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Town Meeting Minutes – Monday, February 14, 2005

February 14, 2005

Town of Brusly
Brusly, Louisiana

The regular meeting of the Town of Brusly was held this date, February 14, 2005 at the Brusly Town Hall. Mayor Joey Normand called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m., and requested that all electronic devices be turned off or silenced. Council Member Bourgeois led the Pledge of Allegiance. A roll call by Town Clerk Jules Lefeaux determined the following officials present:

Mayor: Joey Normand
Council Members: David Rodrigue, Ronda Perrault, Joanne Bourgeois,
Shane Andre’, Chris Kershaw
Town Attorney: Jamie Fontenot

A motion to approve the minutes of the Town’s Regular Meeting of January 10, 2005 was made by Council Member Bourgeois, seconded by Council Member Andre’ and passed with no opposing votes.

Under Public Works, Mayor Normand recommended accepting the low bid by R. J. Daigle & Sons for the Allene Street Extension. A motion to accept the bid of $64,875 by R. J. Daigle & Sons and give the Mayor authority to sign all necessary documents for the construction was made by Council Member Kershaw, seconded by Council Member Rodrigue and passed with a unanimous vote.

Planning and Zoning business included a request to re-zone a commercial parcel to R-4, located at 138 S. Kirkland Drive. Mayor Normand advised that the Planning and Zoning Committees had recommended approval of the request of Mr. George “Skipper” Grady to build a duplex residence. Mr. Rodrigue advised that he had talked with neighbors about the proposed structure and some of their concerns. After thorough discussion, Council Member Kershaw made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Committees to approve the zoning change from Commercial to R-4. The motion was seconded by Council Member Andre’. The Mayor requested a roll call vote, and Town Clerk Lefeaux proceeded, with the following result:

YEAS: Rodrigue, Andre’, Kershaw
NAYS: Perrault, Bourgeois (with this statement: “I support the recommendation to re-zone this property to residential; however, I feel that placing a duplex with the required four parking spaces may create a potential problem, since the property across Gwin Street has parking spaces that face that same street. I prefer to see a single family dwelling constructed on that property.”
The motion passed with three favorable votes and two against.

Mayor Normand suggested a motion to allow a variance for a setback of two feet on the South side of the property. Council Member Andre’ moved to allow the setback, as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Committees. His motion was seconded by Council Member Kershaw. Mayor Normand requested a roll call vote by the Town Clerk, which had the following result:

YEAS: Rodrigue, Perrault, Andre’, Kershaw
NAYS: None
ABSTAINING: Bourgeois
The motion passed with four favorable votes and none against.

Mayor Normand announced that the Planning and Zoning Committees had recommended approval of the Preliminary Plat of Oak Plaza Drive. A motion to approve the plat was made by Council Member Bourgeois and seconded by Council Member Perrault. The Mayor requested a roll call vote by Town Clerk Lefeaux; the motion passed with the following result:

YEAS: Rodrigue, Perrault, Bourgeois, Andre’, Kershaw
NAYS: None

The next recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Committees was the Final Plat of Brusly Oaks Subdivision, Second Filing. It was recommended for approval with these stipulations: that street signs and traffic control signs be installed by the Owner, that water and natural gas lines be installed by the owner, that the Owner will provide the Town with a copy of the electrical service contract with Entergy, and permanent fencing be installed by the owner. Council Member Kershaw made a motion to allow the Mayor to sign the plat, contingent on completion of all items listed above. The motion was seconded by Council Member Andre’. The Mayor requested a roll call vote, and the Town Clerk proceeded, with the following result:

YEAS: Rodrigue, Perrault, Bourgeois, Andre’, Kershaw
NAYS: None
The motion passed with a unanimous vote in favor.

Recreation Committee business included a report on the Arbor Day Program held on January 21, 2005. Council Member Bourgeois advised that the ceremony at the Back Brusly Oak Tree included the placing of a bronze plaque commemorating the grants from Dow Chemical and the Urban Forestry Department, and honoring the family of Mr. Gerald Caillouet for donating the tree to the Town of Brusly. A representative of the Forestry Department attended to declare the Town a “Tree City U.S.A”, and to present the town with a plaque and a flag. She thanked the L & T Sign Company of Brusly for donating $ 116 toward the cost of the plaque and a Certificate of Appreciation will be issued to them.

Council Member Bourgeois reported that a fountain was installed in the Sugar Kettle at the plaza, to replace the flowers; Nelson and Norma Stein, and Gerald and Lillie Mabile worked on that project. Certificates of Appreciation will be presented to them. She will meet with a representative from Urban Forestry to gather information on lighting for the Back Brusly Oak Tree.

Council Member Andre’, also reporting on recreation projects, said the batting cage and other projects at Brusly High School are completed. He complimented how the Towns of Brusly and Addis, and W.B.R. Parish are cooperating with the Ball Park and recreation on the South end of the Parish, including the Girls’ Softball Field.

The Chairman of the Police Committee, Council Member Andre’, reported that Fred Smith, the new School Resource Officer, is already working out well.

Council Member Bourgeois reported on grants in progress. She showed two bound books of preserved Town minutes since 1901. The project was funded through a grant from Entergy.

Introductions of Ordinances were as listed:

Use of Municipal Vehicles, Ord. No. 2, by Council Member Andre’;
Police Subpoena Fees, Ord. No. 3, by Council Member Bourgeois;
Speed Limit on Streets, Ord. No. 4, by Council Member Perrault;
Wal-Mart Cooperative Endeavor, Ord.No. 5, by Council Member Kershaw;
Alcohol Permits, Ord. No. 6, by Council Member Perrault;
Barroom/Saloon &Other Changes, Ord. No. 7, by Council Member Andre’.

The report of the Brusly Volunteer Fire Department was given by Fire Chief Michael Alleman. In January, there were 7 first aid calls in the Town and 15 first aid calls outside the Town. There was 1 fire call in the Town and two fire calls outside the Town. the Fire Department responded to five motor vehicle accidents and answered two mutual aid calls. The total calls for the month of January was 32, thus 32 calls for the year. Council Member Kershaw asked about the budget process, and Chief Alleman said he would present a budget at the April Fire Subdistrict Meeting. A special meeting would be needed for its hearing and adoption.

The Police Department report for the month of January was given by Chief Jamie Whaley. He stated that there were six bench warrant arrests, one assault, one damage to property, one disturbing the peace incident, two thefts, one burglary, four alarms, 9 assistances to other agencies, three 911 calls, four juvenile matters, 10 traffic arrests and 16 miscellaneous calls (including two cases of counterfeit money), three worthless check arrests (including two recoveries for Iberville Parish), one criminal trespass, one unauthorized entry, and one vicious dog, for a total of 64 calls and 134 traffic citations issued for 170 violations. Chief Whaley reported that a police car was wrecked. Council Member Kershaw asked about defensive driving classes for officers, and Chief Whaley said classes are now being scheduled. Reserve Officers will have a year of training; it would be about the same as the Academy, but not accredited.

Correspondence of importance included two letters from Dow Louisiana saying they would be hiring more technicians and opening a new plant in Plaquemine. The manager of Shintech sent a thank-you letter for our attendance at public meetings about their proposed new plant.

Mayor Normand gave the Mayor’s report for the month. He, Council Member Bourgeois, Council Member Rodrigue, Town Clerk Lefeaux, and Accounting Clerk Debbie Berthelot attended the LA Municipal Association’s Mid Winter Conference in Baton Rouge. Mayor Normand, Mayor Bourgeois of Addis, and the Parish staff met with officials of BFI to have problems resolved. The Mayor attended a Dow Recognition Breakfast, and was impressed with their employees’ community volunteer service. The Town of Brusly entered a Mardi Gras float in the Addis Parade, and it won first place, thanks to the efforts of the Town Hall staff. A citizen’s suggestion that we erect “Front Brusly” and “Back Brusly” signs will be done, courtesy of the Office of Highways. The official Brusly population is now 2,096. Sonic Drive Inn will be a new neighbor, south of the Town limits. He reported on Wal-Mart documents in process; the Town of Brusly will draft our own Ordinance which was introduced tonight.

Under Remarks of Personal Privilege, “Skipper” Grady said he was confused by the appeals process, and asked for the agenda to be amended so the Council could vote on granting him a building permit that was denied by the Building Official, Mayor Normand. The Mayor explained that a meeting of the Board of Adjustment will be scheduled to decide that. Attorney Fontenot read pertinent passages of the Town Ordinances saying the Board of Adjustment should have a hearing on this. Council Member Bourgeois said she did not have enough information to have a proper hearing. Town Clerk Lefeaux stated he was Chairman of the Board of Appeals for 12 years, that the process worked well, and recommended that the Board have a hearing. Mayor Normand said he had not talked to the Board of Adjustment members, and felt they could hold a fair hearing. Council Member Andre’ said he did not want to rush into a hearing when he and other Council Members felt they did not have enough information. Council Member Perrault did not want to make any decision tonight for the same reasons, and wanted to do more research. The Board of Adjustment advertises and holds public hearings. Mr. Grady said there are a lot of houses in decay, and there would be more requests to build in “older, dilapidated property”. Brusly could have a “garden district” (in the neighborhood of the duplex) if they were renovated. Council Member Bourgeois took exception to his statement of “decaying homes”, as this is an historic part of Brusly and asked him to be more considerate of his terminology. Mayor Normand said the hearing process should work. Town Clerk Lefeaux gave the final report on the Lighten Up Louisiana Contest: 7 of 8 team members had lost 9% of their weight, and were healthier. W.B.R. Parish Council Member Jeff Kershaw advised that they will hold their meeting at the Brusly Town Hall at 6:30 PM March 10th with food afterward. Council Member Kershaw called on Mr. Larry Durbin, who announced that the Chamber of Commerce would have their annual exposition on February 15th.

A motion was made by Council Member Perrault to adjourn, seconded by Council Member Andre’. The motion was unopposed. The meeting ended at 7:28 p.m.

/S/ Joey Normand, Mayor /S/ Jules Lefeaux, CMC, Town Clerk

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