Posted: December 12, 2017

Minutes - Public Committee Meeting on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Town of Madisonville

403 St. Francis St.

Public Committee Meeting

November 28, 2017

7:00p.m.

CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Jean Pelloat

ROLL CALL – Wayne Morlier All present

PLEDGE – Councilman Hitzman

PARKS AND RECREATION:

Committee Members:  Councilman Tim Bounds

                                     Councilman Chris Hitzman

  1. Update on Pine St Park and Playground

Mayor Pelloat gave the report stating that the parking lot looks good and that the brick fence was complete. The project is a tremendous improvement in parking. Coquille Parks will paint the buildings by the small ball parks and the pavilion by the big ball field. Next, shrubbery will be planted and wire fencing will be installed.  The Mayor stated he has a meeting with Mr. Steve Cefalu, Drama Teacher at Madisonville Jr. High, in regards to a grant the school received from the Brown Family Trust to install park benches and plant trees for a park atmosphere.  The project should be complete within four weeks.

Councilman Hitzman stated that the tennis nets need to be replaced and that he believes the tennis pro at Stone Creek Club can obtain the new nets at cost.  Mayor Pelloat agreed to soliciting estimates.

FINANCE:

Committee Members:   Councilman Chris Hitzman

                                        Mayor Pro Tem Brad Haddox

            No business

OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE:

Committee Members:    Mayor Pro Tem Brad Haddox

                                         Councilman Jim Bouey

  1. Review of Ordinance 147, Chapter 10, Section 10.19 pertaining to permits for new construction and substantial improvements to commercial property.

Mayor Pelloat stated that Councilman Doran was correct in that Ordinance 147 requires the Town Council to approve permits for commercial new construction or substantial improvements to commercial property.  Mayor Pelloat also said that he had a discussion with Mr. Danner who has some ideas.  He then asked what the Council wanted to accomplish.  Councilman Doran stated that he wanted to be more transparent, wanted to include institutional in the existing ordinance and wanted more outreach to those residents most impacted.  Councilman Haddox agreed and asked Mr. Danner if the Council can deny a project if it is in compliance with all the Town’s ordinances. Mr. Danner stated that the Council could not. Councilman Bouey stated Mandeville denied a project.  Mayor Pelloat stated that Mandeville is now being sued for denying the project.  Councilman Haddox agreed that the intent was not to deny projects that comply with the Town’s ordinances.

Mr. Danner then spoke stating that the Council can’t act arbitrarily, picking and choosing the denial of a project although it meets all Town’s ordinances.  Mr. Danner then provided potential language for modifying the existing ordinance such that  all permit applications for commercial and institutional construction would be submitted to Planning and Zoning for consideration and then passed to the Council for approval.  Mayor Pelloat then cautioned that the Council would need to be prepared such that a request is not delayed month after month so that the requestor will obtain an answer. Councilman Haddox agreed and stated that this would again provide for public input.

There was then open discussion during which the following points were made:

. The Town Council is the governing body and has responsibility to make decisions.

. Questionable and controversial requests do not occur often.

. The need for the ordinance change is because presently the permit decision can be made by one Town employee without Council review and approval.

.  Alternatives to prevent delays in making decisions on requests included moving P&Z meetings to after the Council meeting,

. Requiring a decision to be made within 35 days after the request is considered by P&Z, linking the Council decision time to when the P&Z makes a decision, or state that the Council does not have to make the decision within the same month as when the request was considered by the P&Z.

. Residents not being included in a decision is perception and not a reality as adequate notices are posted and open meetings are held.

. Dealing with dated ordinances such as parking requirements would help.

After substantial additional discussion, Mayor Pelloat requested Mr. Danner to again read the proposed ordinance including a decision being required by the Council the month following the P&Z consideration.  Mr. Danner did so and agreed to prepare the ordinance for consideration noting that a Councilman would need to introduce it at the November Council meeting.

          2. Review the scope of work and price submitted by Joseph Furr Design Studio for the Town Of Madisonville

Mayor Pelloat requested that a decision on the Furr proposal and creation of a Master Plan be deferred due to the need to purchase an additional new police vehicle as a result of continued repair costs on older police vehicles.  All agreed.

Mayor Pelloat and Councilman Haddox agreed that this would give time for the Operations and Maintenance committee members to visit with prospective Master Plan vendors.  Mayor Pelloat stated that there is a need to design the four blocks of the riverfront using a professional.

Mayor Pelloat pointed out that the cost of repairing four gas leaks (three in Tchefuncte Estates) is substantial.  Councilman Doran asked if the issue is installation related.  Mayor Pelloat stated that it is not as the Tchefuncte system is very old. He then stated that some comments suggest a ground shift but there is no firm evidence of that.

Councilman Bouey stated that Abita Roasting is being used and advertised as a reception hall when that has not been approved.  It was noted that the coffee house was approved four years ago for a liquor license related to coffee sales.  Mayor Pelloat stated that the business will be closed if just coffee is sold.  Councilman Bouey stated that parking will be an issue if it is allowed to operate as a restaurant.

Councilman Bounds stated that there can’t be enough parking. In response to Councilman Doran’s question about when Abita Roasting asked to be a restaurant, Mayor Pelloat stated that six months ago the business owners requested that it be approved for a restaurant.  Mr. Danner stated that if it fills a need, would not the Town be better or worse to allow the business to be a restaurant.

Councilman Doran asked about the status of plant removal on Rampart Street.  Mayor Pelloat stated a survey made two years ago is being used to mark the location of Town property.

Councilman Bounds asked for an update on the employees burned in the Tchefuncte Estates incident.  Mayor Pelloat stated that three are back at work, one would return on December 4th with the last injured employee returning on December 11th.           

PUBLIC SAFETY:

Committee Members:          Councilman Kevin Doran

                                             Councilman Tim Bounds

Councilman Doran asked about the ad for Police Chief.  Mayor Pelloat stated the ad would be placed in the paper and applications would be reviewed. Presently, six resumes have been received.  Councilman Haddox stated that the Fire Department used a consulting company when it was interviewing for the Fire Chief position.  Mayor Pelloat stated that he would speak with Myron Bourg. 

Public Comment Period:  members of the audience will have three (3) minutes to make a statement or express a concern.  (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).

There were no comments by the audience.

Motion to adjourn made by Councilman Bouey, seconded by Councilman Hitzman, all were in favor.

/s/_______________________

Wayne C. Morlier, Town Clerk