December 2, 2020 | Public Works Committee

ST. LANDRY PARISH COUNCIL
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2nd, 2020
OLD CITY MARKET, 131 W. BELLEVUE ST.
OPELOUSAS, LOUISIANA

PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Council Members are using

Ring Master Conference Calling System to participate in the meeting

Chairman Jimmie Edwards called the Public Works Committee of the St. Landry Parish

Council to order.

1. The Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation was recited earlier.

2. Roll Call:

Conference Call: Jerry Red Jr; Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor, Vivian Olivier and Jimmie Edwards. ABSENT: None. Ex Officio Coby Clavier.

3. Person to address the Committee:

a. Kim McKee – Home demolition on BeBo Drive.

Per Councilwoman Nancy Carriere, the matter with Ms. Kim McKee has been settled.

4. Public Works Report:

a. Update on Adjudicated Property in the Parish.

Parish President Jessie Bellard stated the Parish Government is working with the owner to demolition the home on BeBo Drive. Councilwoman Nancy Carriere stated the owner Ms. Kim McKee has a private company that she is working with to demolish the home on BeBo Drive.

b. Update on Road Work throughout the Parish.

Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “The issue we have been having, obviously I have been saying every meeting, we are having trouble getting employees to come to work with the pay that we have been paying, since the private sector is paying so much. We are getting local contractors to help us to dig road side ditches. When we do get drainage complaints we try to handle it within a week. If you all have some trouble spot in your area let us know so we can get these contractors out there. They are charging us $4,000.00 for a mile and a quarter of work. That is basically digging of the ditches and removing of the dirt and doing everything on their own. We are trying to get that done as fast as we can so we can alleviate some of the problems on the roadways.” Councilwoman Mildred Thierry questioned if the work orders that have been previously placed have to be followed up. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “No, We have them. They get them as they come out of the system. A lot of these complaints are getting out of hand as for as drainage issues. They are taking each one that comes in and assessing it and prioritizing it. We have four work crews working plus our work crew. They are doing well. They do one and a quarter of a mile within a couple of days. We are making some good advancement.” Councilwoman Mildred Thierry asked for an update on the parish wide debris removal. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “They have not been picking up, but we have when calls come in. The city of Eunice is picking up with their own truck and we are picking up with our own truck. I have been told that they will begin picking up again pretty soon and we will move forward with enough crews to clean it out. The COVID has messed us up pretty bad.” Councilwoman Mildred Thierry questioned if she needed to recall the roads and the streets that she had called in earlier about debris pick up. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “No, I will contact them in the morning to see where they are at with those roads in your district. If we have to we will send our trucks to go and take care of it.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr., stated, “He has informed Solid Waste Manager, Richard LeBeouf that a lot of debris is in the ditch and that causes drainage issues. He ask for a time frame as to when will the debris will be removed.” Parish President Jessie Bellard

stated, “I will contact Richard in the morning to see his progress. He did have surgery and he is healing up well. I have been told that we are close to getting back started at 100% but I have not received final confirmation. If you all see this problem, please let me know so I can make sure our people can take care of it before it become a major issue.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr., stated, “This matter was addressed in the meeting and Mr. LeBeouf could not give a time frame as to when the debris would be picked up. We have piles in my neighborhood, my district and other district also. My main concern is getting the debris picked up before we get that constant rain and we will have problems with water flooding and blocking our roadways. Once you find out, please let me know so I can let my constituents know a time frame that they could have it pick up.” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated he will see about it and send the information in a group message tomorrow. Councilwoman Nancy Carriere questioned a time frame for the list of homes that she submitted to be torn down. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “Nicki is working on that one in Opelousas now. I did not get any latest information from her yet. I will contact her in the morning. I think she is having some issues but I will get to the bottom of it and let you know.” Public Works Chairman Jimmie Edwards questioned if the City of Eunice will pick up debris in the rural area. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “For now they are trying hard to keep up in the city. The Mayor of Eunice stated they are getting a lot of complaints in the City. Our truck we have in the parish is taking care of the rural area as much as they can now. Our driver is back to work.”

A motion was made by Council Jerry Red Jr., seconded by Councilman Harold Taylor to accept the Public Works Report.

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion carried.

5. Forward all applications received for five appointments to Ward 3 Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1 for a four year term. (12-21-2020 to 12-21-2024.)

A motion was made by Councilman Harold Taylor seconded by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 all applications received for five appointments for a four year term to Ward 3 Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1. (12-21-2020 to 12-21-2024).

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

6. Forward all applications received for one appointment to the St. Landry Gravity Drainage District No. 14 for the remainder of a four year term ending 06-21-2021

A motion was made by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry, seconded by Councilman Harold Taylor to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 all applications received for one appointment for the remainder of a four year term ending

06-21-2021 to the St. Landry Gravity Drainage District No. 14.

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

7. Authorize the Council Clerk to advertise for three appointments to Fire District No. 6 for a two year term. (01-18-2021 – 01-18-2023).

A motion was made by Councilman Jerry Red Jr., seconded by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 authorizing the Council Clerk to advertise for three appointments for a two year term to Fire District No. 6.

(01-18-2021 – 01-18-2023).

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

8. Authorize the Council Clerk to advertise for one appointment to Fire District No. 3 for a four year term. (01-01-2021 to 01-01-2025).

A motion was made by Councilman Harold Taylor, seconded by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 authorizing the Council Clerk to advertise for one appointment for a four year term to Fire District No. 3. (01-01-2021 – 01-01-2025).

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

9. Authorize the Council Clerk to advertise for one appointment to St. Landry Parish Waterworks District No. 2 (Rural) for a four year term. (01-01-2021 – 01-01-2025).

A motion was made by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry, seconded by Councilman Jerry Red Jr., to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 authorizing the Council Clerk to advertise for one appointment to St. Landry Parish Waterworks District No. 2 (Rural) for a four year term. (01-01-2021 – 01-01-2025).

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

10. Authorize the Council Clerk to advertise for two appointment to Fire District No. 5 for a two year term. (01-01-2021 – 01-01-2023).

A motion was made by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry seconded by Councilman Easton Shelvin to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 authorizing the Council Clerk to advertise for two appointments to Fire District No. 5 for a two year term.

(01-01-2021 – 01-01-2023).

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

11. Discuss Fleur Des Coteau Road (Councilman Wayne Ardoin).

Councilman Harold Taylor stated, “Mr. Wayne had an emergency and could not make it to discuss Fleur Des Coteau Road. I have read the information that was sent to us early this afternoon. I am not sure what action needs to be taken. Jessie do you have any information on this matter?” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “I did not read up on it today. We did have a meeting earlier this month. The biggest problem we are having is a lot of these private roads are being neglected by people who put them in place and they are looking for some help. It is not just this one road but there are several. We talked about several things at that meeting. I will get with our Attorney and come up with some answers to help these people some kind of way. I will get back to the council. One think that is tossed around is to have some type of agreement with the land owners where we go in and help them fix the road for a certain fee so we are not doing it for nothing. We can enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement or a CEA with the HOA or some sort. That is the one thing that is being tossed around. I am not sure if that can be done. We would not take the road in.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr. stated, “We cannot do anything on a Private Road. If we go on it we are taking responsibility and we may as well take it in.” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “That is talk and that is something that we have to look at and get an answer. These roads are so bad off that emergency vehicles cannot get down these roads to help these people. So it becomes a serious issue.”

A motion was made by Councilman Jerry Red Jr., seconded by Councilman Harold Taylor to forward to Regular Meeting held on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 the further discussion of Fleur Des Coteau Road.

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion forwarded.

12. Discuss any other business properly brought before this committee.

Councilwoman Mildred Thierry stated, “I have received numerous complaints in District 4 about 4-Wheelers on the gravel roads that are tearing up the roads. They have called the Sheriff’s Department but it does not stop the situation.” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “We have the same issues across the parish. We have been communicating with the Sheriff’s Office. The problem is the kids have been riding their 4-Wheelers in the middle of the night. We have a couple of roads that are actually shut down because they are impassable. We have to shut them down and let them dry up. Today we put some material on Rolton Road. It is still not passable due to the mud and the slush but they continue to put material in the holes. Councilwoman Nancy Carriere questioned Parish President Jessie Bellard about a time frame to begin spreading the Black Gold on the roads. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “We have the Black Gold on the yard. They are putting some in some areas now. With the weather like it is it does not do us any good to place any now. We have placed some on Rolton Road to fill up the whole. I have one truck driver with a CDL and that is our problem.” Councilwoman Mildred Thierry questioned if the Parish Government is looking to hire another truck driver with a CDL License. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “We are looking to hire CDL Drivers with a certification. We are paying $16.00 per hour and the private sector is paying $20 to $25.00 per hour. I am putting it out there that we do offer benefits where the private sector does not. We are trying to get people in. We are making our employees take their vacation days that is on the books so it won’t carry over for next year. This is posing a problem for us. They had since July of 2019 to use their vacation. They taught I was going to allow them to carry it over, but the rule says no carrying over vacation days and that’s what have put us in a bind now. We will get pass this and move forward.” Councilwoman Nancy Carriere question the amount of openings the Parish Government have for Driver and the qualifications. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “We have two openings now. The qualification is a CDL. The same qualifications also applies to an operator. We can get a CDL driver but I need a CDL driver to also operate equipment like an Excavator.” Councilwoman Nancy Carriere questioned if there is any type of training process. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “We can do on the job training but we don’t have enough people to do the training. We only have that one operator on the job working.” Councilwoman Nancy Carriere questioned a pay increase to hire CDL Drivers. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “Amada and I sat down and we had a plan to bring the people up to a certain pay grade. It would cost about $90,000.00 more per year.

We do have $125,000.00 coming in from the Hospital deal. We did not put it into play nor did we bring it to the council because we are still trying to figure out what we are going to do.”

Councilman Alvin Stelly questioned if an employee have a CDL he does have to have a Medical Card Also. Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “Yes, there are a lot of requirements for a CDL Employee.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr. asked, “In this case that we have one driver, do you use the Foremen to help offset the driving?” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “We can, but no Forman that we have has a CDL License. They can’t get behind one of those trucks that require a CDL but they can operator the equipment. Councilman Jerry Red Jr. questioned the Budget. He stated, “We have the tax on the ballot for this Saturday. Do we have to plan in case this does not happen? Do we have a Plan A or a Plan B if this tax does not pass?” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “This is up for discussion and I would like the help of the council with this. The only unrestricted money that I am aware of is the Racino Fund which could be allocated by a vote of the Council. That is all that I am aware of and that would be enough money to fund our Jail.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr. stated, I agree with you. There is no other way to fund the Jail if this tax does not pass. I have been telling people that this is a must. If it does not pass, we could put something in place that the Racino Fund is an avenue that we can look at to make sure that the jail is funded.” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “Unless someone comes up with a better idea, then that would be my option, to come to you all to request that we move money from the Racino Fund and put it towards the Jail until we can come up with a different measure. I was at the Rotary Club in Eunice today and I am going to the Kiwanis Club in Eunice tomorrow. We did some Face Book live. Daily World and the Eunice News have some stuff out for us. We are trying to get the word out. We do have some Naysayers out there. We are trying to work with them as they come up with their questions.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr. questioned, “When you say the Racino, do you mean making cuts to the different municipalities to offset?” Parish President Jessie Bellard stated, “I will say the Racino Fund as a whole. We have to look at the whole structure and see what we can do.” Councilman Jerry Red Jr. stated, “I agree, I know you made a statement also about the Road and Bridge Fund. I understand. It is just something that we need to think about and talk about.” Councilwoman Mildred Thierry stated, “I would like to say to all of the listeners out there:

Would you all please consider supporting this tax? This is not a new tax. This is something we have already been paying all along. If your home is homestead exempt, 75 or under, you will not pay anything. From what I understand each $1,000.00 over that 75 is only like a dollar per that $1,000.00. It is not like a whole bunch of money that you will be paying if the tax is passed. We really do need it. I would hate to see that we are not able to do much with the roads and the ditches and everything already. If they have to start cutting funds from Road and Bridges, that is not going to be good. So, I would pray that we all search our hearts and go out there and support it because it is already there. It is just to renew it.”

Councilman Harold Taylor stated he has a constituent who is against the tax. He explained to his constituent that he only pays $1.66 per year for the Jail Tax. Of the entire 33.62 parish wide millage that we pay taxes on only 3.08% of that goes to the Jail Tax, 62% is for Schools and 9% is to run the Parish.

13. Adjourn.

A motion was made by Councilman Jerry Red Jr., seconded by Councilwoman Mildred Thierry to adjourn the Public Works Committee Meeting.

On roll call vote: Jerry Red Jr., Easton Shelvin, Mildred Thierry, Harold Taylor and Vivian Olivier. NAYS: None. ABSENT: None. ABSTAINED: None.

Motion carried.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THE FOREGOING TO BE EXACT AND TRUE

KAREN BARLOW, ASSISTANT COUNCIL CLERK

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