Earlier this year, demographer Mike Hefner said a slight mistake on his part had resulted in a minority voter ratio outside of the 10 percent allowed by federal regulations. At the time Hefner said population shifts reflected after the 2010 census caused adjustments in certain census blocks that he didn’t notice and failed to adjust council district lines to accommodate for. He offered to make the adjustments, but the council instead hired demographer Cedric Floyd of Metairie to redraw the lines.
No specific changes to district lines were mentioned during Tuesday’s meeting. Mayor Raymond Harris said most districts experienced a small amount of change, with District A changed the most.
The plan requires final approval by the U.S. Justice Department.
Voters affected by the changes will be notified of any change in district or polling places by the St. Mary Parish Registrar of Voters Office when the new district lines are in effect.
In other business Tuesday, Joel Miller, of Miller Engineers & Associates, said survey of all roads scheduled to be resurfaced has been completed except for one that was recently added to the list.
Miller said plans and specifications are about half done, and he recommended construction not begin until March.
He said weather conditions over the winter are not favorable for laying asphalt, and urged the council to wait until more uniform conditions begin in the spring.
Also Tuesday, Community Development Director Arlana Shields said the city’s Christmas parade and lamp lighting ceremony will be Nov. 29.
The parade starts at 6 p.m. and will move from Jackson Street to the courthouse square.
“There is still room” for participants, Shields said. Entrants can contact her at 828-6345 or firstname.lastname@example.org to enter.
The deadline for golf carts or riders has been extended to Nov. 28 at noon.
Information about the event is being posted on the city’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. There will also be free trolley rides, some merchants will be open late and Chez Hope will be selling hot chocolate and funnel cakes, Shields said.
The honorary Lamp Lighters will also be revealed that night, and Shields dropped this clue as to their identities: They belong to an organization that has members from around the world.
“The mayor and council will have golf carts and we’ll be decorating them for you,” she reassured them.
—Representatives of the Troydrick Jenkins Dreams Fulfilled group said they are planning an aid drive to needy families. More information will be forthcoming.
—Utilities Director Dainae Prejean said meetings have been held with AmeriPure Oyster on Willow Street and solutions are being developed to alleviate odor issues in the neighborhood.
—City Inspector Blake Steiner said the legal process for demolition of the structure at 614 Trowbridge St. is complete, and it is on schedule for public works personnel to begin the demolition.
—Councilman Dale Rogers noted that work on the Franklin Canal flood control project is expected to be completed in June 2013 and the project is on schedule.