September 28, 2010
The Mayor and the City Council for the Town of Amite City, Louisiana came together in a special session this 28th day of September 2010 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was held in the meeting room of City Hall, 212 E. Oak Street, Amite, Louisiana. Mayor Goldsby called the meeting to order and asked Ms. Lee for roll call. The following were present: R. E. Goldsby, M.D., Mayor; Council Members Walter Daniels III, Mark Vining, Neil Currier, and Rose Sumrall. Absent: Jonathan Foster, Mayor Pro-tem.
To Set Agenda for October 5, 2010 Regular Meeting (No action taken.)
Mr. Currier ‚ Beer and Liquor Permits/Renewals.
Mr. Daniels ‚ Budget ‚ Water and Sewer.
Mrs. Sumrall ‚ Mrs. Sumrall did not have any agenda items.
Mr. Vining ‚ Police and Fire Matters.
Mr. Vining ‚ Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Vining ‚ Recognition of Nick Trabona and Mike Agnello.
Mr. Vining ‚ Mildred Johnson, Principal ‚ Amite High School.
Mr. Foster entered the meeting.
Mr. Foster ‚ Council District Concerns.
Mr. Foster asked the procedure for addressing concerns in council districts. Mayor Goldsby said the town does not have any funds for council district projects. Mayor Goldsby suggested emergency concerns be brought before the council, but added the town does not have the money for special projects. He said the budget was approved without appropriation of council district funds.
Mr. Foster ‚ Police Department.
Mr. Foster ‚ Budget.
Mr. Vining reminded everyone the Tangipahoa Parish Fair is this weekend. Chief Trabona said his department is ready.
Mayor Goldsby said he will set Halloween Hours at the October 5th meeting.
Mayor Goldsby closed the agenda meeting and opened the special meeting.
Beer and Liquor Permit ‚ 300 S. First Street.
Mr. Currier moved to approve the beer and liquor permit for the Food Depot at 302 S. First Street. Mr. Foster seconded the motion. Mr. Vining opposed granting the beer and liquor license. Motion carried with one opposition.
Mr. Dupuy asked to be recognized to discuss the USDA Water Improvement Project as he will be out of town for the October 5th meeting and the issue is on the agenda. The council unanimously agreed to discuss USDA Water Improvement Project.
USDA Water Improvement Project.
Mayor Goldsby said the town can discuss the project at the October 5th meeting, but he doesn't want to vote on the issue since Mr. Dupuy will be out of town.
Mr. Dupuy said the water well is not an issue, as the bids are under budget, but there is not enough loan money to fund the entire project, in particular, the automatic read meters. Mr. Dupuy said the council needs to have the water project budget so they can be aware of the funding issues. Mr. Dupuy further stated the council needs to be informed of the financial concerns of the town. He said he has requested all the information in writing from Spangler Engineering so the council can see exactly what funds are needed for the project. Mr. Dupuy said the engineers are not willing to reduce the project, as that cuts into their fees.
Mr. Daniels asked if the council was mislead on the meters. Mr. Dupuy said he wanted automatic read meters, but the bids came in over budget. He added town employees can retrofit manual read meters to make them radio read meters.
Mr. Daniels asked if the town can complete the sewer project, but reject the water project. Mr. Vining said he, Mrs. Sumrall, and Mr. Dupuy met with Bruce Bordelon of USDA and was told the town must do the water project to get the sewer loan and grant.
Mr. Vining questioned the need for additional funds as the water well, meters, and the new water line can be funded with the USDA loan. Mr. Dupuy said other fees are added, such as engineering, legal, and inspection fees, which make the project cost more than the USDA loan amount. Mr. Vining said he was told the town must contribute $115,000 for the water line. Mr. Vining asked Mayor Goldsby to request Kiley Bates provide the proposed budget to Mr. Dupuy and the council before the October 5th meeting. Mr. Vining also asked the engineer to meet with Mr. Dupuy to discuss change orders to reduce the cost of the sewer project.
Mayor Goldsby expressed hope that sales tax will increase so the town can afford the project. Mr. Vining said the water and sewer projects are designed to pay for themselves. Mr. Vining said the town took $200,000 from General Fund to operate the water system last year, but with this program, those funds will not be needed. Mr. Vining stressed the point of the project is to have the water system pay for itself.
After questioning by Mr. Daniels, Mr. Dupuy said the meters are designed to last 15-20 years, but there is a contingency fund that will be set up to replace meters or perform needed repairs on the system.
Mr. Dupuy said the town can issue change orders to reduce the cost of the sewer project. Mrs. DiLorenzo said any reduction in the sewer project will come out of the grant and will not reduce the size of the sewer loan.
Mr. Dupuy said he wanted to finish the sewer project before starting the water project.
Mayor Goldsby recognized Mr. Bates, who entered the meeting.
Mr. Bates said any change orders to reduce the sewer project will reduce the grant amount, not the amount of the loan, as loan funds are spent first, followed by grant funds. The water project does not have any grant funds, so reducing the water project will reduce the loan amount.
Mr. Foster said if the mayor says the town is broke, perhaps USDA won't approve the loan. Mr. Bates said the loan has been approved. Mr. Dupuy said the payment on the loan comes from the rates. Mr. Dupuy said the problem is the water loan doesn't cover the entire cost of the project.
Mr. Bates said the water and sewer project began five years ago. Since that time, the project has increased due to changing the Factory Street water well from the original 600 gpm to 1200 gpm. The larger capacity is needed to serve the town while the old water well is taken out of service for maintenance. The second reason for the increased cost is the addition of the looped line from W. Factory Street to Hwy. 16, which is needed to serve commercial customers.
Mr. Bates said the project includes a contingency fund for repairs. In addition, the project is designed to support itself by rates, so the town will not have to use Capital Improvement Funds, which will then be available for other projects.
Mayor Goldsby recognized John Daley, who asked who sets rates. Mr. Bates said there is a proposed rate in the loan application. Mayor Goldsby said the council sets the rates and can adjust the rates to satisfy the loan requirement.
Mr. Daniels asked Mr. Bates to provide estimated rates at the October 5th meeting.
Mr. Vining moved and Mrs. Sumrall seconded to adjourn. Motion carried without opposition.
R. E. Goldsby, M.D., Mayor Mary Lou Lee, City Clerk
Publish in the Amite Tangi Digest on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.