Jones said there’ll be a meeting next week in Patterson to discuss distribution of the funds to the city.
He also said a $36,000 improvement to the Iberia Street lift station has been approved in Louisiana Governmental Assistance Program funds.
Jones reiterated statements he’s made previously that “the math doesn’t add up” in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate the state income tax.
“He’s telling us that he can do it by increasing the sales tax by 2 percent instead of 4 percent, and I went to school in this building (formerly E.A. Crowell) and that just doesn’t work out,” Jones said.
He warned that some things not currently taxed will be, including “cradles and graves…this is a cradle to grave tax. Cemetery plots, dog grooming, barber shops, catering services…on top of that, even if his numbers are accurate, and I think it’s off, that’s an additional cost for contractors, materials for contractors, offshore oil industry and machinery, he also wants to take away the exemption of severance tax for the first two years that the oil and gas industry has used to advance their technology. For example, without that exemption the Haynesville Shale would have happened.”
Farmers would also feel the tax on fertilizer, machinery and more, Jones said.
For cities like Franklin, Jones said relying on a small property tax and a proportionate sales tax has been tradition. “If we go from third highest sales tax in the nation to first, it will impact future revenues when people go to the grocery store and see how much the taxes is going up and how many additional things are being taxed.”
Also Tuesday, assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hildreth, at the request of Councilman Dale Rogers, updated the council on color-coding of fire hydrants.
Hildreth said hydrants are coded by their available water flow. Those codes are, from least flow to most: black, red, orange, green and blue.
The city is in the process of repairing and removing hydrants. Hildreth said the cost is about $2,500 to repair hydrants. “Hydrants on small mains (water service lines) don’t provide the water supply that we need. Historically we have good hydrants on the street corners, we have bad hydrants because we have small mains in the middle of the block…we carry 1200 feet of five-inch hose on the trucks, so essentially we can lay a water main from a good hydrant 1200 feet and we’ve got good fire protection.”
Roger said he understood the procedure and “wants the public not to get excited when they remove a fire hydrant from in front a house. There’s a reason for it, and we’re not taking away from the system.”
In other business Tuesday, water plant operator Bernard Daniels said rehabilitation of the interior of the water tower at Foster Street is going well.
After interior work, the tower will be draped, sand-blasted and refurbished as well.
The council also bade farewell to legal counsel Vincent Borne, who will be taking the bench left by Judge John E. Conery in 16th Judicial District Court.
The council also:
–Introduced ordinances amending the current fiscal and capital outlay budgets, and the same budgets proposed for next fiscal year.
–Authorized engineering for the first phase of work on city hall; applying for a sidewalks grant; requesting BNSF railroad to repair the crossing at Iberia Street and the barricade at Martin Luther King Boulevard; and authorized sale of alcohol at Techeland Arts Council’s upcoming production of “Bayou Storm Rising.”