Agency holding meeting: Lake Charles City Council Meeting
Location: City Council Chambers
Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Documenter: Carl M. Ambrose, Jr.
There was a packed house for the meeting, with several groups recognized by the city and discussion about hurricane repair and insurance issues.
There was a packed house for the meeting, standing room only, with several groups recognized by the city.
Michael Castille, the Director of Community Services for Lake Charles, honored two youth football league champions and their coaches. They were honored by the City Council and Mayor with a proclamation certificates for winning the league championships.. The other presentation was for community art. Mr. Craig Marks and Mr. Ronnie Harvey, Jr. recognized the artist that painted the mural at the intersection of Broad St. and Shattuck St., Derrick Thornton and Shannon Dejean. The mural was unveiled two weeks ago, part of a six-city project called Gulf Coast Murals. Mr. Thornton was on hand to receive his award, and the project facilitator, Ms. Tasha Guidry, accepted on behalf of Ms. Dejean to conclude the civic recognition.
Ordinances for final action
There are several resolutions for bids for the downtown streetscape, the purchase of buses, and additional purchases by the public works dept. There was also a resolution to approve the amended short-term rental property ordinance. Nelson rd bridge improvements, Annexing the Corvina rd acreage to the city 61+ acres and 48+ acres, and making an appointment for the expiring term on the library board.
- A cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and the council on aging to begin phase 2 of Whispering Hope
- A cooperative endeavor agreement with HRI for the Woodring development.
- The purchase of property on Common St. and several professional services agreements were also introduced.
- There was an ordinance to allow restaurants and current retail owners of licenses to sell alcohol to sell between the hours of 10 a.m. Sunday and 12:05 a.m. Monday. Bars and restaurants are permitted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas and New Year only, by suspending a section of the code for these occasions only.
Mr. Ieyoub opened the floor to any issues and recognized Mrs. August. Mrs. August described, at length, the problems facing people trying to take a Greyhound bus in the city. She recounted a situation a constituent talked about: “Made me feel shame” because of the lack of and miscommunication about the interstate bus service. She said she had no idea where the bus station was but, through the conversation with the constituent, found out buses left from Stripes on Hwy 14.
Mr. Geyen spoke about complaints he’s receiving about rent increases by landlords, saying that he understood people making money renting houses and apartments, but they “shouldn’t be taking advantage of people struggling.” He asked the city attorney what could be done to “regulate” increases and said that he would like the city to look into that.
Insurance and repair issues after the hurricane
Geyen also introduced a resolution to the Insurance Commissioner, La. Legislative delegation of SWLA, and the governor to address the failed insurance companies that dropped homeowners after years of paying premiums. He gave some examples and urged the council and the city to push this issue to the forefront. He said that he received a notice of increase to $11,000, which he said “is unreasonable, and I can only imagine what those that had major damage are receiving.” He said that the “little man” is suffering. August noted that this is important and that though her insurance company paid her, they then dropped her, and she had to find another insurer.
Mr. Harvey spoke about issues with eyesore properties and the construction that has been delayed since 2020. Mr. Harvey suggested that communication between the city and the citizens about some of these problems would help quiet the confusion. He also conveyed that several constituents wondered if Riverside Park could be renamed for the late councilwoman Mary Morris. Mrs. August stated that the recreation center was named for her. It was noted by Mr. Marks that there was no signage and there was no ceremony.
Mr. Marks then had the floor and asked the city attorney, Mr. Morgan, about the enforcement of covenants like those in Oak Park. Mr. Morgan explained that it is a civil matter between homeowners and HOA if it is a homeowners covenant issue.
He also had several properties that he stated violated property standards and received complaints that he wanted to be investigated, as well as a traffic light issue. Mr. Geyen said that a resolution was sent to the DOTD. He also talked about sidewalks in the same area on Power Center Pkwy. He suggested a “community calendar.”
Mr. Harvey complimented property standards and asked if timetables and workflow could be communicated to the council by the district; Mr. Cardone said it could be done and asked how he would like the info to be sent. It was also asked if the companies putting in the inground power lines could be held more accountable because they were hitting utility lines and water lines. The administration said that meetings have been underway addressing the issue.
Mr. Raymond Leday, who lives near the end of Fitzenrider Rd., was there to speak about a property on Fitzenriter Rd. near his home he claimed had issues with crime. Mayor Hunter assured him that the police would start removing people from the property and the property would be demolished. A couple of other residents spoke about the conditions in the same area, with the mayor assuring them that they would have answers by the end of the week.
With no other Items, President Ieyoub adjourned the meeting.