April 12, 2021
The city council of the city of DeQuincy met in regular session on the above date in the city hall council chambers located at 300 Holly Street, DeQuincy, Louisiana, with the following members present: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, and Ronda Jacobs. Absent: Daisy Cole. Denise Maddox was absent at roll call but came in later, arriving at 6:13 p.m.
Council Co-Chairman Mark Peloquin called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Mayor Smith gave the invocation and in his prayer asked for prayers for Councilwoman Daisy Cole who had a bad fall and was unable to attend the council meeting. Ronda Jacobs led the pledge of allegiance.
Motion was made by Ronda Jacobs and seconded by Judy Landry to approve the March 8, 2021 regular meeting minutes. Without objection, the motion carried.
Valecia Royer read the financial report. As of March 31, 2021, the overall total revenue, actual year to date is $3,126,382.66 with the FYE 9/30/2021 budget being $4,471,100.00 and a remaining budget of $1,344,717.34. The total expenses, as of March 31, 2021, actual year to date totals are $2,711,091.52, with the FYE 9/30/2021 budget total expenses being $5,604,970.00, and the remaining budget of $2,893,878.48.
Chief Johnny Copeland read the fire report. There were seven (7) calls for March 2021.
Police Chief Casey Whitehead gave the police report for March 2021. There were 72 violations, 14 arrests, 228 complaints filed, and 62 warnings given. The fines and bonds collected for the month of March totaled approximately $23,938.51. The PD Officers patrolled approx. 5445 miles during the month of March 2021.
Mr. Carroll gave the council a brief run down on all of the violations issued in March 2021. Also, Mr. Carroll asked the council if they would advise him when they wanted him to start back with enforcing the code on dilapidated houses.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT
Eddy Dahlquist was off sick today so there was no public works report.
SEWER PLANT REPORT
Hank Frazier gave the sewer report. Below is a list of some of the work done in March?
Cleaned sewer main on Oak Street
Replaced sewer tap on Live Oak Street Replaced sewer tap and did point repair on Gill Street Replaced sewer tap and did a huge point repair on Yoakum Street The bio-essay test was done at the sewer plant for the first quarter of 2021 and passed. Hank advised the council he met with Meyer & Associates and Gulf States Engineering on the Douglas Road Lift Station rehab and they will be working up some prices for the city. Lastly, Hank talked to Gulf States and Meyer & associates regarding the UV system at the Wastewater Plant and it looks like, after the insurance payment, we will be able to replace the system with a newer, upgraded system at no cost to the city.
CITY REPORT GIVEN BY MAYOR SMITH
Eddy Dahlquist was in the office this morning but had to go home after hurting his back while loading up items from the Railroad Festival. His crew has been cutting grass and preparing for the Railroad Festival.
Mayor Smith asked the City Council to please form a committee to work on some ordinances before Hurricane Season begins again this year. There are several things that should be put in place before then.
Mayor Smith received nothing but good reports on this years’ Railroad Festival even though it was scaled down quite a bit. Everyone seemed to enjoy the smaller Festival.
In regard to FEMA progress, the funds are still coming in very slow but our consultants are continuously sending in documents to help speed up the process. Hopefully we will be receiving some bigger reimbursements checks in the very near future.
The City of DeQuincy will be receiving approximately 1.4 million dollars from the Federal American Rescue Plan Grant.
A motion was made Judy Landry and seconded by Ronda Jacobs approve the April 12, 2021 agenda. Without objection, the motion carried.
Items on Agenda:
Items not on Agenda:
A motion was made by Judy Landry and seconded by Ronda Jacobs to authorize Mayor Smith to sign the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the City of DeQuincy concerning the Summer Food Program for 2021. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole and Denise Maddox. Abstain: None.
Denise Maddox joined the meeting at 6:15 and took over as Chairman.
A motion was made by Ronda Jacobs and seconded by Judy Landry to adopt a resolution informing the LA DEQ that the city will continue maintaining our wastewater treatment plant and continue required testing in accordance with the LA DEQ permit. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole. Abstain: None.
A motion was made by Judy Landry and seconded by Mark Peloquin to enter into an Engagement Agreement with J. Aaron cooper regarding the audit for the year ended September 30, 2020. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole. Abstain: None.
A motion was made by Mark Peloquin and seconded by Judy Landry to adopt a resolution approving the West Calcasieu Parish Community Center Authority refunding of its existing refunding bonds. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole. Abstain: None.
A motion was made by Judy Landry and seconded by Ronda Jacobs to begin the condemnation process on 331 Hall Street. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole. Abstain: None.
A motion was made by Ronda Jacobs and seconded by Mark Peloquin to accept the low bid of $246,569.76 from Williams Equipment Services, LLC for the Chavis Square Project. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole. Abstain: None.
A motion was made by Ronda Jacobs and seconded by Judy Landry to approve the donation of a 2014 Ford Expedition to the Churchpoint Police Department. Motion carried as follows: Yeas: Judy Landry, Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Ronda Jacobs. Nays: None. Absent: Daisy Cole. Abstain: None.
Scott Wylie, on behalf of Shandel Hambrick, owner of the DeQuincy Iron Horse Pub, addressed the Council regarding a possible variance for the Pub. Mr. Wylie stated Ms. Hambrick would like a permanent variance to occupy the sidewalk outside of her business. There is no traffic on the side of or in front of the building other than her patrons. He stated Ms. Hambrick has put a lot of money in her building since the hurricane and before and after pictures were presented to the council. This building has been around for many, many years and Mr. Wylie stated he felt that the city needs to help our existing businesses and the patrons of these businesses in DeQuincy. Again, Mrs. Hambrick is asking for a permanent variance and in return she will repair the sidewalk around her building. A temporary variance will not work, especially for the entrance (north side) of the building. Mr. Wylie then asked for the council’s input.
Mark Peloquin, Denise Maddox and Judy Landry all commented on how good the business now looks. Then, Mayor Smith asked Mr. Wylie exactly what he was asking for. Mr. Wylie stated the business owner was asking that her patrons be able to sit out front of her building, at a table, with an open container without any problems from the city. It was stated that Ms. Hambrick runs a “tight ship” and the police department does not receive any disturbance calls on her establishment.
Mayor Smith stated he felt the city needs to take care of their remaining businesses and after the last year, with all of the restrictions, may need to think out of the box.
Mr. Peloquin commented he thought he could work with a variance for the front entrance but did not know how it would work on the sidewalk (west) side. Mr. Wylie mentioned the State ordinance says the sidewalk belongs to the business but the city ordinance says it belongs to the city.
Ms. Maddox, looking at the pictures, stated the front of the business is clearly not sidewalk, it’s the approach to the building. The property past the drip-line is what is in question.
Mayor Smith then asked Mr. Wylie if he was asking to be allowed to have and open container on the sidewalk and Mr. Wylie stated that if they were permitted to use the sidewalk then the open container would not be an issue. Mr. Wylie then asked if there was a problem with her having an open container outside her business and both Mr. Peloquin and Ms. Maddox stated state law prevents open containers on the sidewalk. Mr. Wylie questioned this statement but Mr. Cox stated he thought it was against our city ordinance and also said he thought walking down the street drinking was against the law. Ms. Maddox stated, if it is established that the front sidewalk is considered a city sidewalk, then it would be considered open container. Both Mr. Peloquin and Mrs. Maddox mentioned the front entrance to the Pub could be considered a patio, if it is in fact on Ms. Hambrick’s property but again, the property line needs to be established in order to determine what is “patio” and what is city sidewalk. If Ms. Hambrick wants to establish this as her property, then it has to be determined where her property line is.
Hank Frazier stated that old photographs of the city showed that almost all the establishments in town had benches and tables on sidewalks and the old timers were playing dominoes out front.
Mayor Smith asked if we could abandon the sidewalk. Ms. Maddox stated she felt this is the step they would have to take to determine where the property line is. Mr. Wylie then asked if they could get a temporary variance to use the front entrance until a decision was made. Ms. Maddox said it would need to be researched first because there are too many unknowns. She then asked Mr. Cox for his opinion and guidance.
Mr. Wylie asked, after all of the discussion already had and while this is being processed and researched, can we agree that everything from the dripline back is considered Ms. Hambrick’s establishment? Ms. Maddox agreed and Mr. Peloquin stated he also understood from the dripline back was considered her establishment. Ms. Maddox then asked Mr. Cox if he agreed and he said he did agree. Mr. Wylie again said, in case anyone should question the tables out front and “drinking on the sidewalk” can they explain they are drinking under the awning where the tables are. Ms. Maddox and Mr. Cox again stated they did not see any legal issue with that.
Ms. Maddox asked Mr. Cox for a timeline as to when this matter could he heard again and he agreed he would have something by the next council meeting.
In regard to item no. 13 on the agenda concerning the materials being stored on a private lot in a residential district, Mayor Smith stated he has talked with the land owner and was advised the property will be sold. The company storing the material on the lot have been notified of the sale and have been asked to move the materials. The sale should be finalized within 60 days if not sooner.
Ronda Jacobs asked the Mayor when the city crew would start cleaning ditches again. The Mayor explained that there has been so much debris in the ditches that the crew has not been able to dig ditches but he hoped they could get back to it soon.
Mark Peloquin had concerns to discuss with Eddy Dahlquist but, because Eddy is absent, will get with him later in the week.
Judy Landry had no concerns that had not already been addressed.
Denise Maddox also had concerns for Eddy Dahlquist but will catch him later in the week.
Judy Landry made a motion to adjourn and Ronda Jacobs seconded the motion.
City Council Clerk
Run: May 12, 2021 (My-2)