A screen shot of Wednesday night’s virtural Crowley City Council meeting shows, clockwise from top left, Alderman Byron Wilridge Sr, Alderwoman Kim Stringfellow, Mayor Tim Monceaux and City Clerk Erin Cradeur.
Council virtually zips through agenda
In what was probably their shortest meeting since taking office, the Crowley City Council zipped through a short agenda during a virtual meeting Wednesday night.
Still operating under Gov. John Bel Edwards’ stay-at-home order and restrictions on the size of gatherings, the council was forced to take to the Internet to handle routine business items this month.
It was the council’s first meeting since March 12.
During the 20-minute meeting, council members approved the sale of a piece of city-owned property in the vicinity of Miller Stadium to Falcon Rice Mill by a vote of 6-2.
The property had been appraised at $14,100. Falcon submitted the lone bid on the property, purchasing it for $20,000.
Voting in favor of the sale were Jeff Cavell, Brad Core, Lyle Fogleman, Steven Premeaux, Sammy Reggie and Kim Stringfellow.
Opposed were Clint Cradeur and Byron Wilridge Sr.
Vernon “Step” Martin was not present.
The property had previously been used for parking by patrons attending events at Miller Stadium.
The council also adopted a resolution authorizing a standby letter of credit not to exceed $300,000 for the benefit of the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation by a 6-2 vote.
Mayor Tim Monceaux explained that this was “a housekeeping measure” and attorney Tom Regan added that the letter of credit is required by the Louisiana Department of Insurance for the city to be considered in compliance with its self-insurance policy.
“We’ve been doing this for the past 20 years and it’s saved the city probably $3 million to $4 million,” Regan said.
The letter of credit is “the same amount we’ve had since the inception of the program” and is the minimum required by the Department of Insurance.
Cavell, Core, Cradeur, Fogleman, Premeaux and Reggie approved the matter. Stringfellow and Wilridge opposed.
During the Mayor’s Report, Monceaux reported that February sales tax revenues — the last report he said he had — had increased by “about 1 percent.”
“These are February’s numbers,” he stressed, “and have nothing to do with COVID at that point.”
Sewer user fees for the same month were down about one-tenth of 1 percent. Monceaux reminded that February is before the new rates kicked in.
According to the budget analysis the city should be at about 58.31 percent of total expenditures from the fiscal year of 2019-2020. Monceaux said that some lines are “spiked” in the analysis and need to be adjusted.
In other action, the council suspended the marketing and timing of Street Improvement Bonds. The current coronavirus situation has caused a number of delays related to the proposed bond sale.
Regan told council members not to expect to re-address the matter any earlier than July.
The Engineer’s Report was brief, Tim Mader reporting that he had no action items to be considered.
The administration had offered the public the opportunity to comment on specific agenda items in the days leading up to the meeting. Monceaux reported that he had not received any public comments related to the agenda.