of all yea, and no abstain.
Carol Bourgeois Jr., Mayor
Susan Colden City Clerk
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