Monroe City Council: October 12, 2021 Minutes

Monroe City Council Legal and Regular Session
October 12, 2021
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, October 12, 2021, at the Council’s regular meeting place, 400 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, City Council Chambers/City Hall Building, Monroe, Louisiana.

The Honorable Carday Marshall, Sr., Chairman, called the meeting to order.

The roll call was done by Ms. Carolus Riley, Council Clerk.

Council members present for roll call: Mrs. Gretchen Ezernack, Mr. Douglas Harvey, Ms. Juanita Woods, Mr. Carday Marshall, Sr., Mrs. Kema Dawson

Council member (s) absent: None.

Chairman Marshall declared a quorum.

The Invocation was done by Mr. Terry Williams, MFD Chief, and the Pledge of Allegiance by Councilman Harvey.

COMMUNICATIONS & SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. Mr. Harvey thanked everyone for attending and Chief Williams for the prayer; He offered well wishes both to Ms. Golden and Mr. Janway on their retirement.
2. Mrs. Ezernack welcomed everyone to the meeting; she thanked the Mayor, the Department heads, and residents for being in attendance at her District 2 Community Town Hall meeting. The meeting was great, and a lot of information was shared; the constituents in attendance asked questions and made comments of concern relating to the City.

3. Ms. Woods welcomed everyone to the meeting; she commented regarding the celebration of Carroll High School’s homecoming and thanked Public Works for their assistance of putting out the containers; she also thanked Ms. Gospel for her assistance. She thanked Carroll High School’s staff, alumni, and students for their work during the homecoming festivities. Ms. Woods thanked Choosing Independence on their groundbreaking in District 4. She thanked Ms. Golden for her assistance and wished her well in her retirement. Ms. Woods announced a redistricting road trip event would be held at ULM on October 20, 5:30pm-8:30pm at the terrace and asked that concerned citizens would consider attending. Councilwoman Woods announced that she will hold an “Evening with Juanita” on Monday, October 18, 2021, at the Powell Street Recreation Center to listen to concerns of constituents and on how to work together; there will be door prizes and refreshments will be served. She addressed the concerns of allegations of a threat on her life and have only heard about it, no one called her; she commented the man that the allegations are against, is a fine young man and is highly admired by her and hoped that it would all stop.
4. Mrs. Dawson thanked those for attending and for listening online. She thanked all volunteers for coming out on Saturday and cleaning up in the areas of Hwy 165 and Ticheli Road; volunteers included Ouachita Green, City of Monroe, Kevo Meredith with Two Dudes Brew and Cue, Richwood Mayor Gerald Brown, Entergy volunteers, the use of equipment from the city, JP Rental, R2 Rentals, Holyfield, State Representative Michael Echols, Keep Ouachita Beautiful, Keep La. Beautiful, Ouachita Business Alliance and, Stephens Media Group. There will be Boo at the Zoo on October 30, 2021, from 10am-2pm, with trick or treat, animal and budgie exhibits and there is money being raised for a new sloth purchase and exhibit; donations can also be made to the Zoological Society online.
5. Mayor Ellis thanked those for attending and also those that were watching on social media. He presented the community survey graphic QR scanner code on the media screen and asked that citizens would scan the survey, as the survey would be placed at different locations throughout the city; the purpose is to answer questions concerning things they would like to see downtown including festivals, businesses, activities, and this would form the basis for the businesses that the city is trying to attract. He thanked Public Works and Community Affairs for their assistance on the arrival of Governor John Edwards to the city. There was a One on One with Governor Edwards and was able to share ongoing projects and future projects; ULM celebrated Dr. Berry’s investiture and ULM’s 90th Birthday; the Mayor spoke about the United Way’s and ULM’s partnership in

giving scholarships to students for the reading of books. His staff visited Ruston with an interest in student housing developments. He also attended, along with some of his Executive Staff, the International Economic Development Conference in Nashville Tennessee. The Dale Carnegie Leadership Training was implemented with Division and Department heads, and this will be a budgeted line item; he has tasked them with helping him form the new Vision and Mission statement for the City of Monroe. Mayor Ellis thanked Mrs. Ezernack for hosting her District 2 community meeting. Mayor Ellis delivered a keynote address to VCOM college in their white coat ceremony with 160 students being coated as first year students; he thanked them for their assistance during hurricane Ida. He thanked the citizens for the opportunity to serve.
Councilwoman Dawson announced the grand opening for the Wendy’s on 165 south is scheduled for next Monday at 10am.
Council Chairman Marshall commented that the festivities during Carroll High School’s homecoming were great; he thanked Carroll Principal, Dr. Davis, and staff for the weeklong celebration. There will be a Monroe City Academy League football game on Saturday, a family event. He thanked Mr. Tyree Hollins and Tre Hunter for the awesome job they are doing with the league and asked citizens to support them. He commented that Choosing Independence had their groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, and there will be 44 homes built in District 4, it is the first phase, and they will be doing additional things throughout Monroe; he thanked Chris Richards, David Wooley, Brian Hancock and KD for their work in the community as it related to affordable home ownership; Land 3 also helped with the project and Monroe City administrator Mrs. Ellen Hill has worked with them on this process.
Upon a motion of Mrs. Dawson and a second by Mrs. Ezernack, the minutes of the Legal and Regular session of September 28, 2021, were approved, Voting YES: Woods, Dawson, Ezernack, Marshall; ABSTAINED: Harvey. (There were no public comments).
PRESENTATION: NONE.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: NONE.
PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS: Public Comment: NONE.
ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS: Public Comment
(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to accept the bid of Smith Machine Works for a one (1) year contract for #1 Secondary Clarifier Ref# 2022-00000012 as recommended by the Director of Administration for meeting the specifications of this bid and lowest bidder. The funds will be derived from the WPCC Repair and Maintenance Account and billed to the Departments accordingly. The Tax & Revenue Division has confirmed that this bidder is Tax Compliant. (There were no public comments).

RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:
Council: Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Dawson, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8089, confirming the appointment of Sam L. Moore, III to the Southside Economic Development District Board of Commissioners and further providing with respect thereto. (Marshall) (There were no public comments).
Comments: Mrs. Dawson asked if the previous appointee’s resignation letter been accepted and if it was on record as being accepted; Mr. Marshall said yes. Mr. Marshall thanked Mr. Moore for his service and volunteering for the appointment.
ADD-ON: (b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to add to the agenda to adopt a Resolution granting an exception to the Open Container Ordinance to the City of Monroe for a Downtown ULM Homecoming Pep Rally with a variety of events pursuant to Monroe City Code Sec. 12-231 D. (Open Container Ordinance), and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments)

Upon a motion by Mrs. Dawson, second by Ms. Woods to adopt Resolution No. 8090, granting an exception to the Open Container Ordinance to the City of Monroe for a Downtown ULM Homecoming Pep Rally with a variety of events pursuant to Monroe City Code Sec. 12-231 D. (Open Container Ordinance), and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments)
Department of Administration: Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to consider an Application by North 18th Venture, LLC dba Breaktime 73, 1501 N. 18th Street, Monroe, LA 71201 for a New 2021 Class B Alcoholic Beverage Permit. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been Cleared, CO-Cleared, Distance Report Cleared. (There were no public comments).
Comments: Mr. Harvey inquired about the address of the new permit license; Mrs. Sturdivant commented that it appeared to be a change in ownership.
(b) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to consider an application by Stewart LLC dba Papi Loco, 523 DeSiard St., Monroe, LA 71201 for a New 2021 Class A Alcoholic Beverage Permit. The Monroe Police Department has no disqualifying records and Sales Tax has been Cleared, CO-Cleared, Distance Report Cleared. (There were no public comments).
Department of Planning & Urban Development:
Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Woods, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to adopt Resolution No. 8091, reappointing Ernest Muhammad to the Planning Commission of the City of Monroe, and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments)
(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Woods, second by Mr. Harvey; Voting YES: Harvey, Ezernack, Woods, Marshall; Voting to ABSTAIN: Dawson; approved to adopt Resolution No. 8092, reappointing Valeria Rowley to the Board of Adjustments of the City of Monroe, and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
Legal Department: Public Comment: None.
Mayor’s Office: Public Comment: None.
Department of Public Works:
Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to consider request from the WPCC Division of the Public Works Department for authorization from the City Council to advertise for an RFP for the repair of Influent Pump #2 at the Water Pollution Control Center. Funds for these repairs will come from Repairs and Maintenance Account, which has a balance of $802,372.00. (There were no public comments).
Department of Community Affairs:
Public Comment:
(a) a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8093, authorizing the purchase of three (3) Kubota M7060HDC 4WD Tractor/Air Front Loaders and one (1) Kubota KX03-4R3A Mini Excavator with 12”, 18” 24” Buckets, Hydraulic Thumb, Angle Blade, Cab Air, Backup Alarm QA Coupler, for the department of Community Affairs/Parks and Beautification off State Contract and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
Comments: Mr. Ray Wright, Monroe City Parks Director explained the agenda item and the purchase of the equipment for Community Affairs that is replacing old equipment; money is being spent on keeping the old equipment running, and the purchase of new equipment will create a better cycle time.

Police Department:
Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Ms. Woods and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8094, authorizing Mayor Friday Ellis to sign and accept an Agreement with the Department of Justice to accept funding in the amount of $55,577.00 for the Project Safe Neighborhood Program (PSN) and further providing with respect thereto.
(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Dawson, second by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 8095, authorizing a designated city representative to sign amendment one of the Shotspotter, Inc. Flex Services Agreement and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
Comments: Ms. Woods asked if there was data on how the shot spotter was working; Chief Zordan explained it was working well and the brass they pick up on the street is being put through a system to trace the specifics of the weapon and helps to track the weapon; there have been up to 50-60 percent increase in productivity when it comes to shots fired, calls and being able to find evidence. Officers respond when the shot spotter notifies them of gunshots fired and don’t have to wait for them being reported by citizens. Mayor Ellis commented that the statistics show that the shots fired go unreported and what will be seen on the crime reports is a spike of the number of reported discharged firearms and because every single one within shots fired gets reported, rather than someone saying they heard gunshots. Chairman Marshall asked if there was going to be an expansion over what is being done now; Chief Zordan said that he would love to have the entire city.
Fire Department: Public Comment: None.
Engineering Services:
Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to remove from the agenda to Adopt a Resolution authorizing an authorized city representative, to execute Closeout Change Order No. Four (4) to the Water Distribution System Improvements Contract, between the City of Monroe and Jabar Corporation, for an increase in the contract amount of ____________ and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to remove from the agenda to Adopt a Resolution authorizing an authorized city representative, to enter into and execute an agreement with Volkert, Inc., to provide Professional Engineering Services for the State Project No. H.007289 Kansas Lane Extension Project and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
BREAK IF NEEDED: NONE.
INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:
Public Comment:
(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance extending and enlarging the boundaries of the City of Monroe, Louisiana, providing for the recordation of the entire boundary as amended: establishing the effective date thereof, and providing further with respect thereto – Applicant – I-20 Corridor Properties & North American Land Dev. (P&Z) (There were no public comments).
(b) Upon a motion by Mrs. Dawson, second by Mr. Harvey and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana and authorize the Clerk to publish notice of a Public Hearing to rezone a ±54-acre tract of land presently located in Ouachita Parish from OS, Open Space to B-3 (General Business/Commercial) District to develop a wide variety of commercial and service activities, restaurants and hotel development – Applicant – I-20 Corridor Properties & North American
land Dev. (P&Z) (There were no public comments).

(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Harvey, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance amendment to Chapter 37, Zoning, of the Code of the City of Monroe, Article III, Use Districts, Section 37-37 Commercial Use Districts, Table 3.3 Commercial Districts Permitted, Conditional Uses, in the Use Standards to add in the table referring to the restaurant, full-service. (P&Z) (There were no public comments).
Comments: Mrs. Hill explained that the text was being amended to clarify the table addition.
RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION AND SUBJECT TO PUBLIC HEARING:
ADD-ON: (1) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to add to the agenda to adopt an Emergency Ordinance declaring the repair of the main gravity trunk line at the Water Pollution Control Center (WPCC) an emergency and necessitating immediate repair and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
Upon a motion by Ms. Woods, second by Mrs. Dawson and unanimously approved to finally adopt Emergency Ordinance No. 12,082, declaring the repair of the main gravity trunk line at the Water Pollution Control Center (WPCC) an emergency and necessitating immediate repair and further providing with respect thereto. (There were no public comments).
CITIZENS PARTICIPATION: NONE

There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m., upon a motion of Mr. Harvey and seconded by Mrs. Dawson. (There were no public comments)
Mr. Carday Marshall, Sr.
Council Chairman

Ms. 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.