Posted: December 12, 2017

Minutes - Public Hearing and Regular Town Council Meeting on Wednesday, November 8, 2017





November 8, 2017



Call to order Mayor Pelloat

Roll call Wayne C. Morlier, all present

        A. Proposed Ordinance No. 151, Amending Chapter 16, in its Entirety and Setting Forth Those Rates for All Utilities (Water, Sewer, Garbage and Gas) and Related Matters

The Proposed Ordinance No. 151 was read by Mr. Morlier.  Mayor Pelloat asked if there were any comments.  There being no comments, Mayor Pelloat requested a motion to close the Public Hearing.  Councilman Haddox made a motion to close the Public Hearing, seconded by Councilman Bounds, all were in favor.


Call meeting to order Mayor Pelloat

Roll Call Wayne C. Morlier, all present

Invocation – Father Frank, Pastor, St. Anselm Church

Pledge –Councilman Bouey

1. Approval of October 11, 2017 Minutes

Councilman Haddox made a motion that the October 11, 2017 minutes be approved.  Councilman Bouey seconded the motion, the motion passed with all in favor.

2. Approval of October 25, 2017 Public Committee Minutes

Councilman Bouey made a motion that the October 25, 2017 minutes be approved.  Councilman Haddox seconded the motion, the motion passed with all in favor.

3. Approval of September 2017 Financial Statements

Councilman Haddox made a motion that the September 2017 Financial Statements be approved. Councilman Bouey seconded the motion, the motion passed with all in favor.

4. Public Comment Period:  members of the audience will have three (3) minutes to make a statement or express a concern at the outset of the meeting.  (Anyone having or expressing a concern tonight may or may not get an answer due to the fact that the council is hearing the concern for the first time.  All statements will be considered and everyone will receive an answer in the near future).

Mr. David Stefferud addressed the Council regarding the closing of the Madisonville Post Office as confirmed by the Postmaster.  Mr. Stefferud explained the benefits of the Madisonville Post Office, provided a one page Talking Points document regarding the closure, and requested that our Congressional delegation be contacted.  Mayor Pelloat stated that letters have already been sent to Senators Cassidy and Kennedy as well as Representative Scalise.  Regarding Mr. Stefferud’s request for a Town Resolution, Mayor Pelloat stated he asked the City Attorney, Mr. Danner, to draft a resolution for the Council’s consideration.   Mayor Pelloat requested Council approval for a resolution.  Councilman Doran made a motion, Councilman Bouey seconded, all were in favor.

Mr. Richard Bentley-Smith, Director of Coquille Parks and Recreation District 14, reminded the Council and audience of the upcoming election and asked for everyone’s vote to pass the millage so that additional fields, improved infrastructure and a new entrance on Hwy 1077 could be constructed.  Mr. Guy Hebert questioned whether it was wise to spend millions of dollars on expanding the park.  Ms. Iris Vacante stated that the park needed an additional exit as it gridlocks on Highway 1085.  Mr. Bentley-Smith stated that if the millage passes, there will be a project to construct an exit onto Highway 1077 with the Parish adding a roundabout at the exit to eliminate gridlock.  Mayor Pelloat stated that he personally has witnessed the growth of Coquille, supports the benefits to the children, and hopes that the millage passes.

Mr. Rob Maness, candidate for the State House of Representative, District 77, then spoke about his qualifications and platform in asking for everyone’s vote in the upcoming election.   

Mr. Joey Mahon, 201 Rampart Street, asked Councilman Haddox if he would be willing to take over as Mayor if for any reason Mayor Pelloat was unable to continue as Mayor.  Councilman Haddox stated “yes”.  Mr. Mahon then asked the Council to address his previous letter requesting the obstructions on Rampart Street be removed. Councilman Hitzman stated “no” as this had been addressed in previous meetings thinking that Mr. Mahon was asking about the barricade at the end of Rampart Street.  Once this was clarified, Councilmen Bounds and Doran agreed that both sides of Rampart Street should be cleared of plants and other obstructions on Town property.  Mayor Pelloat acknowledged the Council’s wishes and stated he would take appropriate action to remove the obstructions.  Mr. Mahon thanked the Council. 


5.  Contractor to provide a Master Plan – Mayor Pelloat asked if there was a recommendation to move forward with selecting a firm to provide a Master Plan.  Council Haddox made a motion to accept Furr Design Studio because Mr. Furr would be there to follow through and not just provide a plan.  Councilman Doran stated he would first like to hear from St. Anselm since they have plans and additionally he would like to hear from the citizenry.  The motion died due to a lack of a second.  Councilman Doran made a motion that the subject be tabled to a later date. Councilman Bounds seconded, all in favor except Councilman Haddox.  


6. St. Anselm Church Proposed New Construction – St. Anselm Church representatives presented the Plan for a new two story building adjacent to the church after demolition of existing buildings.  The following summarizes the significant discussion. 

. The proposed plan meets all existing Town ordinances. 

. Parking and impacts on surrounding residential homes is a concern.

. The presentation by St. Anselm is a courtesy as all ordinance requirements have been met.

. There is concern that such large projects do not require Council approval.

. Additional planning may be helpful in alleviating traffic concerns.

. There is a long way to go, including raising the required funds, before the project could go forward.

. There has been significant prior outreach to the community, Council, and mayor.

. There was no requirement for the church to make the presentation as the Plan meets all existing Town ordinances.

7. Proposed Ordinance No. 151, Amending Chapter 16, in its Entirety and Setting Forth Those Rates for All Utilities (Water, Sewer, Garbage and Gas) and Related Matters

Mayor Pelloat asked if there is a motion to accept Ordinance 151 that was read and considered during the public hearing.  There being no comments, Councilman Haddox made a motion, Councilman Bouey seconded, the motion passed with all in favor.

8. Monthly Department reports:


Mr. Joe Harmon stated that the third payment on the Pine Street parking project is due, that the project is 99% complete, and that there would be a final inspection before the final payment would be made. The Mayor requested a motion to approve the third payment.  Councilman Doran made a motion, Councilman Bouey seconded, the motion passed with all in favor.

Mr. Harmon then pointed out that there was a change order for $7,000. In response to a question by Councilman Doran, Mayor Pelloat stated the change order involved widening the entrance to the park and extending parallel parking on Pine Street.  A motion to approve the change order was made by Councilman Haddox, seconded by Councilman Bouey, with all in favor.

Finally, Mr. Harmon stated that a clean lien certificate needed to be filed with the Clerk of Court.  Councilman Haddox made a motion to file the lien certificate, Councilman Bounds seconded, motion passed with all in favor. 

Police Department

Chief Smith was not present so there was no report.


Public Works Director Kyle Matthews provided the report including 17 new gas installations, preparation for the Wooden Boat Festival, laying of sod on the Pine Street Ballpark project, water tanks being cleaned and receiving a clean bill of health, and Xmas lights being installed next Thursday.  Next Mr. Matthews spoke about the November 1st gas leak and ignition in Tchefuncte Estates stating five employees received non-life threatening injuries with one back to work. He continued by thanking other municipalities for their assistance (East Baton Rouge Parish, Abita Springs, Franklinton and Denham Springs) in re-establishing gas service. Furthermore, there were two additional gas leaks that required repair. 

Permits Department

Mr. Jewell Chatellier reported that there is nothing new except for a variance request by Mr. and Mrs. David Burke to add a roof over a staircase and extend the front roof line.  There was discussion and questions about the variance after which the Council stated they were not ready to vote as the variance was only recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning during the previous night’s, November 7th, meeting.  Councilman Haddox asked about another variance request considered by the Planning and Zoning at the November 7th meeting. The owner, Bruno, Inc, requested subdividing Lot 3 (that fronts Highway 22 and ends at Cedar Street) into two equal parcels with the issue being that the lot width is primarily only 53 feet. As the lot is already recorded at 53 feet wide, Councilman Haddox questioned why subdivision was a variance.  After some discussion, it was not clear if the request was a variance, however, it was decided that since no one was present for Bruno, Inc. no decision by the Council was required.  Mr. Guy Hebert and Mr. Louis Ogle both stated they were confused about when one could comment on an ordinance.  Mayor Pelloat stated that anyone can comment when ordinances are introduced and being considered for final approval.  Mr. Chatellier stated that he believed there is an ordinance for approval of new and significant changes to commercial buildings and that there was a draft ordinance for approval of all significant changes to any buildings other than residential.  Mayor Pelloat asked Mr. Chatellier to bring any ordinance he may have to the Council for consideration.  Finally, Ms. Beth Fisher of 303 Pine Street stated she was not in favor of the St. Anselm proposal.

Town Attorney

Mr. Danner reported that he handled the preparation of ordinances and resolutions. Additionally, he was consulted on the gas ignition incident in Tchefuncte Estates, post office closure, human resource contract, DEQ notice and various other issues. He also attended Mayor’s Court, and provided advice during regular meetings with the Mayor.

9. Executive Session – Review of employee performance/discipline

Mayor Pelloat asked if there was a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of a review of employee performance/discipline.  A motion was made by Councilman Bouey, seconded by Councilman Bounds, all were in favor. Thus, the Council left Chambers to go into Executive Session.

Upon the Council’s return, Mayor Pelloat stated that there needed to be a motion to come out of Executive Session.  A motion was made by Councilman Doran, seconded by Councilman Bouey, all were in favor.

Mayor Pelloat then stated that Police Chief Smith submitted his resignation/retirement and that it was accepted by the Council.  A roll call vote was taken with all five councilmen voting yes to accepting Chief Smith’s resignation/retirement.

10. Comments by Council

There were no comments by any Councilmen.

11. Mayors’ report to Council

Mayor Pelloat Introduced Ms. Iris Vacante as the Town Historian and Cultural Affairs Director.  Ms. Vacante has been active in the community for numerous years and most recently was instrumental in the Town securing ownership of the cemetery.  Ms. Vacante will be responsible for the Museum on Cedar Street, Town’s website and creating Town social media.

At this time, Councilman Hitzman clarified his earlier statements to Mr. Mahon during the Public Comment session.  Councilman Hitzman explained that he misunderstood Mr. Mahon’s request and is in favor of clearing obstructions on both sides of Rampart Street starting from Cedar Street.

Next Ms. Beth Fisher asked is there is any truth to the rumor that the police force will be eliminated.  Both the Mayor and Councilman Hitzman emphatically stated “No”.

A question was asked about whether there was any further inquiry from Mr. Warren Davie regarding his proposed project at the end of Lake Road.  Mr. Chatellier stated that it is still in the discovery phase.

Councilman Doran asked about a resident, Keith Dufour, adding fill on his Highway 22 property.  Mr. Chatellier stated Mr. Dufour had 30 days to resolve the situation after which it will become a legal situation that will be addressed during the December Council meeting.

Ms. Vacante and others spoke very positive about the All Saints Day memorial at the cemetery although it was rainy.  They stated it was a very nice event.  Mayor Pelloat stated that the establishment of the Friends of the Cemetery organization is moving forward.  He also stated that the Halloween Haunted House event at the Town Hall was a tremendous success with over 300 children attending.

Finally, Mayor Pelloat apologized for not recognizing the audience regarding comments on those items including a Council vote and that he doesn’t mind being reminded when audience comments are overlooked.

12. Adjournment

Motion made by Councilman Bouey to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Doran, motion passed with all in favor.


Wayne C. Morlier, Town Clerk