Posted: July 21, 2018

Minutes - Regular Town Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 11, 2018




Wednesday, July 11, 2018



Call meeting to order Mayor Pelloat

Roll Call - Wayne C. Morlier, All present except Councilman Bounds

Invocation – Councilman Haddox

Pledge –Councilman Bouey

1.       Approval of June 13, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Motion to approve made by Councilman Bouey, seconded by Councilman Haddox, motion passed with all present in favor.

2.       Approval of June 27, 2018 Public Committee Meeting

Motion to approve made by Councilman Haddox, seconded by Councilman Bouey, motion passed with all present in favor.

3.       Approval of May 2018 Financial Statements

Motion to approve made by Councilman Haddox, seconded by Councilman Bouey, motion passed with all present 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. Roy Baham, 205 St. Mary Street, requested the Town’s assistance in being reimbursed $50,000 for flood damage to his home as agreed to by the prior Town administration. Mr. Danner responded that the case is in litigation with the Town’s insurance company and therefore the Town cannot get involved. There was discussion including Councilman Hitzman asking Mr. Danner to reach out to the Town’s insurance company for a status and Councilman Doran stating that Mr. Baham’s situation will be looked into by the present Town administration and Council.


·         CPEX ( Center for Planning Excellence )

Mayor Pelloat reported that CPEX will perform interviews on Thursday, July 12th and Friday, July 13th with the objective of a master plan for the entire town. Mr. Bill McHugh, St. Tammany Farmer, asked the Mayor if he had an idea of the questions that will be asked.  Mayor Pelloat stated he did not.

·         Ratify Resolution for Recreational Trails Grant

Mayor Pelloat stated that the Resolution for Recreational Trails Grant was passed at the June 27, 2018 Public Committee Meeting.  However, he asked for a motion to ratify the resolution.  Mayor Pelloat reminded everyone that the purpose of the $150,000 grant was to construct a walkway from Madisonville Ridge to Downtown Madisonville. A motion to ratify the resolution was made by Councilman Hitzman, seconded by Councilman Doran, motion passed with all present in favor.

·         Rewrite/Replace Ordinance #105 – Chapter 9, Traffic and Criminal Regulations

Mayor Pelloat asked Mr. Danner to read the rewrite/replace of Ordinance #105 and to explain the changes. Mayor Pelloat asked for a motion to introduce the Rewrite/Replace Ordinance #105. Motion to introduce made by Councilman Bouey, seconded by Councilman Haddox, motion passed with all present in favor. Mayor Pelloat stated that a public hearing will be held on August 8th regarding the changes to Ordinance #105.  


·         Scott Biggers – Cleco

Mr. Biggers discussed Cleco’s plan for storm preparation and safety. He responded to questions from the audience regarding tree limbs growing into electrical lines. Mayor Pelloat thanked Mr. Biggers for his presentation and for always being there for the Town.

·         Donald Stein – Homegrown Fest

Mr. Stein requested approval to hold the annual Homegrown Festival on Sunday, September 2nd. Motion to approve made by Councilman Doran, seconded by Councilman Haddox, motion passed with all present in favor.

·         John Cerniglia – Friends Coastal Restaurant

Mr. Cerniglia made a presentation for renovating Friends Restaurant into condominiums. Mr. Cerniglia stated he would be asking for a variance to the 40 foot ordinance, rezoning of Lot 5 on St. Tammany Street to the same zoning as Friends Restaurant, and property tax abatements for 10 years. Mr. Cerniglia stated that he had presented his ideas to the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission on July 3rd. Mr. Myron Bourg, a P&Z commissioner, was present and was asked to update the Mayor and Council on the Commission’s thoughts. Mr. Bourg stated the position of the P&Z was that the maximum height of any new building would be 40 feet and that the P&Z would need more information before voting on the proposal. Mr. Joe Harmon of PEC asked if the owners of the condos would be allowed to use as vacation rentals. Mr. Cerniglia stated the owners may desire to do so. Mr. Bill McHugh asked how much the project would cost. Mr. Cerniglia responded $5 million for the existing building and $4 million for the second building. There were substantial discussions and questions. Councilman Doran asked Mr. Cerniglia to obtain the additional information requested and to attend the July 25th Public Committee Meeting. Mayor Pelloat requested that Mr. Cerniglia be specific and factual with his requests and what would make the project work for him.

·         Erin Schaumburg – 405 Covington Street (Lot bordering St. Paul, Cedar and Covington streets)

Mrs. Schaumburg, owner of EROS, a clothing and home furnishing store doing between $1 and $2 million annually in business, presented her plan for constructing a 4,300 square foot building at 405 Covington Street. Mayor Pelloat stated that the property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial and has more parking than required. He also stated that the only potential issue is that there are two P&Z documents, one that reflects a maximum building size of 3,000 SF and one that shows a maximum of 5,000 SF.  With that said, Mr. Myron Bourg stated that the P&Z did not see any problem with the building size. All Councilmen present also stated they saw no problem so Mrs. Schaumburg would be safe in purchasing the property.

·         Kathleen Loup – Dendinger House

Ms. Loup was not present so Mayor Pelloat reported that Ms. Loup was interested in purchasing the Dendinger House, living there and turning the main residence into a Bed and Breakfast. Ms. Carol Olsen asked how many bedrooms are in the building. Mayor Pelloat stated nine bedrooms. There was no further discussion or comments.

5.       Monthly Department reports:


Mr. Joe Harmon reported that there are two options for repairing the boat launch. He provided designs for each option and stated that Option 1 would cost more than Option 2; however, the estimated costs of each are not available at this time. He stated that the depth will also need to be determined. He reported that potential grants from the LA Wildlife and Fisheries would require a permit from the Corps of Engineers and that to be more competitive it would be necessary for the Town to put up a higher match percentage. He said that a 35% match would provide 10 points toward grant approval while 30% match would produce 7 points and 20% match would be 5 points. As the overall state available funds is only $6 million, he believes it will take a 35% match to obtain a grant and that there is a minimum match amount of $100,000 no matter what the match percentage. He also stated the last boat launch through the Wildlife and Fisheries Program was $200,000. The application for the grant is due October 1, 2018.

Next, he stated the EPA gave the okay to use restoration grant funds of $45,000 for the sewer lift stations engineering and that the Town Park application for $90,000 from LA Land and Water that was submitted in April 2018 is still in the State’s capital outlay with a response due by October 2018.

Police Department

Chief Tyrney reported 343 traffic tickets in June 2018 as compared to 26 for the same month last calendar year. He stated that 952 tickets were issued from March through June of this calendar year after he took office while 343 were issued for the twelve month period ending February 2018. He then provided accomplishments since he was appointed chief:

Fulltime School Resource Officer selected, updated police uniforms, painted a police unit at no cost to the Town, purchased speed limit radar equipment to be delivered on July 12th, purchased new police vehicle, entered agreement with DA’s office for handling sexual criminal offenses, updated traffic citation fines ordinance that has not been updated for ten years, simplified ticket payment plans, place two officers on a “power shift”, collected fines totaling $64,000 in four months from March 2018 through June 2018 as compared to $38,000 for the twelve months March 2017 through February 2018, and established a full time police clerk position.


Mr. Kyle Matthews reported accomplishments for twelve months ending June 2018:

Purchased matching uniforms for all maintenance and gas employees, added 210 gas customers, coordinated with MJH for use of school grants at the Town Park, purchased 40 crowd control barriers, coordinated Pine Street park improvements, shade shelter by tennis courts, one-quarter mile walking track in Town Park, repaired sewer lines, work with auction company to receive more funds for surplus Town property, began installation of electronic gas system meter readers (80 in Silver Hill and 300 in Town when complete), extensions of Silver Hill, Spring Haven, and CC Road mains, purchased additional Christmas lights and seasonal banners, appointed as LMGA second Vice-President, coordinated grant funds received and grant applications, replaced old meter reading company with local MJM company with improved results, re-striped Town streets, purchased new wind screen nets for sewer station, added 17 more lots in Town in Madison Ridge, working on gas and water mapping in Town, and added sidewalk on Morgan and Eighth Streets.

Permits Department

Mr. Al Courouleau reported June activity; two residential homes, two framing, six electrical inspections and two pool permits.  He stated his goal to assist residents by getting to their work as fast as possible. He also reported he worked with Mrs. Schaumburg on her project.

Town Attorney

Mr. Danner reported he worked the Chief on the new traffic ticket fines, attended Mayor’s Court and recommended change to 6pm, working with LA Attorney General on legality of golf carts, worked on Friends parking using adjacent lot, performed collection work on amounts due the Town, public records requests, and numerous meeting with the Mayor on sundry topics.

At this point Mayor Pelloat asked that the agenda be amended to allow the Town Administration improvements to be provided by the Town Clerk. Motion to amend made by Councilman Hitzman, seconded by Councilman Haddox, motion passed with all present in favor. Mr. Morlier, Town Clerk, reported the following Town Administration improvements:

Changed utility billing process that resulted in approximate annual savings of $35,000, occupational licenses now collected by Recovery Discovery Systems (RDS) resulting in more stringent proof of sales that increased collections by approximately $32,000, RDS now collects Insurance Licenses resulting in better control over policy locations and although revenues decreased by $20,000 improper collections is reduced, increased traffic control has resulted in approximately $28,000 increase in fines for last four months, new building official and permit clerk have improved assessment and collection of permit fees, utility system online bill pay now accepts credit cards along with checking account payments, customer online bank bill payments are converted from hard copy check to electronic payments and are automatically posted to utility system, in dialog with the Parish to improve accuracy of sales tax collections, and streamlining of personnel across all departments has resulted in approximate annual salary savings of $200,000.  

Next, Mayor Pelloat asked that the agenda be amended to allow approval of the Iberia Bank line of credit for emergencies. Motion to amend made by Councilman Hitzman, seconded by Councilman Haddox, motion passed with all in favor. Mayor Pelloat explained the reason for the line of credit and requested a motion to approve extending the line of credit. Motion to extend the line of credit made by Councilman Doran, seconded by Councilman Hitzman, motion passed with all present in favor.  

6.       Comments by Council

Councilman Doran asked about what the Town can do about the safety issue present in Scooters parking lot with the damaged cement poles.  Mr. Danner stated it is on private property and therefore can’t be addressed by the Town.

7.       Mayor’s report to Council

Mayor Pelloat stated that the SBA Communication Cell Tower contract is up for renewal and will be on the July 25th Public Committee Meeting Agenda for discussion. Councilman Doran asked who the competitors are.  Mayor Pelloat stated he is not aware of other competitors other than a company is considering building another tower off of Hwy 22.

8.       Adjournment

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


Wayne C. Morlier, Town Clerk