Mayor Tim Matte told the city council that the ordinance essentially is a “no wake zone for city streets” that is modeled after a Jefferson Parish ordinance.
The ordinance states that no person shall operate any motor vehicle or boat on a street or any portion that is flooded.
A street will be considered flooded when covered by water from the crown or center line of the street to the top of the curb or edge of the street or at any time when water covers front yards of properties adjacent to the street as well as the street.
The same applies to roads, highways and bridges.
Those who reside in homes or apartments or have places of business accessible only by a flooded street will be allowed to navigate the street only if no barricade is placed on the street or the portion to be driven on.
Those allowed to travel on these flooded streets must operate their vehicles at the lowest possible speed required to keep the vehicle moving while on the flooded area and not create a wake, which may cause damage or aggravate damages to properties adjacent to the street.
Violators of these ordinances can be fined up to $500, imprisoned up to six months or both and will be responsible for any damages related to their violation.
These exceptions do not apply to emergency or law enforcement when they must access these areas to protect life or property.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the council introduced a net metering ordinance, which municipal utility systems are required by state law to provide for someone who wishes to utilize self-generation and then put back into the utility system whatever generation they have.
Matte said the city had its first inquiry by a resident who was interested in putting solar panels on top of their home.
In the ordinance, for every kilowatt-hour a customer avoids using, the cost of that kilowatt-hour will be offset in their bill.
If they have a particular month when they have more generation than they utilize, they would be given a credit that could be used in future months.
While the city is not compensated for providing a customer with the capacity to meet his utility needs, Matte said other cities with this type of ordinance have agreed that the number of potential customers using this system, and therefore losses, are very small.
A public hearing for both and subsequent adoption will be considered during the October monthly meeting.
In other action the council:
—Approved its monthly financial statements, which include favorable variances in the General and Ancillary and Sanitation and Sewer funds and an unfavorable variance in the Utility Fund.
—Heard from St. Mary Parish School Board Assistant Superintendent Keith Thibodeaux, who explained the importance of passing the school board’s renewal of a 10 year, 11.18 mill tax.
—Unanimously approved Oct. 21-30 as Red Ribbon Drug-Free Week in Morgan City. The council also heard from Jacki Ackel, who presented them with Red Ribbon Week materials and discussed the week’s activities.
—Approved a request from the Tri City Track Club to hold its 5K “Double Trouble Bridge Run” on Oct. 23 at 8 a.m. The race will begin at Pharr Park in Berwick and run to La. 182 over the Long-Allen Bridge to Brashear Avenue in Morgan City before returning to Berwick.
—Approved a request from Marie Siracusa, commodore of the 2011 Eastern Divisional Powerboat Races, for the Morgan City Power Boat Association to use Lake Palourde and Lake End Parkway as well as to serve beer during the boat races, which will be held the weekend of Oct. 7-9.
—Approved a request by the Holy Cross Knights of Columbus Council 12179 for its annual Tootsie Roll drive, which will be held Sept. 30 (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and Oct. 1 (8 a.m. to noon) at the La. 70-U.S. 90 junction under the four lane bridge.
—Approved a resolution authorizing the city to submit its Municipal Water Pollution Prevention Audit Report to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as well a resolution requested by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser during August’s meeting, asking the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force seek a change in the permitting process for coastal restoration projects in the state.
—Approved a Class “B” Package Beer permit for Neal Steven Mayon, doing business as Mayon’s Market LLC, 1500 Federal Ave., Morgan City.
—Heard from Joan Adams about the 12th annual Harvest Moon Festival in Franklin, which will be held Oct. 29. She also presented Matte with a copy of the festival’s poster.
—Heard from St. Mary Parish President candidates Gary Duhon and Paul Naquin, and Parish Council at-large candidates Greg Green (District 11), Albert Foulcard and Rodney Olander (District 9).