Town of Richwood Minutes

Regular Meeting Minutes
Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:00 P.M.
Members In Attendance
Alderperson Simeon Profit
Alderperson Donald Richar
Alderperson Janice Fleming
Alderperson Leola Keys
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland

The Town of Richwood met for a Regular Meeting held June 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Richwood Multi-Purpose Center, 2710 Martin Luther King Drive, Richwood, Louisiana to consider the following business:
I. Meeting Called to Order by Mayor Gerald Brown at 7:00 p.m.
II. Prayer- was offered by Mayor Gerald Brown
III. Pledge of Allegiance – recited in unison
IV. Roll Call- Mayor Gerald Brown called roll with the following results:
The record shall reflect all 5 Board Members present at time of roll call.
Alderperson Simeon Profit Alderperson Donald Richard Alderperson Janice Fleming Alderperson Leola Keys Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland

V. Adoption of the Agenda-

Mayor Gerald Brown- stated before a motion be received on the adoption of the tonight’s agenda, he would like to ask the Board to consider adding (1) one item to the agenda tonight; upon research Ms. Woods did relating to Ordinance 2017-19, had done concerning Ordinance 2017-19 regarding our Health & Sanitation, we found out somethings needed updating, and we also need to include a fee schedule to the ordinance and would like to submit an amendment to Ordinance 2017-19 and have that listed as Item XIII (13) on tonight’s agenda.

* It was motioned by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard, that the requested amendment to Ordinance 2017-09, Health & Sanitation, be listed on the agenda as Item XIII.

* A vote was taken with the following results:

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes
Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

* The record shall reflect as needed all (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to amend the agenda and add as Item XIII, the Introduction of the Amendment of Ordinance 2017-19 Health & Sanitation.

* It was then requested and motioned by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland that a discussion concerning Southerns Youth Movements be added to the agenda as well. A second was received from Alderperson Donald Richard to add the requested item to the agenda.

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland – stated the reason he was requesting this be added to the agenda is for the last three (3) weeks the kids have been at the center, they have not had lights the kids have been playing up here in the heat and the dark, and they cannot get the lights on because the cable has been cut, and it is a liability to the Town, if we continue to let those kids go in the building and something happen to those kids; and he is saying that we need to work with Mr. Epting, we need to assist him to see about getting these lights and air condition on for these kids, it’s not appropriate., there is money in the Recreation Fund, from our Millage Tax that we all voted on

Alderperson Janice Fleming- inquired if this is something Alderperson Cleveland wanted the Board to discuss?

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated he wanted to take action.

Alderperson Janice Fleming- stated, we have already rented that to him and he was to have all of that taken care of….

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated but we have not received a contract, Mr. Nolan was to get us a contract, and we have not received a contract from Mr. Nolan stating our agreement and what we were to do for these kids.

Attorney Jay Nolan- stated they agreed to give Mr. Epting a (10) ten-year lease, but certain things were to remain under the towns use…

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the present discussion was out of order at this time and that we needed to complete the process to add this item of discussion to the agenda.

* A vote was taken with the following results:

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes
Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

* The record shall reflect as needed all (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to amend the agenda and add Discussion of Southerns Youth Movements as Item # XIV to tonight’s agenda.

* It was then moved by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland to adopt tonight’s agenda with the amendments as specified.

* A vote was taken to adopt June 21, 2018 agenda with the amendments and obtained the following results:

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes
Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

* The record shall reflect as needed all (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to adopt the June 21, 2018 agenda with the amendments specified: (Item # XIII Introduction of Amendments to Ordinance 2017-19, and Item # XIV Discussion of Southerns Youth Movements)

VI. Adoption of May 17, 2018 Minutes

* It was motioned by Alderperson Janice Fleming and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adopt the May 17, 2018 Minutes as presented.

* A vote was taken with the following results:

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes
Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

* The record shall reflect as needed all (5) Alderpersons voted Yes to adopt the May 17, 2018 Minutes as presented.

VII. Financial Report

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised he wanted to clarify the posting procedures on the transaction detail and directed the Board to an exampled referenced item.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the balance in column one (1) shows the allocated amount to the specified item and the secondary transaction shows the draw or payment towards that specified item.

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- thanked the mayor for clarification of the posting system, and commented he had questions as to why the Chiefs salary was showing already being allocated, when they had just voted on it, and the information the Mayor provided cleared up his questions.

* It was then motioned by Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland and seconded by Alderperson Donald Richard to adopt the Financial report as presented.

* A vote was taken to adopt the financial report for the Month of May 2018 as presented with the following results:

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes
Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

* The record shall reflect as needed all (5) Alderpersons voted Yes adopt the month of May 2018 financial report as presented.

VIII. Mayor’s Dialogue:

Mayor Gerald Brown- reminded the Board of the LMA Conference scheduled from July 31, 2018 through August 2, 2018, and if he was not mistaken all those arrangements have been completed.

Mayor Gerald Brown-I reminded the Board throughout the past year or so, he had been advising the Board periodically, that the Town had a scheduled court case in terms of our sewer lift station at RCC, and that we felt we had a case against the City of Monroe, as well as Richwood Correctional Center and we prepared to go to trial on that on June 18th, but part of that litigation has been settled, and part has a stipulation that there is some additional negotiating that we must do.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the Board the brunt of the case is RCC has a lift station in which was built and maintained by the Town of Richwood; but prior to June 18th Richwood had received no funding for that particular lift station, and we had two contentions regarding this matter; the first being someone owed us money to continue to maintain that lift station, and also someone owed us sewer fees, because Richwood Correctional Center is the only sewer customer on that particular line. As a result, on Monday the negotiations of the settlement we came to is we will be in receipt of a $54,000 settlement amount combined from RCC and the City of Monroe, and we are also going into negotiations to recalculate water and sewer rates as it applies to RCC.

Mayor Gerald Brown- stated although Monroe City cleans and processes our sewer, we (the Town of Richwood) is responsible for transferring the sewage from one lift station to another, and it is our belief we should receive revenues from this process.

Alderperson Leola Keys- inquired of the Mayor as to the amount and the source of the pending settlement.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the breakdown of the $ 54,000 amount was $12,000 from the City of Monroe, and $42,000 from RCC.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised they will also be paying 50% percent of our court cost, with Monroe City paying 25% (percent) and Richwood Correctional 25% (percent).

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised of the intended litigation to address RCC in respect to the number of beds.

IX. Public Notice:

Ms. Bettina Woods (Town Clerk) – addressed the forum and advised the public notice was in reference to the millage rate which is going back on the ballot for vote, and per requirements the Public Notice must be read in the public meeting and shown in the minutes.

The following notice information was read: PUBLIC NOTICE OF INTENT TO CALL AN ELECTION

Notice is hereby given in accordance with Section 19.1 of Title 42 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended, that the Board of Aldermen, acting as the governing authority (the “Governing Authority”) of the Town of Richwood, State of Louisiana (the “Town”), at its regularly scheduled meeting August 16, 2018, at its regular meeting place, Town Hall, 2710 Martin Luther King Drive, Richwood, Louisiana, at 7:00 p.m., will discuss and consider adopting a resolution ordering and calling an election to authorize the renewal, continuation and/or modification of an existing property tax of the Town for the purposes of maintaining the police department and operating the recreation facility of the Town, and upon approval by the qualified voters therein, for such tax to be levied thereafter.

Ms. Bettina Woods (Town Clerk)- advised the forum the millage rate being collected for the police & recreation expires this year, so it must be placed back on the ballot for the citizens to vote.

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- inquired if this was for an increase?

Ms. Bettina Woods (Town Clerk) – advised the forum this is not an increase, it would be for a renewal vote, and if this is not voted on this ballot the $75,000 would end.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the Board this item comes up for vote every ten (10) years.

* It was expressed by Mayor Brown and the Town Clerk, Ms. Woods, the vote requested would be for this to be placed on the ballot for the citizens to then vote on the millage renewal.

X. Public Comments (As they relate to Tonight’s Agenda)

** With no comments the agenda proceeded**

XI. Adoption of Ordinance 2018-02: (An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2014-04 and set a yearly salary for the Richwood Police Chief)

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- advised he has no problem with putting the Chief’s salary back at what they voted on in 2012, $36,000, but his issue is he has not received a copy of the audit for 2016/ 2017 and we are going into another fiscal year as of June 30th time for another audit.

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated he has no problem with giving the Chief the $36,000 salary or more , but he would like to see the audit first, before we go ahead and amend something, that really I don’t know what’s going on as far as the audit, that he was lost on that point right now, because he like to see money, and what has been taken care of in 2016/2017, before we say hey we are going to give the Chief another raise and I don’t know what’s going on in 2016/ 2017.

Mayor Gerald Brown- stated he would like to address this systematically.

Mayor Gerald Brown – advised the forum the audit you have not seen it because it is not yet complete. It is currently going through the quality review stage with our auditing firm at this point and should be ready in approximately a week, at that point generally what they do is send the final draft to us, and generally they call in, and I do not have any control over that part of the process, but generally they call in two (2) of you to come in and meet with the rest of us and review the final draft of the final document; once we all review it, it is signed off on .

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised there have been a lot of challenges with this year’s audit, we have had illnesses at all three (3) offices separately, and a lot of scheduling and rule changes, as to what happens this year to audits, if you look out on the Legislative of Auditors site, you will see how many folks are either late or haven’t turned in their audit yet, there has just been a lot of challenges as a result of the new rules and regulations, but we plan to be done in the next few days or so, all of our information have been submitted and everything they need from has been taken place, and everything they need from the CPA/Accounting firm has been submitted to them, and it is just going through what they call a quality review at this point.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised, in terms of monies or funding, that is part of why we submit the financial report to you each month to show you what we are spending, and how that lines up against what we are supposed to spend.

Mayor Gerald Brown- advised the Board that the chief, myself, and the clerk our payment amounts are set up via ordinance, so it is pretty simple to match what the financial report is saying what we are getting paid versus what the ordinance is saying we are supposed to get paid.

Mayor Gerald Brown- inquired if there were any other comments?

** With no additional comments a request for a motion was submitted, with the following results”

* It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to vote on Ordinance 2018-02 (An ordinance Amending Ordinance 2014-04 and set a Yearly Salary for the Richwood Police Chief.

*** An additional Discussion took place after the motion ***

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated he thought they should table it until they get the audit first, if you say it is another week, we can call another meeting, once we get hands on the audit 2016/ 2017 we can go from there and go ahead and increase the Chief’s salary based on the audit. 2016/ 2017 its’ just a week away.

Alderperson Simeon Profit- commented it was already in the budget.

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- inquired, its’ already in the budget?

Mayor Gerald Brown- stated, allow him to correct the prior statement, his salary increase is not in the budget, it would be on the next adopted budget; what was in the previously adopted budget is where he stands today , if you have been looking at your financial reports, you will see the amounts we have been paying, and you will see the amounts we have collected in the General Fund which I believe shows the fact that his raise is substantiated and can be sustained.

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated we will be adopting the budget next month, and he believe they should wait until next month, and amend it into the 2018/ 2019.

Mayor Gerald Brown- stated,” I believe it would be easier if we do this now, and then the budget you would already know what number you are going to stick into the budget, as opposed to approving and adopting a budget, and then going back trying to amend that budget, because you came back and did something different with a salary, that is my opinion.”

Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated he was removing himself from this here, the actual vote.

** The Motion to vote was restated as following***

Alderperson Donald Richard restated his motion and Alderperson Simeon Profit restated his second to vote on Ordinance 2018-02 (An ordinance Amending Ordinance 2014-04 and set a Yearly Salary for the Richwood Police Chief.

A vote was taken with the following results: PASSED

* The record shall reflect (4) Alderpersons voted Yes with (1) Abstain vote to Ordinance 2018-02 (An ordinance Amending Ordinance 2014-04 and set a Yearly Salary for the Richwood Police Chief).

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Abstain

XII. Adoption of Resolution 2018-05 A Resolution Appointing the Monroe Free Press as the Official Journal
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- stated he had only one thing with the Free Press being the journal, and that is the print of the minutes in the Free Press is so tiny you can’t read it.
** It was pointed out and discussed by the Board to print the minutes larger and on more pages would ensue additional cost. **

Mayor Gerald Brown- reminded the forum, if there are any challenges with anyone being able to read this information, the minutes are available for review at the Town Hall Offices and on the Town website but placing the information in the Free Press is to meet our legal requirements of having the information posted and published, and as Ms. Woods likes to point out they are the cheapest.
**A motion was requested with the following result:
* It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Janice Fleming to adopt Resolution 2018-05 (A Resolution Appointing the Monroe Free Press as the Official Journal)

* A vote was taken to adopt of Resolution 2018-05 (A Resolution Appointing the Monroe Free Press as the Official Journal) with the following results: PASSED

* The record shall reflect all (5) Alderpersons voting yes to adopt Resolution 2018-05 (A Resolution Appointing the Monroe Free Press as the Official Journal)

Alderperson Simeon Profit Yes Alderperson Donald Richard Yes Alderperson Janice Fleming Yes Alderperson Leola Keys Yes Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland Yes

XIII. Introduction of Amendments to Ordinance 2017-19 (An ordinance amending Health and Sanitation Chapter 6 of the Code of Ordinances, entitled as Garbage, Trash & Weeds, to Include Section 2, Weeds & Obnoxious Growth, noted as 6-2 through 6-2.2
Mayor Gerald Brown – reminded the Board this is only an introduction of Ordinance 2017-19 which addresses a needed amendment to Ordinance 2017-19 Health and Sanitation, and the changes are to amend the ordinance pertaining to due process, as well as address issues of setting fees, public notices to owner, and failure to comply.
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland – requested clarification of what is considered junk cars. Mayor Gerald Brown- advised this is relative to the condition of the vehicle, as well as if it is a tagged and insured vehicle, with the clarification, just because a car is not running does not declare it to be a junk car.
Alderperson Janice Fleming- reminded the forum that the actions proposed are due to the citizens requesting these actions for the Board to cleanup the Town, and stipulations pertaining to junk cars, are already included in the previous ordinance adopted.
Alderperson Janice Fleming- advised the forum there may be a “catch 22” situation whereas the owner may receive a fine but be able to recoup or benefit from the junk car by selling the junk car to the metal shred company.
** Question pertaining to the Towns code enforcement as dealing with adjudicated property.
It was clarified once a property is adjudicated, it no longer falls under the Town’s code enforcement but rather Ouachita Parish Code Enforcement.
XIV. Discussion of Southerns Youth Movements:
Alderperson Wysinger Cleveland- requested an update be given by Mr. Epting as to the last few weeks as to how his progress has been going pertaining to activities and the lights.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- addressed the forum and advised, Entergy came back out today around 1:00 p.m. and said they should have it on for us by tomorrow, we brought in fans to help keep the kids cool and brought about seven (7) electricians out to look at it and every electrician said the same thing, it would have to be taken care of from the pole.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- advised the water is working just fine, and as far as the cleanliness of the building, he has a crew to keep it clean, he has approximately 22 staff members throughout the summer; as far as the lawn care he takes care of that himself.
Mr. Perroyt Epting- advised this week they were about 30-40 kids short, but he had already been notified by the parents of the different vacation bible schools underway.
Mr. Perroyt Epting – advised he has televisions and other things for the kids but until the electrical issues are resolved he cannot put the items in the building, but after it is resolved he is working with CenturyLink for security.
Mrs. Linda Clark (Staff Member of Southerns Youth Movements) – advised they service about 165 children each day.
Mr. Perroyt Epting – thanked the Board for their help and advised as soon as the electrical he can move forward.
XV. Adjournment:
It was motioned by Alderperson Donald Richard and seconded by Alderperson Simeon Profit to adjourn the meeting @ 7:56 p.m.