CITY OF JEANERETTE JEANERETTE, LA
MINUTES MEETING-BOARD OF ALDERMEN Monday March 8, 2021
Proceedings of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Jeanerette, State of Louisiana, at their regular meeting held Monday March 8, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Those present were: Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr. Alderman Clarence Clark, Alderwoman Charlene Moore Aldermen, Aldermen Garland Bourgeois, Willie Ward, and Louis Lancon, Absent: none Also present: City Clerk Susan Colden, Treasurer Catherine Roy,
Mayor Bourgeois Jr. led in prayer and Alderman Bourgeois led the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr. determined that a quorum was present. The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Mayor requested the agenda be expanded to include item 7G, report from Chief Landry on Fire Operations, motion by Alderman Clark and second by Alderman Lancon to expand the agenda.
5A. Alderman Lancon moved and Alderman Bourgeois seconded to approve Minutes of the Last Regular Meeting February 8th, 2021 with all necessary corrections. Motion carried of voice vote of all yea.
5B. Alderman Bourgeois moved and Alderman Lancon seconded to approve of Minutes of the Last Special Meeting March 1, 2021 with all necessary corrections. Motion carried of voice vote of all yea.
6. Announcements by the Mayor: There will be COVID testing on Tuesday March 9 at the St. Peter United Methodist Church from 9 am to 3 pm. On Thursday March 11th there will be another food delivery by efforts of Church of God in Christ, USDA, NATCO, starting at 1;00 pm including vegetables, fruit, and milk at the Church of God in Christ.
7.A Report from Gene Sellers of Sellers and Associates on current and future projects – Bids have been received on the Waterline project and once the permit signed by the railroad the contractor can proceed with the project. The project has two grants involved for the funding, Capital Outlay and Louisiana Development Block Grant. The funds for the LDBG were able to be counted towards the match for the Capital Outlay grant. A waterline was extended to the main pump station and there are renovations of two other lift stations. The requirement in the grant calling for use of all American made steel has caused some delays but most materials should be in within the next few weeks with the exception of the 2 items on backorder. Funding for Water Plant rehabilitation and Water Tower should be in the bill this session and funded over a three year period. This grant requires a match of $636,000, but the match can be counted from Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program. This Resolution would allow Sellers and Associates to prepare the grant application for about $800,000 in construction money which is-the application would cost about $3,000. Once the grant is guaranteed the design would go forward, the City would also get four extra points. If the City gets both grants the cost to the City is about $130,000 for that LCDBG and the rest is the match for the $600,000. The City is going after 2.5 Million in Capital Outlay for elevated tank, meters and some water line work. Alderman Clark asked about upcoming road projects. Mr. Sellers said the legislature is giving priority to water and sewer projects right now.
7.B Report from the Tuesday March 2, 2021 Policy and Personnel Committee Meeting Present-Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr., Susan Colden City Clerk, Treasurer Catherine Roy, Alderman Clarence Clark, and Alderwoman Charlene Moore. The Police Department has requested the City consider implementing a take home vehicle policy. The committee reviewed the current policy for the Iberia Parish Sheriff. Alderman Clark stated that the policy should require the officer report in mileage to the daily log, and have a clear pursuit policy. Mr. John Caro from Brown and Brown had recommended that the policy excludes family members riding in the vehicle and the officer is responsible for inspecting the vehicle a minimum of every two weeks and those checklists are turned in and the vehicle is also checked at the station. The committee also felt that this ability to take home vehicles is a privilege and could be revoked at any time. With no other business to consider the meeting was adjourned.
7.C Report from the Wednesday March 3th, 2021 City of Jeanerette Finance Committee Meeting Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr., cancelled this meeting due to scheduling conflicts. Catherine Roy provided a brief update and stated that the City is doing well and sales tax is slightly above projections. Collections and Utility is on track, Ad Valorem is at 90% collection rate and the tax sale is scheduled for June 3. The certified documentation has been sent out and all of the corresponding documentation. The delinquent Occupational License renewal letters for 2021 have been sent out. Our fiscal picture looks good. Regarding permits, on the City’s website anyone can look at the Ordinances to see if your building project requires a permit. There may be some amendments to the budget offered at the next finance committee meeting and the following meeting will hopefully contain the new budget. We will be updating the assets and inventory list from each department. Mayor asked Ms. Roy to address the roofing permit process, Ms Roy said with the past storms there has been number of jobs in the City that did not have a permit. The cost is 5 cents a square foot but if you are caught working without a permit the cost is doubled.
7.D Report from the Thursday, February 4, 2021 City of Jeanerette Public Works and Safety Committee Meeting Present-Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr., Susan Colden City Clerk, Alderman Butch Bourgeois, Fire Chief Sherry Landry, Public Works Director Howard White, Wade Tillman. Mayor Bourgeois Jr. wanted to first thank the administrative and public works departments for their support to the public. Wade Tillman reported the projected completed by Public Works for the month of February that consisted of water leak repairs, tree & trash removal after the winter storm, catch basin repair and sewer backup. The group decided to suspend the sewer jetting of customer lines until the group can determine a policy that lessens the City’s responsibility. Director Howard White stated that the cleaning of drainage ditches is an ongoing issue. Once the area is cleared it is often refilled the next day. Chief Landry stated that the overhead door is still not repaired and the site portable light was damaged and being replaced and she is getting information on repairs to the roof. The department has 8 volunteers and would welcome new recruits. The apartment fire was reviewed and the Mayor and Alderman commended the department for saving adjoining buildings. The Chief also discussed issues with a resident burning trash that was not in a proper container and was not supervised. The group discussed the need for the public to get involved with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. With no other business to consider the meeting was adjourned.
7E. Neal Swain from Statewide Electric on Water and Sewer Operations, Mr. Swain reported on the sewer side operations were pretty good during the freeze with a loss of power for only a few hours-no mechanical issues, passed Biomonitoring which now has been done for the last 2 ½ years. The construction projects are on hold until the parts come in. On the water side, the City handled the freeze really well with some residents having leaks, but the City did not lose water. The only issue was a pressure switch which controls the automatic mode at the tower froze. The Plant was still able to be controlled in the manual mode for eight days. The plant produced 3.5 million gallons of water during that time. In the future the City should encourage everyone to shut off the water and drain the water for the night. Alderman Clarks asked about the effect of the increase water usage on people’s bills. Susan Colden explained that right after the freeze the meter readers had so many customer requests to turn off and on service to repair leaks that all of the routes were not read. The City put on the bill which routes were read and the other routes were given an estimated bill. It was also stated that the full effect of the increased usage may not occur until next month’s bills.
7F. Update on Police Operations from Chief Dusty Vallot over the past 11 months two buzzers were added one from outside to lobby and another to dispatch area. Taser cartridges have been ordered, evidence vault is a mess, there is probably 200 boxes and each box has another 200 boxes in it. The vehicles, 4 Ford Taurus’s and 2 Tahoe’s are working Assistant Chief Davis has been working hard on that. Our biggest problem is the officer shortage, we currently have the Chief and 4 officers and soon it will be the Chief and 3 officers. From March to December the department has responded to 2,241 calls. .The calls consisted of 535 miscellaneous, 189 citations, 231 alarm calls, 148 medical, 108 deaths, 80 auto accidents, 76 criminal damage to property, 67 call ins such as hearing shots fired, 66 loud music complaints, 54 domestic, 51 juvenile, 43 fights, 41 civil complaints, 40 fireworks, 38 dog nuisance complaints, 32 suspicious persons complaints, 29 telephone harassments, 26 911 hang-up calls, 21 suspicious vehicles, 16 fire alarm complaints, 14 residential burglary-7 unfounded, 13 hit and run crashes, 7 shoplifting, 11 attempted suicide, 1 suicide, 11 extra patrol request, 11 aggravated battery, 11 mental complaints, 9 missing persons, 8 vehicle burglary, 8 simple battery, 8 auto theft, 8 deceased persons, 7 warrant served, 7 drug violations, 6 simple burglary, 6 restraining order, 4 business burglary, 4 large crowds, 2 aggravated assaults, 2 forgery, 2 identity theft, 1 rape, 1 armed robbery, 1 escape, 1 contributing to juvenile, 44 felony arrests, 43 misnomer, 1 homicide, Alderwoman Moore asked if there was a problem hiring officers and Chief Vallot we had 6 applications turned in and then they were denied for one reason or another. Alderman Clark asked Chief Vallot if he recommends them when he brings them in. The Chief stated that there is a checklist of items and when the packet is ready the information is given to the Mayor for his review. The Mayor stated that the Chief is correct about the process however there has not been any turned in a while except for one last week. Chief Vallot said the 6 or 7 denied applications is over the span of a year. The Mayor restated that after the information is verified and the Chief prepares a letter of recommendation then the Chief and the Mayor meet to discuss the applicant. Alderman Clark asked if those 6 or 7 applications were qualified to come in and police our town and the Chief replied yes, some of them. Alderman Ward asked if they were POST certified, and the Chief said yes, and Alderman Ward asked if they were working for another agency and Chief said yes. Alderman Clark stated so they were willing to leave other agencies to come to here but were denied and the Chief said yes. The Mayor emphasized that the decisions were reached jointly and that the Chief agreed to not hire the individuals that were denied. The Mayor also stated that we are working diligently to hire the best personnel for the City of Jeanerette. Hopefully individuals will come forward who do not have the baggage that we have seen with some of the applicants that were denied. The Mayor also said that at present he has not seen an application. Alderman Clark stated that individuals are contacting him saying they have applied and that our hiring process is not fair.
7G. Update on Fire Operations from Chief Sherry Landry Due to a call out Chief Landry was unable to give her report.
8. Agenda Items A. Approval of appointment of members to Jeanerette Historic Advisory Commission Motion by Alderman Lancon and second by Alderwoman Moore to approve the appointment of the members to the Jeanerette Historic Advisory Commission, motion carried with a voice vote of all Yea.
9. Resolutions A. Resolution 2 of 2021, Granting the authority to the Mayor to sign and submit necessary documents, appoint administrative consultant and engineer and commit cost for the FY 2022-2023 Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program Motion by Alderman Clark and second by Alderwoman Moore to approve Resolution 2 of 2021, the roll call vote was as follows
Yea: Alderman Clark, Alderwoman Moore, Alderman Bourgeois, Alderman Ward, Alderman Lancon
B. Resolution 3 of 2021, Adopting the Iberia Parish 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan Motion by Alderman Lancon and second by Alderman Bourgeois to approve Resolution 3 of 2021, the roll call vote was as follows
Yea: Alderman Clark, Alderwoman Moore, Alderman Bourgeois, Alderman Ward, Alderman Lancon
10. Executive Session Bernadine Swarn Vs City of Jeanerette Case 00135828, Division E, 16th Judicial District Court
Motion by Alderman Lancon and second by Alderman Bourgeois to Leave regular session and enter Executive Session, motion carried with a voice vote of all Yea. Motion by Alderman Lancon and second by Alderman Bourgeois to Leave Executive Session and return to regular session, motion carried with a voice vote of all Yea. The Board decided to call for a special meeting on Monday March 15th, 2021 to discuss this case in regular session.
9. Adjourn There being no further business to bring before the Board of Aldermen, motion by Alderman Lancon and second by Alderman Clark to adjourn the meeting carried with a voice vote of all yea.
Carol Bourgeois Jr., Mayor
Meeting Minutes from Past Meetings
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