Agency: Lake Charles City Council Meeting
Location: City Council Chambers
Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 5:30 pm
Documenter: Carl M. Ambrose, Jr.
The city council meeting this week focused on home rebuilding programs by a faith group, demolitions, and recognition of services for city council members.
A smaller than usual crowd was in attendance, with few conversations going on as people entered the chambers.
Before the meeting was called to order, John Ieyoub, the President of the council, took time to thank Eight Days of Hope, a faith-based national disaster relief organization spending the week in Lake Charles, rebuilding storm-damaged homes. First, the project coordinator spoke about their mission here, then founder and executive director Steve Tybor.
“I love Lake Charles,” Tybor said. “You guys are amazing; we have well over 1,000 volunteers serving 150 families here in Lake Charles. Millions of dollars of work will be done for free, we are faith-based, so it’s in the name of Jesus.” He went on to compliment the city and all the departments, as well as the police department saying, “…everyone we’ve talked to found a way to say yes.” He joked that he had gained weight and should be “eight pounds of hope.” He then asked everyone, “Please don’t forget these families, we’ll be leaving on Saturday, and there is still so much to be done; please, please, don’t forget these families.”
“We really brought you up here not to thank us, but for us to thank you—so thank you all so very much,” said Mr. Ieyoub.
Mr. Ieyoub then recognized Mr. Ronnie Harvey, Jr. He presented him with a plaque from his city council colleagues. They recognized him for being named Louisiana principal of the year and a National Principal of the Year finalist. Mr. Ieyoub also acknowledged Lynn Thibodeaux, the clerk of the council. He joined the rest of the council, singing “Happy Birthday.”
“We would not only recognize your birthday, but everything that you do for us throughout the year. We love you very much and couldn’t do this stuff without you.”
Right on cue, after the singing, Mr. Geyen said, “Lynn my friend, always till the end.” Ms. Lynn replied, “that’s right Mr. Geyen,” to the chuckles of those assembled.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. Ieyoub, with the invocation given by Mr. Marks, and Mr. Harvey led the pledge. The remainder of the council, Mrs. August, Vice-President Mr. Eckard, and Mr. Wheatherford were all present for roll call. Mayor Nic Hunter was absent from the meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting, November 16, 2022, were approved by a vote of 7-0. Several items were deferred, including an appointment to chair bids for the Nellie Lutcher Memorial Park (Dec. 21) and two ordinances for demolition. One of these, a commercial property with a sale closing, was deferred to February 1, 2023, and the other until January 18, 2023.
Mr. Ieyoub appointed chairs to review bids for recycling city water meter lids, demolishing a waste treatment plant building, flood mitigation, and other items from the 2021 Critical Drainage Improvement Program.
Four ordinances were ordering the demolition of condemned structures. They were given 15-30 days, all having proof of service on all the properties and their owners. Each of the four ordinances for demolition passed 7-0.
An ordinance to amend the code of ordinances to include short term rental properties was read into the record by the city attorney Mr. Morgan. Mr. Eric Stevens spoke about the need for the amendment due to his problems with short-term rentals. He recommended that some notice be put up identifying short-term property, so single-family homeowners know what’s around them. There was some discussion, then Tim Castle, president of the Realtors Association, addressed the council, explaining that they worked with the national association to help craft the amendment. He then discussed the recommendation of Mr. Stevens concerning notices.
Castle explained the various times, lengths, and types of rental options. “How will you notify all the neighbors about rentals and the fact that situations change and rentals change, in as far as what type of rental… where is it going to start and stop?”
He went on to say that these issues are to be decided by the subdivision restrictions and that the city wouldn’t be able to regulate it due to the landowners’ decisions about the length of rentals. He closed by saying, “we support the amendment, we support what you have in front of you today and we thank you for allowing us input.”
There was a discussion about the amendment and the distinction that an Airbnb had to have occupational licenses, and after clarity, the discussion closed.
Other ordinances accept bids on solid waste and the Nelson Rd. Extension and Bridge Utility Improvements were accepted for $590 per load from BFI and $749,398 from MPB Construction. There was amending of articles concerning the annexation of the 61+ acres in the 1800-4900 blocks of Corbina Rd and assigning this annexation to council district F. All of the ordinances passed with a vote of 7-0 respectively.
Resolutions adopted by consent
Appointment of expiring term for Calcasieu Parish Library Board of Control, public hearings on condemnations, and bids for buses for Public Works. Also included was a bid for the downtown streetscape, approved variance, and sending a resolution to the Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, the SWLA Legislative Delegation, and Gov. Edwards requesting action to address the insurance companies failing and dropping clients.
There were several ordinances for introduction by consent, which will be read into the record the following day at 9 a.m. in city council chambers.
The meeting was adjourned.