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|Hearing slated on proposed apartment complex in Ferriday|
The Ferriday Town Council will hold a public hearing at its March meeting to discuss a proposal by Macon Ridge Community Development to construct a 15-unit apartment complex near Ohio and Second Streets.
The complex for the elderly, if approved, would be located next to Ferriday Place I and Ferriday Place II, which were also projects of Macon Ridge.
"We have received approval from HUD for funding another elderly housing unit," Buddy Spillers of Macon Ridge told the Ferriday Town Council Tuesday. "We need more places for our elderly and we are constantly getting requests. The people love our other facilities."
The proposed new site would be behind the old icehouse near the two current apartments.
"These are unused streets we are asking you to abandon," Spillers said. "There is an 8-inch sewer line and a manhole in a right-of-way off Second Street. We can give that back to the town as an easement. There are some utility poles and cable lines overhead which we will not build under."
Spillers said Bryant Hammett and Associates will provide the town with a map and the exact lot numbers.
Allen said the town council cannot make such a decision until a public hearing is held.
Spillers said he will have all the legal papers available to Town Attorney Derrick Carson within the next three or four days.
The board voted to have a public hearing at the March meeting providing all the paperwork is in order.
Allen also shared a letter from the School Board responding to a request from the town to use the land across from Town Hall to build a police and fire complex. The School Board recently tore down the old Seventh Grade building because of asbestos.
Allen said the letter from the School Board advised the Town Council it is not interested in disposing of the property at this time.
"We need to continue to work to use that land," Allen said, adding there was no other explanation given for not providing the town with the property.
There was no action taken, as Allen said the letter was more a point of information.
The board also voted to hire Carol Tomko to assist with its Downtown Revitalization project.
"This is a lot more work than you would really think," Allen said. "There is a lot more we have to do."
The Town of Ferriday received a $124,000 streetscape grant to revitalize downtown.
Robin Charpentier was the lone alderman to vote against the request from Tomko.
"Ms. Tomko is a volunteer with the Historic Commission and Downtown Revitalization Committee and it was apparently too much work for a volunteer," Charpentier said today (Wednesday). "She wanted to contract out to us and is asking a price of $20 an hour as a consultant to do the legwork. I do not know her and have nothing against her, the only reason I voted against it is because I did not have enough information on the scope of her services. I wasn't going to OK a contract being made without knowing all the facts."
The Town Council also voted to write a letter of appeal to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana regarding Ferriday's population.
"I think they are way off saying we have 3,890 people in Ferriday," Allen said. "We had a large influx of people after Hurricane Katrina. We're up over 5,000 now."
Attorney Derrick Carson said the council has until March 15 to appeal.
The board also discussed a $300,000 check from Wal-Mart and how to best use it.
"We need the citizens of this town to write letters informing the Town Council how they would best like the money to be used.
That way we have it in writing and not a bunch of he said or she said," Allen said. "I would like to see it used for several things, including recreation. We need to give our children something to do this summer."
Alderman Jerome Harris said he would also like to see alleys cleaned up and repaired in town.
Allen advised the council to ask Jackie Pugh of the Police Jury to give them an estimate on the cost of asphalt and labor. The town agreed to that request and will send a letter asking Pugh to provide estimates.
The board also passed a resolution to utilize the burning of vegetative debris on Hwy. 15 following a public hearing in which there was no opposition.
"Only the town is allowed to have a controlled ban," Allen said. "This came as a result from us having to burn some trees and leaves after Hurricane Katrina."
The board also heard from Charter Communications representative James A. Laurent concerning their franchise with the town.
Alderman Johnnie Brown said he did not understand why there was only one place to pay a able bill in Ferriday, where it took five days to process, while customers can go to Cash Express in Vidalia and have their checks processed that day.
Laurent also said that they are taking Channel 19 off the air for local programs and using Channel 12 and will use Channel 19 for another channel to for digital use.
"We're looking to enhance the system," said
Brown also asked Laurent why he had to sign a contract about five years ago when there were more channels available, but some of those channels like Starz West and others are no longer available.
Laurent said he was not aware of that. He took note of all the inquiries and said he will address each one. He also said he will also look into finding another place in Ferriday to pay the cable bill where it can be immediately processed.
In other business, Allen told the Council that the $760,000 LCDBG Program Application for a sewer project has been sent out.
The board also approved paying $30 for its Renewal Certificate of Membership to Risk Management Inc.
Charpentier gave a special thanks to the Ferriday Police Department after a friend encountered a problem during a funeral escort for providing that escort service almost immediately.
"That was one thing less they had to worry about and I just wanted to thank the Police Department," Charpentier said.
The board approved an occupational license for David Hickman and Professional Fisheries, LLC.
The Town Council was also advised of the Louisiana Municipal Association's Annual Convention in August in Lafayette and the Mid-Winter Conference later this month.
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