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|Downtown project a go|
Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin told town council members Tuesday that work on the downtown project should begin around the first of the year.
McGlothin said the town has received a line of credit of $1.38 million grant from capital outlay he applied for six years ago to build a farmer's market, flea market, pavilion and concession stand in downtown Ferriday.
"The grant has been amended several times and been through three different architects and I am hoping that we can finally get something done and spend the money before we lose it," McGlothin said. "Everything looks good. I met with the new architect, Michael Keene, and he is getting all the drawings together. He is going to bring us a rendering of that and we should get the approval and be able to start the project in four or five months."
McGlothin said work will also be done on the Arcade, but did not specify.
"And we've got some folks interested in doing some things downtown to make it look more attractive," he said.
McGlothin informed the board that the town is on track with Triton to purchase new water meters and make repairs to the water tank as well as purchasing a new tank."
"We are going in front of the state bond commission this month or the first of next month to see if we can borrow the money," McGlothin said. "We're on track right now. We have some 352 water meters that do not work. Some people are paying, some are not. We cannot give away any public funds, including water. We're going to put in 1,910 meters, including in Red Gum, because we need to take over their system."
McGlothin said much work also needs to be done at the water plant.
"It's in dire need of repairs," McGlothin said.
McGlothin also said he has had calls saying at times no employees are at the water plant
"Folks who work there are leaving and coming to town and they need to stay there," McGlothin said.
McGlothin, alderman Jerome Harris and engineer Bryant Hammett are meeting with Concordia Water Works on Aug. 18 to discuss going on line with them.
"If they say no, we'll have to look at other options," McGlothin said.
The town council also discussed a resolution for the state to pay legal bills to attorney Dennis Webber for his service representing former Ferriday Mayor Sammy Davis.
Davis was indicted in 1990 on three counts of malfeasance in office and one count of injuring public records. The state supreme court overturned the conviction on a technicality.
Webber is seeking $129,646.08.
"There were appropriations made by the State of Louisiana to pay that and they are waiting on the Attorney General's opinion," McGlothin said. "This bill has been killed each time over the last 20 years until this year."
Debra Davis approached the council saying Davis, who was her father-in-law, was not an employee of the State of Louisiana and he was a town employee.
Attorney Anna Ferguson said by law the town cannot pay the legal fees.
In 1994, Webber was denied the money. State law reportedly allows payment for the legal defense of state officers and state employees who are charged with a criminal offense and found innocent by the courts, but it does not provide the same for municipal officials and municipal employees.
The Town Council asked Ferguson for a clarification from the Attorney General's office.
"This was not presented to me or the attorney until just before the meeting," McGlothin said, "If it would have been presented to one of us, we could have had this cleared up by now."
The council also discussed recreation and asked Ferguson to write a letter to the three Police Jury members representing Ferriday as well as Recreation District 1 members to attend the next town meeting in September.
"I want to work with the recreation district, not fight with them," McGlothin said. "That does no good. We need to work together to give our children recreation all year around."
The town accepted a bid of $2,300 from Kent Charrier of Vidalia to lease land on Poole Road provided Charrier has a certificate of liability insurance.
The town leases the 70 acres of land each year for hunting purposes. There were four other bids on the property.
Alderman Johnnie Brown continued his quest to bring a veteran's clinic close to Ferriday.
The town also renewed its tax millage, which basically remained the same as last year.
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