Twenty-seven property owners south of the railroad tracks in Patterson have not paid a single installment for the paving assessments, Grogan said. The amount of past due payments owed is $27,874.36.
“If the assessments aren’t paid, then suit can be brought to have liens recognized in the amount that is owed and to have those properties put up for sale by the sheriff,” said city attorney Russell Cremaldi.
The council voted in favor of entering the advisement phase in the bid process to purchase a new fire truck. The council received one bid of $208,826 from Sunbelt Fire of Raceland for the new fire truck.
“We really need to go through everything and read through what the specs have,” Patterson Fire Chief Sherel Martin said.
“I would like to take a look at it, personally, and read through it also before any decision is made on that,” Martin said.
The council also approved 3-2 a property variance request from Gerry Dumont of 1818 Main St. in Patterson, which the planning and zoning commission had recommended be denied. Dumont, who wants to extend his carport to accommodate three cars, requested a variance from the required setback of five feet from the property line to build a structure, to a two-foot setback from the property line.
Dumont had accidentally missed the planning and zoning meeting in November, so he was not there to present his case, Dumont said.
Dumont’s daughter-in-law, who lives next door to him, is fine with him building the structure closer to the property line, he said.
“I’m only trying to improve the value of my property. I’m not trying to make some piece of garbage that’s going to look terrible down the road,” Dumont explained.
The carport will also have a gutter, and rain water will drain on his property and not anyone else’s property, he said.
“I see it where there’s no one that is in opposition to you putting this up,” city councilman Joe Russo said. “I don’t really see how this could hurt anyone by you doing the variance.”
“In Gerry’s case, he’ll do what’s right,” said city councilman Larry Mendoza, who voted to approve the variance request. “I also will advise the council members that what we do for Gerry, we’ve got to do for almost everybody else that comes along,” he said.
“My opinion is that if we grant the variance that we would consider changing the law, because if we grant it, the next one that walks in here (will also expect us to approve another variance request),” said councilwoman Sandra Turner, who voted against the variance request. “I remember. I wasn’t on City Council then, but someone had to tear his carport down because of the law.”
In other action,
—The council voted to adopt a resolution in connection with the Water Works Project, concerning the city’s new water plant. The council found that there was no objection to the issuance of $4.6 million in bonds for the Water Works Project. It also authorized the city to proceed with the preparation of the documents required for issuance of bonds and to obtain approval from the Louisiana State Bond Commission.
—The council voted unanimously to adopt the Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program Economic Development Plan. The documents will be presented to the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, and if the department approves the documents, the city will be accepted into the program, Lowery said.
—Grogan announced the increase in garbage collection rates. “It’s beyond my control. It’s in the contract (with Progressive Waste Solutions),” Grogan said. The new garbage collection regular cart rate will be $19.47, which is the flat rate the city charges, and the bear cart rate will be $20.12. Both rates were effective as of Nov. 1. Each rate went up almost a dollar, Grogan said. Bear carts are containers designed to be secure from bears.
—The Patterson community Christmas parade will be at 2 p.m. Sunday. It starts at the Place Norman Shopping Center and ends at Patterson High School. If the weather permits, there will be a Christmas festival sponsored by Patterson High School student community volunteers. Police Chief Patrick LaSalle approved the parade permit request.
—The City of Patterson Town Hall will close at noon on Dec. 24 and will re-open Dec. 27. The city will also be closed Dec. 31 and will re-open Jan. 2. The council changed the next city council meeting date to Jan. 8.