City Council Minutes, May 9, 2017

Monroe City Council Legal and Regular Session
May 09, 2017
6:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers-City Hall
MINUTES
 
There was a legal and regular session of the City Council of the City of Monroe, Louisiana held this date at the Council’s regular meeting place, the Council Chamber, City Hall Building 1st Floor, 400 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe, Louisiana.
 
Council members present:  Ms. Woods, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Ezernack, Mr. Clark, Mr. Echols.
 
Council member (s) absent:  None.
 
Chairman Echols declared a quorum and stated the Invocation/Pledge would be led by Councilman Clarks’ designee, Rev. John Ross.
 
Chairman Echols proceeded by acknowledging the time for special announcements and/or communications.
 
Mrs. Ezernack welcomed each one present and those from District 2 and appreciated their being in attendance.  She acknowledged the passing of Judge Joyce, he is the father of Monroe City Judge, Jeff Joyce and she asked for continued prayers for the family.  She gave thanks to Sean Benton and the water treatment plant employees for kicking off their Water Week in a great way; they have had school children coming in and out of the plant this week and other events planned; she said if you have an opportunity to attend one of his events, she is sure he would welcome you coming by the plant to see what it is all about.  She received a thank you for the employees for working the ball events at Saul Adler and for keeping it in the condition and the great job they did for the event.
 
Ms. Woods welcomed each one present; she acknowledged the graduations being held in the City this week and next week; she acknowledged her special guests Zeta Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. who were present and she extended an invitation to the citizens to attend the Playground Mobilization Day on Saturday, May 20, La. Purchase Gardens and Zoo; three years ago her chapter adopted the Lamyville Magnolia Park and have worked to clean it up on Mobilization Day and will continue to do it and are working with Mr. Bruce Watson; she introduced her chapter local President, Counselor and City Judge for the Town of Lake Providence, Ms. Angela Claxton.  The members of the sorority joined Mr. Joe Clawson, Zoo for a presentation of resin sculptures that the sorority assisted in purchasing them for the zoo; they are life size sculptures and will be available for the children that come to the zoo to climb on.
 
Mr. Wilson asked Chief Holmes to come up and talk about Club Nouveau and the things going on in the area; Chief Holmes gave an update for Club Nouveau located at 109 Catalpa which he said has gotten a number of calls their and he said in being clear, the information is only to provide information to the public and to the Council; he said the Police Department in no shape form or fashion in highest representative doesn’t make recommendations as to who shall or shall not have a business, who should have a liquor license or who should not; he said Councilman Wilson asked him to give a brief summary of how involved the activity is as it pertains to police response; the data provided was for a three year span from January 2014 to February 2017: numbers were ran from different blocks in the area from Frances Tower located on Harrison to Vantage and the data being presented is to 109 Catalpa, the address of the club; in the three year period they responded to that location about 227 times in three years, most of the responses were public relations checks, were the officers patrol the area, logging out checking to make sure that everything is okay and more than half time they are trying to have a presence at the club during that time period; most other things are dealing with warrants, traffic stops, the issues raising the most concern to the downtown community and public is whether it is a shooting or a fight; he said during the time period there were four shootings and one stabbing and there were a number of domestic disturbances estimated at about thirty that took place; he was asked by Councilman Wilson the types of resources that they use when they have to go there at times and there has been many nights that it has taken eight to nine units out of the fifteen that are working to be there sometime between thirty minutes to an hour and a half to clear the lot and make sure everyone leaves the area; he said in the interim yes, they have had reports and complaints of loud noises of talking, music, shouts fired that may not get called to them; citizens may sometimes not call and the six or seven that he mentioned are the ones that he got notified about; he said it takes a while to clear the spot of the area to make sure they keep the downtown area safe, but you do have loud noise, fights; this past weekend there was a shooting on Sunday during a fight outside the club and one person discharged the weapon and a person getting hurt and having to go to the hospital and an arrest was made for the person and the weapon was taken said it did cause concern in that area; he said there have been two, three, four, five weeks in a row where they have not had to send anyone down and they expect the unexpected, some weekends they go fine, no problem, with a large crowd and other weekends some things do occur.  The department monitored the club years past covertly and put up look outs, security cameras assigned to them to monitor the crowd last summer and
 
didn’t find anything at that time and while respect the rights of citizens to have businesses we have to make sure that the right evidence is collected if we are going to make any arrests and during that time didn’t find anything that a case could be made on; they have had officers to go inside and the fire Marshall understands and the fire department has gone inside looking for over crowdedness and the reports received didn’t determine it being over crowded at that time, but there were other things that the fire had to speak to and won’t comment on those because it’s outside his expertise; he said when they went inside they did not see an over crowdedness issue even though there are other issues they know they will have to deal with that takes place inside the club and in summary it depends on the weekend and the event in terms of what happens and the response, it takes little police presence or a lot of police presence; he often gets asked why doesn’t the police department pull the liquor license and why do we let them have a business; this is not the police departments responsibility, it’s their responsibility to inform them of what they do have, give them all the accurate information and decisions rest with others outside the police department.  Mr. Wilson said he asked the Chief for the summary because he had gotten several calls from citizens and some who live at Francis Tower, some of which are present at tonight’s meeting; he is concerned about the safety of the public and the elderly; he asked Chief Holmes, the Mayor and Councilwoman Woods to join them along with Mr. Frank Wilcox for a meeting in Chief Holmes office to go over it in more detail and doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt, enough hurting has gone on for too long; Mr. Wilson asked for continued prayers for the Sellers family, the young man that was shot in Booker T; he received a call for counseling for the kids in that area; he congratulated all graduates from pre-k to college; he reported Ms. Jones is home from the hospital and doing better; he called to check on Ms. Gloria Walker, didn’t get her, but understands she is a little better and is at home recovering; he thanked Ms. Jackie Benjamin for her work on the neighborhood watch program for District 4 and the other districts; he thanked Sgt. Tucker for his assistance for working with us and Chief Holmes for allowing him to do so; he announced a tentative neighborhood meeting for May 30, 5:30p.m. at Berean Baptist Church and will give more information at a later date, Chief Holmes, and other officers including Mayor Mayo are being asked to join in at the meeting.
 
          Mr. Clark welcomed each one present and had no other communications.
 
Mayor Mayo acknowledged David Barnes, Department of Administration Director to retire this Friday after 38 years of service in the City of Monroe and led the department under all of the surpluses and is in the best fiscal  shape in the city’s history regardless of any political rhetoric; there have been eleven straight budget surpluses, improved our bond rating A+ and he would say as well that if it was not for him and his staff as well as other department heads here, and employees that we would not be in the shape that we are in; he thanked him for his service and spoke on behalf of citizens and previous Mayors and want to thank and send him off in a huge way; he announced the appointment of Mrs. Stacey Rowell who be serving in the capacity of Interim Director of Administration and she is the current Director of Accounting and she is very familiar with the budget and works very closely with Mr. Barnes and is looking forward to working with her on the interim basis; he acknowledged the La. Flood Resiliency meeting today at the Civic Center and people that have been a part of it. Some of those in attendance for the meeting were Go Self, Jim Waskom, Pat Forbes who works out of the Governor’s office CDBG, the Director of HUD, Earl Random, and a lot of people throughout the State as well as FEMA, EPA were there; he said the $2 million that he announced that we would be receiving has a mitigation and there have been some concerns expressed about flooding and that is through the efforts of being involved in that and have been able to secure those funds having gone to Alexandria, Lafayette, West Monroe and New Orleans and have worked with them and there is more money on the way and appreciates them being here and having FEMA here was huge; he thanked Jimmie Bryant, former Fire Chief who helped put it on today and it was good; the Mayor’s staff also assisted along with the Engineer, Ms. Golden, Ms. Poret; Mr. Sean Benton our water man is trying to give us a hint and asked him where is the water and it’s on the other side and asked him why didn’t he put it on this side and we used to have a big pitcher and now we have bottled water.
 
Mr. Echols stated there was a Citizen Participation sign in sheet for anyone who wanted to speak at the end of the meeting for anything that wasn’t germane to an issue being discussed on the agenda.  He acknowledged the loss of several citizens this week, specifically in District 1,  including Judge Joyce a great man and good community servant and he did a lot for the area, also, Mr. Frances Genusa, owned Genusa’s Italian Restaurant on Park Avenue for over fifty years, great man and a supporter of a lot throughout our community; also, acknowledged Mr. Tommy Neck, one of the first LSU championship winners, another good man and good family and wish Ms. Susan and family all the best as they go through this difficult time; he recognized those who attended Northern Exposure in Baton Rouge, many citizens, elected officials, volunteers went down to have their voices heard and there was some fun, but a lot of business took place and it was important; he recognized former Councilwoman and State Representative Kay Katz who is present tonight; Mr. Echols acknowledged all Mothers in the audience for Mother’s day and for husbands if present to purchase gifts between now and Saturday.
 
Upon a motion of Mr. Clark and seconded by Mr. Wilson, the minutes of the Legal and Regular session of April 25, 2017 were approved unanimously. (There were no comments from the public).
 
PRESENTATION:       None.
 
PUBLIC HEARINGS:         None.
 
PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS:
 
1.  1600 South 12th Street (D5) (Owners – Cosey Levert and Brown & Sons Realty) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved for property owner to be given 30 days or June 8, 2017, in which to bring the structure into compliance with the code or demolish the structures and clean the lot. (There were no comments from the public).
 
Comments:
 
Code Enforcement Officer Karen Goree stated the condition of the property as being burned and there had not been any communication with the property owner.  There was service through Code Enforcement.
 
2.  612 Morrison Avenue (D4) (Owner – Donald Eugene Redmond) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved for property owner to be given 30 days or June 8, 2017, in which to bring the structure into compliance with the code or demolish the structures and clean the lot. (There were no comments from the public).
 
Comments:
 
Code Enforcement Officer Karen Goree stated the property was a dilapidated trailer, no communication from property owner and there was service through code enforcement; Ms. Summersgill said she wasn’t showing there was service; Mrs. Goree said they did have the green card.
 
3.  1205 North McGuire (D2) (Owner – Adam Michael Miller) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved for property owner to be given 30 days or June 8, 2017, in which to bring the structure into compliance with the code or demolish the structures and clean the lot. (There were no comments from the public).
 
Comments:
 
Code Enforcement Officer Karen Goree stated the property was previously burned several years ago, there was no communication from the property owner and there was service through Code Enforcement. Mrs. Ezernack asked if anyone was present to speak for or against the property.
 
ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS:         Public Comment    None.
 
         RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:
 
Council:
 
(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6945, granting an Exception to the Open Container Ordinance to Chennault Museum (Bulls in the Streets Fundraiser) pursuant to Monroe City Code Sec. 12-231 D. (Open Container Ordinance), and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).
 
Comments:
 
Mr. Echols thanked Mr. Johnson for his presence and their business and organization for facilitating the flying tiger brewing and other efforts done in downtown Monroe; Mr. Wilson also thanked Mr. Johnson for his business and work in downtown Monroe, which is District 4.
 
(b)  Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Clark and Voting YES:  Ezernack, Clark, Wilson, Echols; Voting NO: Woods and motion failed to not add to the Agenda to Adopt a Resolution of support for a College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).
 
Comments:
 
Ms. Woods said she would like to know more about this item and was unaware of it; Mr. Echols stated it was  Resolution in support of the Osteopathic medicine program at ULM so that ULM can send the letter of support in with the packet of letters of support for a new school of medicine on the campus of ULM, creating 400 spots for medical school students; Ms. Woods asked if there had been conversations about this.  The motion to add fell and Mr. Echols said it would be brought back next time.
 
        Department of Administration:
 
 (a) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to consider Application by DG Louisiana dba Dollar General Store #8257, 3146 Louisville Ave., Monroe, LA 71201 for a new 2017 Class B Alcoholic Beverage Permit.  The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been approved.  (Distance Report Cleared, Cert. of Occupy Cleared.) (There were no public comments).
 
(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to consider request to Set Date and Time for a Public Hearing for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to Rhonda Rayford dba R & R Ultimate Chauffer Services, 309 Texas Ave., Monroe LA relative to operate a Limousine Service within the
City of Monroe. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records.  Vehicle will be inspected by the City once the application is approved by the Council. (There were no public comments).
 
Comments:
 
Chairman Echols scheduled the hearing for May 23, 2017, 6: 00 p.m.
 
(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to consider request from the Purchasing Division of the Administration Department for Council approval to advertise for a one hundred eighty (180) day supply contract of Janitorial Paper Products. Funds for these purchases will be derived from the Inventory Account and billed to the divisions according to purchased. (There were no public comments).
 
Department of Planning & Urban Development:
 
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to consider request from House of Judah International, Inc., 4104 Spurgeon Drive for a Major Conditional Use Permit to authorizes the use of this location as a Group/Community Home to allow the applicant to operate a small Group Home to house four (4) children between the ages of 10 and 15 with behavioral health issues in a R-1, Single Family Residential District.
 
Comments:
Mrs. Ezernack asked if this was before the Board of Adjustments last night.
 
Legal Department:
 
(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6946, approving and authorizing a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement by and between the City of Monroe
 
 
and the University of Louisiana at Monroe as per the attached agreement and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).
 
    Mayor’s Office:       Public Comment:    None.
 
Department of Public Works:      Public Comment:    None.
 
Department of Community Affairs:      Public Comment:    None.
 
Police Department:     Public Comment:     None.
 
Fire Department:
 
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6947, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to apply for and accept a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the purchase of fire prevention and education supplies and home carbon monoxide alarms and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).
 
Comments:
 
Mr. Wilson thanked Chief Terry Williams regarding their conversation of Mr. Wilson providing a portion of his salary for carbon monoxide testing and he moved forward to see to it that grant was applied for the supplies and alarms.
          Engineering Services:
 
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6948, accepting the base bid of Womack & Sons Construction Group, Inc. in the amount of $1,349,333.55 and Alternate No. 1 in the amount of $47,402.68, for the Flood Control Improvements to the Rochelle Street, Roselawn Street, & 11th Street area of Monroe State Project No. H.010919 Project, and further authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a contract for said work.  (There were no public comments).
 
(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6949, accepting the base bid of Womack & Sons Construction Group, Inc., in the amount of $261,355.00 and Alternate No. 1 in the amount of $26,079.25 for the Riverside Hiking Trail State Project No. H.010874 Project, and further authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a contract for said work.  (There were no public comments).
 
(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6950, authorizing the Purchasing Manager to advertise for bids for Demolition Services and further providing thereof.  (There were no public comments).
 
(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6951, accepting as substantially complete work done by and between the City of Monroe and Womack & Sons Construction Group, LLC, for the Dru, Ike/Gustave Stormwater System Improvements Project, and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
 
(e) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6952, accepting as substantially complete work done by and between the City of Monroe and Cody Phillips Construction Company, LLC, for the MLU Site Improvements Project, and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
 
(f) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6953, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to execute Change Order No. Eleven (11) to the Wastewater
System Improvements Program Basin MR-04/05/07 (a) 2 Rehabilitation Contract, between the City of Monroe and Don M. Barron Contractor, Inc., for an increase in the contract amount of $19,666.49 and an increase in the contract time of twelve (12) days and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).
 
(g) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6954, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to execute Change Order No. One (1) to the MLU Central Avenue Striping Contract, between the City of Monroe and Highway Graphics, Inc., for a decrease in the contract amount of $5,147.00 and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
 
Comments:
 
Mrs. Ezernack said there was a decrease in the change order and it’s always nice to see; Mr. Echols asked for a general update on the striping project throughout the city; Mr. Holland stated this project was Central Avenue project near the airport and the other two are phase one, Kansas Lane, No. 19th, 18th Street overpass and portion of Tower Drive. The project is ninety percent complete, and phase two will be kicking off within next two weeks and consists of a hosts of streets, more than a dozen.
 
(h) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6955, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute a Professional Services Agreement with S.E. Huey Company, to provide Engineering & Inspection Services of the CHAS Building and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no public comments).
 
          INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:
 
     Add-On
 
(a)  Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to add to the agenda to Introduce an Ordinance accepting the donation of real property into the City of Monroe by CenturyTel Service Group, LLC A 0.009 acre tract of land and further providing with respect thereto. (Eng.)  (There were no public comments).
 
(a)  Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance accepting the donation of real property into the City of Monroe by CenturyTel Service Group, LLC A 0.009 acre tract of land and further providing with respect thereto. (Eng.)  (There were no public comments).
 
(b)  Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to add to the agenda to Introduce an Ordinance accepting the donation of real property into the City of Monroe by Century Tower, LLC of a 2.492 acre tract of land for the limited purpose of constructing a water main and further providing with respect thereto. (Eng.) (There were no public comments).
 
Comments:
 
Mr. Echols stated this item was part of the Century Link extension project in North Monroe and accepting some property so that we can work on water lines and other infrastructure related projects.
 
(b)  Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mr. Clark and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance accepting the donation of real property into the City of Monroe by Century Tower, LLC of a 2.492 acre tract of land for the limited purpose of constructing a water main and further providing with respect thereto. (Eng.) (There were no public comments).
 
      RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION
     SUBJECT TO PUBLIC HEARING:
 
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Finally adopt  Ordinance No. 11,768, authorizing the City of Monroe to take Corporeal Possession of the property described below and sell to Roger D. and Martha W. Cloman, all rights, title and interest that the City may have acquired
 
to Lot 15, Sq. 13, Morningside Addition, Subdivision of Masonic Plantation, Ouachita Parish, District 2, Monroe, La, by adjudication at Tax Sale dated July 17, 1995, and further with respect thereto. (Legal)
 
Chairman Echols opened the public hearing and seeing no one come forward, the hearing was closed.
 
(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Finally adopt  Ordinance No. 11,769, authorizing the City of Monroe to take Corporeal Possession of the property described
below and sell to Latoya M. Wilson all rights, title and interest that the City may have acquired to Lots 10 & 11, Block 53, Unit No. 2, Booker T. Washington Addition, Ouachita Parish, Powell Ave., District 3, Monroe, La, by adjudication at Tax Sale dated July 1, 2010, and further with respect thereto. (Legal)
 
Chairman Echols opened the public hearing and seeing no one come forward, the hearing was closed.
 
(c) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to Finally adopt  Ordinance No. 11,770, authorizing the City of Monroe to take Corporeal Possession of the property described below and sell to Roy L. McDaniel, III, all rights, title and interest that the City may have acquired to Lot 14, Block 85, Ouachita Cotton Mills Second Addition, Ouachita Parish, 1609 Mississippi St., District 4, Monroe, La, by adjudication at Tax Sale dated July 31, 2003, and further with respect thereto. (Legal)
 
Chairman Echols opened the public hearing and seeing no one come forward, the hearing was closed.
 
(d) Upon a motion by Ms. Woods, second by Mr. Wilson; Voting YES:  Woods, Wilson, Ezernack, Voting NO: Clark, Echols and approved to Finally adopt  Ordinance No. 11,771, authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into an agreement with M3A Architecture, PLLC for limited services on the new arena in the City of Monroe and further providing with respect thereto. (Mayor)
 
Chairman Echols opened the public hearing and stated each one would be given up to three minutes, and those appearing were:
 
1.  Mrs. Kay Katz, stated she wanted to ask questions regarding the contract being voted upon tonight; (1)  What has changed in the City of Monroe since the completion of the feasibility study in 2013; have we gained in population, have we gained in personal income. (2) The new study should be an updating of the 2013 study which cost $95,000 and this one will cost $800,000 and why are we not employing local firms, ULM or Tech or
Grambling; nothing against the firm chosen and am sure they are credible people. (3) Are not the capital costs anticipated prohibitive in a town the size of Monroe, if property taxes were to be used to support the financing of this project taxes would have to be raised significantly on everyone and do not forget, just because you don’t own property and if you are living in an  apartment, if those property taxes go up they are passed to everyone. (4)  It is my understanding that there are no arenas that earn enough money to pay operating costs and I know that we spend in this arena in Monroe approximately $500,000 per year to offset the operating costs and no arena pays for themselves, but looking to the future what dollar amount would have to be allocated out of the city budget to cover the loss of another bigger arena and that’s not even talking about defraying the costs of building it and how we would have to pay back the money. (5) What alternative uses can the money, $800,000 tonight and millions in the future if it is passed, be dedicated to other areas that are necessary, crime prevention, flooding fire and police, water improvements, streets, the list is long and when you are spending this money, be careful, it’s the people’s money. (6) No architect should be hired to design a facility until market research shows that it is feasible. (7) Has consideration been given to improving the existing arena, surely that cost would be below building a new facility; she said she would appreciate Council members and respectfully ask that you would consider this vote and vote no on this contract at this time, thank you very much.
 
2.  Mr. Pat R. Hezekiah, stated he was present because he wanted Council to vote no for a lot of reasons and Mrs. Kay just said a lot of them; (2) he asked how would we pay for it, we have $800,000  and knows that District 4, 5, and 3 need and still have flood victims and where will they go; I have talked with each one of you and you make the decision and want you to know that we stay in the US, a free world and it’s not a dictatorship, and is not against no one and hates no one; I put in three weeks to one month to talk with the Mayor and never got a chance to get with him and feels like I should have been able to meet him and talk with him, but for whatever reason didn’t get to do that and isn’t made with him; here today to say that we have all the people still homeless and how will we pay for the arena, my kids and grandkids, that’s if the arena will still be here; what will you do with $800,000 besides taking chicken backs and neck bones to the Southside, let’s get the people to
 
work and get some things that they need; we say flood money is coming in, what can you do with $2 million dollars, will you put it on the Southside or where will you put it, it doesn’t matter it is time for the council to stick to together and talk with Ms. Woods and talked with everybody, it’s up to you all to go along with it or put an end to it and suggests Council to say no. (Inaudible) Stand up for what’s right and you work for the people, not for friendship, not for what I can do for you, money will go.  $800,000 is a lot of money; Get Jesus in your life and you will understand.
 
Mr. Echols stated the microphone projects pretty strongly and as people come up to consider your tone and keep it down a little bit and we will try to adjust the sound.
 
3.  Mr. Tyrone Dickens, citizen, stated, if everyone took the energy to turn something down instead of sticking together then we would have something in Monroe and we have too much energy and want to shoot thorns and bow and arrows every time the Mayor or either the Council brings something up, it is always a disagreement.  We worried about what happened in 1966 and back then you didn’t need that type of money; you can’t do no job for free.  If everybody let the Mayor be Mayor and run the town, then everything will be alright; take into consideration that you tried to get the Golden Corral, and it was the Mayor idea, and the Council shot it down, and pull all these people in here to shut stuff down; it’s time to stop bucking everything he do with the arena or something else the town will still live like it’s in the 60’s.
 
4.  Mr. Carrick Inabnett, citizen, spoke on behalf of CenturyLink that they do support going forward with the financial analysis and would be interested to see the outcome of that and determine at that time if the arena is feasible and do support the Ordinance on the agenda tonight.
 
5.  Mr. William Cookston, citizen, stated he was present two weeks ago and there was a lot of discussion about where the funding are coming from and the percentages of fees being paid to the consultants who don’t have a presences in Monroe or Louisiana; hasn’t heard a resolution to those questions and urged the council to table the issue or vote no until more concrete information is received about funding sources and the amount of money being paid and it is not $800,000 it is more; if the consultants were working for the state of Louisiana, facility planning control there fee would be to architectural engineering consultants would be 6.24; Mr. Echols stated 6.2306%.
 
6.  Mr. Gene Tarver, urged Council to support the Ordinance and move the project forward; he stated that he watched the playback of the last Council meeting and listened to the discussion, team, presentation, Council members questions and became convinced this is a good group you are maybe going to engage; qualifications have been read, met them before the meeting and this project needs a team and the Mayor is a big fan of teams; as far as out of town people, you want to engage and hire people in town, but you want the best qualified people; goes all the way back with knowing Alan Coon, Mayor and they all brought something to the table and Jack Howard had a vision, the Civic Center and it has lasted a long time, commend him; he stated that he knew Ralph Troy and he asked him to serve as advisory on developing the Home Rule Charter form of Government; worked with Bob Powell and for sixteen years sat on the Council while he was Mayor and we fought many times, but when he brought something to the table the City needed, I was with him and Charles Johnson who opposed him a lot, he did some things that were transformational and he pursued the creation of the economic development district that we have, I-20 and Tower Armand and supported him, it originated in Ruston; the Council Clerk’s timed buzzer went off and Mr. Echols said he would give him more seconds and Mr. Tarver said he wasn’t a big fan of three minutes; Mr. Echols asked him if it was his rule and he also recognized him as former Councilman; Mr. Tarver said he worked for three Mayors, Pierce, Rambin and the present Mayor and they all brought something to the table and it was good and do support this because he has confidence and faith in our City and this man, and the book of James says faith without deed is dead and this is a good deed for the City and it will live well past him and some of you; it is an investment and people are investing in Monroe, downtown and the company Mr. Echols works with is investing in downtown, IBM, Millhaven Road is breaking ground to build a packaging company and let’s invest in this for the people of Monroe, this parish in 500,000 market area and it is not just the city of Monroe, it will be a magnet and within the past week the Mayor worked to refinance the bond in Baton Rouge for the airport at a savings of over 4.5 million dollars in cash flow and two to three million dollars in savings, so the Mayor is not going to waste our money; he quoted keynote speaker at the MLK event two years ago, the theme was it’s always the right time to do the right thing and this is the right time to do the right thing.
 
7.  Ms. Gladys Smith, a Monroe business owner, stated that she has been in real estate for over thirty one years and said she do know it takes making an investment to improve things and as Chairman of SEDD board trying to improve South Monroe, she asked the Council to vote for it and we need it and if we build the arena, they will come because if we don’t build it someone will build it and we will miss out.
 
8.  Mr. Robert Clark, stated he was present for one reason and that is to support the initiative; several years ago Monroe was major hub because had the best entertainment, lodging, restaurants and somehow over the years it was lost; respectfully disagrees with Mrs. Katz and am a part time promoter, real estate broker by nature; Jackson Coliseum and Shreveport complexes are making serious money and thirty five percent of the people are from the area and that’s tax revenue being lost; has served on every Board imagined in Monroe, and one thing common on all the Boards is economic development and it generates jobs, tax revenue, sales tax; this has to be the biggest economic initiative since Century Link or Guide and as a business man you have to spend money to make money; the $800,000 is coming from the surplus of other projects and we don’t have to spend the money for that and that’s money well spent and urge the Council to consider it and to do it for the future of Monroe; get area people back to eating in our restaurants, lodging in our hotels, and entertainment in our new complex.
 
9.  Mr. Donald Johnson, stated when the Mayor ran that he had a 60 for 60 point goal and asked that he and Council would reflect that the arena and the $800,000 are more important than the items that have yet to be fulfilled; all for economic development but need to do it responsibly and makes sense; asked how many things could be done on the list with the money and have a great impact with the quality of life, safety, recovery, etc.; he said he is all for entertainment, but priorities should be first.
 
10.  Mr. Brian Shandland, citizen and owner of a security company in Louisiana; he commented people spend thousands of dollars protecting what they have and they trust him with their lives in the area of security; voted in support of the arena.
 
11.  Mr. Charles Theus, citizen, stated when the new Council came in, he spoke and pledged his support because of the integrity and honesty envisioned by this Council and the Administration and he had been opposed to some things in the past, but all pledged to work together; we did this because this group had not had any spot or blemish, you look at Eddie Clark, and you are looking at integrity, smart guy and the same with Juanita, said he told someone yesterday that he wasn’t with her when she ran, but she is a breath of fresh air, and she is what the doctor ordered; Kenneth Wilson has been a lion for a lot of things and Mrs. Gretchen just wants to be the best Council member that she can be and do the things that are best for the City, may not agree with her, but she has always placed the City first; he said he came in on the last end when you guys had KKK up here telling you don’t vote for this and out of respect, that’s what a person is supposed to do when they disagree and everyone has that right, but we also have a right to encourage you to go forward because it will create a special district and new tax revenue, and it will be paid for by taxes and income that is generated within a special district that will make Monroe the place to go, it’s like having Pecanland Mall all over again; his Chairman said she supports it and as Executive Director of Southside Economic Development and it takes faith in the Administration who has always had the City’s image and it’s financial responsibilities first and let’s get the study; what is the cost for progress, let’s vote for this thing and it will be like the airport.
 
12.  Mr. Earl Davis, citizen,  stated that whether what at he says here will make any difference, is not really sure, but voicing your opinion has its merits; observed the Mayor since being back from Atlanta after twenty years and while there watch people take it from a place of old horse town to booming metropolis and was a part of it; looking at this Council as they work hard to make things work and the oppositions and challenges they have and at times dealing with some elements of ignorance, and ignorance is a form of darkness, it needs light; he thanked the Mayor for surplus, balanced budget and proven leadership; asked to find the common ground to make sure we give the people the best and agree with the move of the new arena and it will be a blessing and a benefit to the City.
 
13.  Mr. Ron Scott, stated he was present couple of weeks ago, reiterated the faith that the city leadership and council have and said this is the right mechanism that our city needs; his faith is lacking in the area of the people who have been chosen to move this forward at a premium price for a premium product; an arena in Monroe under proper management would be a good thing and haven’t seen in researching M3A is an ability to bring us anywhere past the beginning of the 21st century and understands they are great at building schools, but it comes to almost zero on their resume when it comes to sustainability energy project, things that are better for the environment that will cost the taxpayers less past the initial investment, these are the things looked for
 
moving past 2017, 2020 and not just into the 21st century and for the record, I do support the economic development efforts and the idea behind the arena and cannot get behind paying the stated negotiable premium which is one of the biggest faith killers, in going for the biggest buck first, but it is first up for negotiation if you vote it down the first time and it questions the value of the products and services that the city, taxpayers will receive and I also asked the University if they had been approached and they said no; it brings in a lot morequestions as to why we are choosing this firm for this project that so many people do support and those questions have still not been answered.
 
Mr. Echols asked those who spoke already, and who signed the citizen participation sheet if they wanted to speak at the end of the meeting on any other topic; if not then they would be crossed off of the list; since there
was traffic getting to the meeting will allow those who didn’t sign the list and want to speak to do so at the end of the meeting.
 
Mrs. Ezernack asked if the team would be allowed to come and address the issues tonight; Mr. Echols said he would put it up to the pleasure of the Council members; Mrs. Ezernack requested that they would come up and the concerns voiced tonight could maybe be addressed by the proper people on the team; Mr. Echols asked if a representative from the team could come and speak for a few minutes on one or two of the issues that have been discussed tonight.
 
14.  Mr. McElroy, commented he was glad to be back as Council deliberates on the transformative project for the region; he congratulated Wossman High School track meet for second place in Baton Rouge; the previous studies conveys that the project can produce millions of economic dollars and the study five years ago said the study was a valid approach that shows there is space in the market place, a void to deliver and compete for the kinds of business these large entertainment districts create; have worked in Monroe for a very long time started back in the early 1980’s with Robert Powell doing 84 house remediations through HUD and  got the residents $12,500 each to make their homes decent and have always enjoyed the working relationship with Monroe;  being from Monroe, have a team that is extrinsic from Monroe, but they have taken to heart Monroe’s prospects, and potential has grown in their eyes; since the individuals didn’t have an opportunity to speak would like for Greg Garfield with Garfield Public Private to talk about the approach, vision and the merits of the project.
 
15.  Greg Garfield, commented his company Garfield Public Private has developed public/private developments for the last twenty years and most have been a downtown redevelopment, revitalization project intended to be a catalyst for further private sector investment in the vicinity of the project; he shared the economic impact of the Durham performing arts center, which has been accessed with an impact of over $500 million dollars over $60 million a year; he would be happy to provide references of other city’s including the Mayors and City Council people where they have done developments and I have great confidence in our team members and they have
high qualifications and have known William for years and have great confidence in his company and his foresight to reach out to other design partners with expertise in sports and entertainment venues; have provided details of the business plan and the scope of services and includes the design work, development budget informed by the design, work product, it includes an update of the market research and operating proforma and won’t be a generalized market study but will be based on interviews with key stake holders and user groups, potential sports tenants and other tenants, potential concert promoters, family show promoters, athletic events and tournaments that might use the venue; want to talk with area colleges and universities to see if can bring them in, and will look for all the partners that can bring into the project and all of the revenue sources, private revenue sources that can identify to help mitigate the amount that the city has to invest in the project; property tax rates were mentioned in order to pay for the project and have consulted on projects and have developed and not one of the projects that have developed and been involved in structure and financing has relied on general obligation bond financing or has required an increase in property tax rates and are looking for other streams of revenue and are looking at capturing increments of tax financing, hotel occupancy tax, food and beverage taxes, tax increment financing and various other sources and have a couple other dozen, twenty, thirty potential sources that can look at for the project; for the city portion of this is and after talking to all corporate potential sponsors in the community, purchase naming rights or make contributions, getting introductions to local foundations that might participate in project, and it may be in connection with a college or university linked programming at the venue, looking to see if there are other tenants that can generate license agreement income, rental income for the project and working with the city to see what sources of revenue can come up with and what structure of ownership, funding and financing and instruments that can be used to finance the project.
 
16.  Mr. Sims Hinds commented that he spent 43 years in the event and venue business; spoke about changes in the arena business and that the Civic Center when it was built wasn’t built as a profit center on its own; built as a  public amenity to bring events to the city that wouldn’t come otherwise, it was a quality of life issue; back then most of the buildings didn’t make money, this has changed in the last ten years; arenas use to sit by themselves in big parking lots and were not an integral part of the community; every project worked on in the last ten years is not a stand-alone venue, whether a ballpark, football stadium, arena, performing arts center,
convention center, they have become catalyst projects now; city’s realize the value for economic development and quality of life that an arena or event center can mean for downtown area if it’s planned properly, it can create hotels, places for people to live, work, eat, and gives people who grow up in Monroe a reason to stay in Monroe after they go away to college and come back; gives an attraction for employees who may be moving from a company in Denver to Monroe which is a real problem that Century Link is facing right now and it gives them a reason to want to come and enjoy Monroe and live here because there are things to do; most importantly the economics of these venues have changed completely; the days are gone when an arena is built by themselves, it’s a true public private partnership, it may be 10,12, 15, 20  different entities that are involved in making sure the best possible venue is developed, one designed and created specifically for you; in reference to Councilman Clark talking about Bossier City, part of the study will be to come back to you with recommendations on the best way to manage your building and have some of the key management companies and business as part of the research; will be talking to live nation, ag live, beaver productions, new Orleans jazz festival and other promoters so that you are on their map for programming and marketing when the venue opens up in a few years; these are all responsible things that give you credible way of developing the venue it spreads the risk out across a variety of sectors and delivers a fully functional profitable operating venue when finished and look forward to if approved is to get with all community partners giving specifics as to how it can be achieved and the news given by Carrick from Century Link is phenomenal and an endorsement from them in taking the project forward is the biggest endorsement that can get and look forward to sitting with their leadership in planning out what Century link wants to do for downtown Monroe in conjunction with the new arena; look forward to sitting down with ULM, Tech and Grambling and they are all potential partners being brought to the table and will do the job and more than earn their money and give you something that Monroe can be proud of going forward. He introduced Mike Woolen, friend of his worked together for 30 years and he will talk about success stories that Odell have had including large number of lead certified venues that they have designed on a daily basis.
 
17.  Mr. Mike Woolen, commented on his having forty years in the business; key points included primary purpose of their engagement is to figure out what need to be done to make the project right for Monroe in terms of venue size, seating, amenities, created revenues both public and private, financially viable project, best site to create the best economic impact for community, financially and environmentally sustainable project, will also look at the types of events in addition to traditional events, such as indoor amateur sports bring people from all over southeast and they stay in hotels and eat at restaurants over weekend, will be looking at potential to have hospitality space that supports the arena but can be used for meeting facilities during non-event times so that adding to the inventory meeting and conference facilities for the community; will be looking at ways to leverage it to create more of an arena district; looking at financial opportunities; the delivery method is a public private partnership initiative and it’s very comprehensive and it is a lot about developing a business plan, site selection, developing arena district plan; three goals for the project that can define the success of the project are: to find ways to optimize the project to leverage private investment, always difficult projects to finance and looking out to the business community and naming partners other corporate sponsors, development partners, premium seat holders to drive private revenue and the more of this created the less of the burden it is on the public side to fund the project; second, looking at ways the arena can be leveraged to drive a lot of economic impact to create the arena district where you can shop, dine, stay in hotel, live and work in the area and walk down the street and go to an event at night and go to a restaurant before or after to the event, a much larger arena district and the projects become economic catalyst and creating it through an inventory of existing building that can be repurposed or renovated but also new structures; ways to increase the tax base for the downtown or the vicinity for the arena; the third goal is for it to be a net positive project meaning all the revenue the project brings in, both in terms of revenues coming in to support the arena in terms of private investment, ticketing, parking, food and beverage, but also revenues coming in through the district and these are revenues that result from sales taxes and property taxes and other benefits that are intangible such as quality of life issues; in looking at all the benefits we believe it should and will far outweigh the cost if you look at cost of debt service, operating costs, it’s important not to look at the arena itself but the total impact of the project and believe based on other projects that done this will be a net positive financial impact to the community; want it to be a financial boost for the community, enhancing the quality of life; part of the analysis will be and if move
 
forward with the project, don’t want to recommend building a new facility and you just ignore the existing facility, it is a  part of the engagement would be to look at how the existing building, arena can be used, repurposed and won’t get into what that might be tonight that’s a part of the next exercise, but already have some ideas how that building can fulfill other purposes within the community and continue to support the overall downtown and civic center district.
 
Mr. Echols thanked them for the commentary and information.  He closed the public portion of the conversation and the time for Council to comment before the vote.
 
Mrs. Ezernack thanked them again for the time given to Council and the questions answered and materials provided have made the project become clearer in the last several weeks and the first feasibility study.
 
Ms. Woods thanked each one for coming out and it was something on the minds of everyone; she thanked those for voicing their opinions and thanked M3A team and countless hours they put into it for the information provided to understand what the project is all about.
 
Mr. Wilson echoed what his colleagues said; he got calls from his district from inside and outside and most of the calls referenced the Georgia Street pump station, flooding, and money not being allocated for the project; he met with them and told them all the funds had been allocated for Georgia Street and wants them to know that we are buying right a ways and all funds have be allocated; he spoke with the Mayor today and more dollars have been added, over four million dollars to cover Georgia, Mississippi Street, also Louis Locke, Breece Circle, those areas going south and thinks this has been done; these are two different projects and the drive for the new arena and entertainment and in talking to some of the citizens, please get on board, as this is the second phase and another phase to go and I would not put a burden on the tax payers and wouldn’t do it; tonight with the $800,000 going forward, the money that is being spent is money that have been saved from other projects, surplus money and we still have money left over, a half million dollars.  He thanked M3 for all the meetings, phone conferences and the local people involved including Cedric Hemphill, Herbert Land Architect and other attorneys that will be working with the firm, thank Ms. Golden and staff.
 
Mr. Clark said he has thanked them over a hundred times on the phone and he thanked them again.
 
Mayor Mayo said one of the things being mentioned about local firms and haven’t’ talked a lot about that, Land 3, Denmon, Ronnie Hastings and local legal services and all of those local folks will be involved in this project and wanted to emphasize that.
 
Before casting her vote, Mrs. Ezernack stated she was involved in the original feasibility study like several on the Council several years ago and was disappointed at that time that we were not able to move forward; as a Council member have been involved in meetings and conference calls with this development team and had my questions answered; during the process have gained a greater understanding of the scope and focus of the phase two development tasks that will be explored and come to recognize this development as an economic development catalyst for our community’s future and we must explore and create projects for future growth, quality of life projects that allow us to compete on a level playing field for new businesses and industries considering expansion into our market, also to retain those wonderful businesses and industries that we have in our market today, therefore I am casting my vote in favor of this Ordinance.
 
Before casting his vote, Mr. Wilson stated, as one of the greatest presidents ever said, let’s move forward, I.
 
(e) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to Finally adopt  Ordinance No. 11,772, declaring certain immovable property in the Monroe Air Industrial Park as Not being needed for public use and authorizing the same to be sold at private sale to SCM, LLC, pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute 33:4712 and further providing with respect thereto. (Legal)
 
Chairman Echols opened the public hearing and seeing no one come forward, the hearing was closed.
 
Mr. Clark left the Council meeting at 8:10 p.m., after vote for the agenda item (e) was taken.
 
            CITIZENS PARTICIPATION:
 
1.  Mr. John Lollie, citizen, stated on behalf of District 1 and 3 who will benefit from the final actions tonight on the Rochelle Street pump station, as some of you know, the Council before and Mayor, it has been four years getting this finally adopted, but there are a few people, want to give credit to, Randy Denmon for his foresight and tenacity to see this project to get to where we are tonight and the Mayor and your Administration and to this Council and the preceding Council who started the initialization of it, thank you and hope this is the first flood control project in our city that will relieve our city of the flooding.
 
2.  Mr. Muhammad Tejani, citizen, owner of Club Nouveau, thanked Chief Holmes for giving the real statistics of the club; he understands every part of town has problems, we have shootings on the west, east sides, shooting at the Civic Center and we didn’t close it down, shootings at Frances Towers and did not close it down; he said the shootings outside Nouveau were not on the Nouveau property, the addresses are one to two blocks away and unfortunately anytime there is an incident, it is always related to a club; there is a club around the corner from Nouveau, the Brass Monkey, they had an incident two weeks ago, there was a fight and nobody was there to have comments from them and appreciate the Chief for giving real statistics; also ask yourself why do people want Nouveau to be closed down, who benefits the most and when you research what is really going on behind the scenes, you will know some people have the power, they have the money, but unfortunately they don’t want to spend the money because they want to get a bargain, there are no bargains in downtown Monroe, if Club Nouveau goes so do the black people in downtown Monroe go, that’s the bottom line and it is basically a financial holocaust.
 
3.  Mr. Tyrone Dickens, citizen, said he didn’t get acknowledged, but he is one of the guys, a convicted felon, a community activist, who went to Northern Exposure and went down with the elected officials and is not a big time official; he said it was a great experience for him to learn and network; he had the privilege to go to Angola, with Mr. Steven Tew and glad he gave him the privilege because it made sense with the meeting and God do things for a reason, now instead of worrying about shutting everything down; talked with the Chief, that Chief over there, Chief Williams, Chief Holmes, anything that go on at Nouveau, make sure, I don’t own the club, but I address them and ask, what happen; it was a drive by shooting, let’s address this, there are Marshals outside, if the Marshal wasn’t outside he would not have arrested the guy; you have a shooting at the Now Save someone got killed and they didn’t shut that Now Save down, there was one at Valero, they didn’t shut it down and my cousin got shot at the Monroe Civic Center, you know what the Mayor, Chief did, they did a thorough investigation and they got each and every one of them and put them in jail; instead of trying to shut everything down, we should communicate with the Chief and let’s stop them, the problems we are having, kids are raising kids, kids want to be the parents friends and they have no discipline and the youngsters are the ones doing the shooting, there were four shootings over the weekend, one was killed, there was a standoff and it wasn’t by Nouveau, it was somewhere else; wherever someone meet at, I am not going to use any of the Council because it would look like it’s a threat, but if I see one of the guys I get into it with and if I meet and I want to come to the Councilman, guess where I am going to fight at, at the Council; these generations have no respect for nobody, not even them self and this is what we need to focus on, how can we stop them from hurting each other, you will have more drive-bys, we could be in here right now and guess what’s going to happen, you will get a phone call and Chief get a call and step outside, it has just been a drive by shooting, it’s everywhere.
 
4.  Mr. Ron Scott, citizen, stated he wished Councilman Clark was here for this part, but now coming back four weeks after the last time urging and with his small network, there are concerns of safety, club downtown and
transportation and now that we are moving forward with this great economic driver, we have been begging you along with hundreds of people that signed the petition to put forth an Ordinance that the Mayor can review and accept so that we can allow rideshare companies to operate within our City for the safety of the citizens and convenience to give economic driver, the $800,000 the next $90 million to give that the best chance to work; now that this project out, now coming back four weeks later to ask that somebody step up and this is proven technology and has done well across the country, world to put forth an Ordinance that has been vetted, reviewed and voted upon.
 
5.  Mr. Jason Thomas, citizens, a resident of downtown Monroe and a developer, stated he and his wife have a substantial investment in downtown Monroe; he asked the City to take into account the people that are spending money in downtown Monroe, and making an investment in our City; he said he moved away for twenty years and came back and fell in love with the City again, the investment and the fore sight to do something has been
 
in the downtown area and everything that done in building 75 condominiums in downtown Monroe and want to bring people downtown and want to be a part of the growth and development with this happening, but also want it to be a place that people want to be and they feel good about, feel safe when they come down; he said there is a stigma that has been in this City for a long about the safety of Downtown Monroe, but ask that the City don’t lose sight of it, that is a problem, and we want people from all over the city to come down and enjoy what is offered; as far as safety, and other business and what they do and how they do it, and the problems that they cause, please keep that in your consideration when you think about what you are doing for the people of the city, there is just a handful of people here tonight just to voice their opinion about what is going on, but there are tens of thousands of people in this city that voted you all into the positions that you all are in that are not here to voice their opinions, think about those people, they have an interest in what is going on here as well and
for whatever reason they can’t be here, they have a voice and need to be heard, they also need to be considered; when it comes to spending money in this City, there is no man in this room that love to see a downtown arena any more than me and I have invested a lot of money and time in downtown and thinks that it is wonderful, would be a great thing, but we need to be fiscally responsible, we need our  government to spend their money
and do the things they do just like I have to do; If I can go borrow $800,000 at the bank, it doesn’t mean I need to do it, I need to make sure I am accountable and can pay that money back, we ask you all to do the same thing for us.  I love your vision and it’s a great thing in the city to have someone push the agenda, keep us in the consideration of decisions that are made. There are a lot of taxes that we have to pay already, 10.99% sales tax and every time I buy something it shocks me the amount of sales tax I have to pay in the city, it’s astronomical, so just don’t put this on the backs of the citizens, whatever happens with the arena and if it works out, think that’s great, but just don’t put it on the backs of the citizens, there aren’t people here to voice their opinions and remember they are important too.
 
6.  Ms. Betty Brown, citizen, lives at Frances Tower, stated we are very concerned about the Club Nouveau and the shooting that goes on there; he may say it was in the club, but I was told they arrested a man with a 9 mm gun in the club with a full clip, now he wasn’t going to run out of bullets; he wants to make it a race issue, it is not a race issue and I live with mixed groups, we live with Black and White, Black people don’t want to get shot, and White people don’t want to get shot where we live, so that’s why I’m here.  I bought some with me and we are concerned about every time they open, shots are fired downtown and who knows where they are going to end up; we live in an eleven story building and you never know where a bullet is going to wind up and he can say whatever he wants to about the shots being fired, but we hear it, the noise have leveled off a little bit, but they still have noise issues with the group that comes down; that’s why I’m here to see if there is something that can be done about it.
 
7.  Mrs. McElroy, thanked the Mayor and each Council member for their support and look forward to working with each of you as well as the constituents and others in the community for the successful delivery of this project.
 
Mr. Echols stated he wanted to echo his colleagues comments earlier and as I pledged to you earlier today, that if the Ordinance or Resolution passes, that I would be more than helpful in any way shape or form that I can to provide research, information and anything to help you guys be successful to get a quality project in phase two. Thank you for being here.
 
There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m., upon a       motion of Ms. Woods and seconded by Mr. Wilson.
 
Mr. Michael Echols
Council Chairman
 
Mrs. Carolus S. Riley
Council Clerk
 
Ms. Jacqueline Benjamin
Council Secretary
 
*For extended details on the Council meeting please call the Council Clerk Monday-Friday at 329-2252; also, a recording of the minutes can be sent via email to you.