Regular City Council Meeting
Documenter name: Natalie McLendon
Agency holding meeting: Sulphur City Council
Date: January 9, 2023 at 5:30 PM
The city’s yearly audit was presented and the council questioned how property owners are notified during the condemnation process.
The members of Sulphur City Council met in a portable building in the parking lot of a closed Kroger grocery store at 1551 East Napoleon Street. This is their temporary location until the grocery store is renovated to house city departments. It does not appear that any construction is currently in progress.
The Sulphur City Council is a five person elected body representing the five districts of the city.
- Postpone #15 to February 13 (Resolution awarding low bid received for limestone and asphalt and chemicals for the City of Sulphur)
- Removed #5 (Public Hearing on ordinance granting a request from D.F. Development LLC, 2202 Augusta Street, to remove the stipulation that only allows 1 mobile home on the property so up to 8 multi-family units can be built.)
- Removed #6 (Public Hearing on an ordinance granting a rezone to CSG Enterprises, LLC, 1101 Gulf Lane, from Residential to Mixed Residential to allow for 3 additional mobile homes.)
- Removed #9 (Public Hearing on an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 435, M-C Series – Master Sales and Use Tax ordinance – (amending definitions)).
Presentation on city audit
The city council presented the Louisiana Legislative Audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. Stephen Derouen of Derouen & Associates completed the audit. There were no issues according to Derouen. The total assets for all activities were approximately $167 million, which has decreased by approximately $2 million from the last fiscal year. The revenues of the city were $50.5 million, which has decreased by $15 million. In 2021, the city recognized approximately $17 million in FEMA reimbursements, according to Derwin. The city also received $17.4 million in grant revenues from the American Rescue Plan in 2022. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed in 2021 and, according to the National Association of Counties, is a $1.9 trillion package. Funding from ARPA filters to counties and parishes through Community Development Block Grants. (Read more about this type of funding in our explainer.) Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahey thanked Jennifer Thorn for maintaining city finances each year.
Property and housing issues
- Extension for temporary housing in recreational vehicles due to damage by Hurricane Laura
(Living in RV after 1.5 years)
- 2589 Augustine Street – No one was present to discuss this item. The extension was granted.
(Living in RV after two years)
- 1033 West Verdine St. – In December’s meeting, Councilwoman Ellender noted that the house on this property has a new roof, and a 30-day extension was granted. No one was present to speak on this item at today’s meeting. Ellender says she went by the house and it does not appear to be in livable shape. No permits have been applied for. Secretary Arlene Blanchard notes that the property owner has not attended any public meetings regarding this issue. Abshire says “we are coming to an end and we need to have something definitive, unless they can prove that they have steps going forward, because three years is going to go into four.” Councilwoman Hardy asks if they can send a certified letter. Abshire says this needs to happen. Hardy says it should be a common practice from this moment on to send notices via certified mail. Danahey says if they choose to do that tonight, it will be six months. Thorn says the marshalls office can also serve the letters. Cole advised that they use regular mail. Abshire says the letter has not come back. The extension was granted with a 3/2 vote. Ellender and Nezat voted no.
- 116 Garden Street – There was no one present to speak on this item. The extension was granted with a 3/2 vote. Ellender and Nezat voted no.
- 1408 Forest Lane — Abshire says nothing has been done to this home because of its legal status. No one was present at this meeting to speak on the issue, but the property owner was previously present for a zoning meeting. Abshire says something will be decided after they deal with arbitration. The extension was granted.
Properties facing condemnation
- Condemn 1105 Lori Lane –
- Mr. Vincent, owner of the building, said in the December meeting that some progress had been made but he was having trouble getting quotes from contractors. “It has been difficult to get people to even look at it,” Vincent said, and he then requested an additional 30 days. Abshire said there isn’t a lot of work that needs to be done, but the property just needs to be secured. This item was previously postponed for 30 days..
- On January 9th, Mr. Vincent was again present. Abshire says the door was wide open and she has a photo of it. Vincent says he had a contractor who agreed to do it, and the contractor texted him today to tell him he could not do the job. Vincent says someone must have broken into the facility and doesn’t see how people are getting in because the door is locked and secure. He says all he can do is “solicit another contractor.” Abshire says it’s coming to the point where action has to be taken, and they are running out of time. Vincent says it is in a “bad part of town and people are breaking in. It’s my building and I hate it. I hate those people.” Abshire says she noticed yesterday that there is a sofa flipped upside down. Vincent says he doesn’t know how to control it because he has to go to work everyday. Vincent says he has never had break ins until after the hurricane. Abshire says she doesn’t know what he has in there but eventually they’re going to take everything. Vincent says they took everything. Abshire says if granted a 30 day extension, the city will take action at the end of those 30 days. The 30-day extension was granted unanimously.
- Condemn 601 Cass Street – No one was present to speak on this item. The property was condemned.
- Condemn 905 West Burton Street – No one was present to speak on this item. The property was condemned.
- Condemn 1024 Lock Street – No one was present to speak on this item. The property was condemned.
- An ordinance zoning property to Business for Johnny Morgan, Sr., 205 Mathew Street, with an exception to allow for a mobile home. ORD01-23 (Melinda Hardy)
- Mr. Morgan was not present. Hardy says this property was never zoned, it was just omitted. Morgan never contacted Hardy. It was originally dedicated for an extension of Thomas street but that never happened. Hardy says they need to address the aesthetics of that area. She has seen some travel trailers and storage sheds.
- A concerned resident (name not given at the time of public comment) says this is at the entrance to the city of Sulphur. He says it is trashy and needs to be cleaned up. He says a lot of storage buildings are being placed all over Portie Town, and to go look at Cass Street.
- Abshire asks how do they know what all the extra buildings are being used for because people could be sleeping in them. Thomas asks if Morgan got permits for extra buildings and how he received permits if his property was already out of compliance.
- Ellender says if it is changed to mixed residential, a mobile home can be placed.
- Cole asks if they want to amend the ordinance to change it from business to residential. Blanchard says the property owners would need a variance to allow a mobile home.
- Abshire says she went to Cass Street to look at it and found it “scary,” and the property owner should have been present at today’s meeting.
- City attorney Cole says they can table the issue for the month so that the property owner can attend the meeting to discuss it.
- The council voted in favor of tabling this item until February’s meeting.
- An ordinance granting a rezone to Kermit Richard, 304 and 306 East Burton Street, from Mixed Residential to Business to allow for an electrical business. ORD04-23 (Dru Ellender)
- Mr. and Mrs. Richard are both present but do not wish to go to the podium. The ordinance was granted.
- An ordinance authorizing Mayor Mike Danahay to execute right of way/servitude with Housing Authority of the City of Sulphur, Louisiana, for the Sanitary Sewer Lift Station Replacement Project. ORD05-23 (Mayor Danahay)
- This is a right of way agreement to construct a new lift station and abandon the old one.
- The ordinance was granted.
- An ordinance authorizing Mayor Mike Danahay to sign Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with Calcasieu Parish Police Jury for Sara Street Bridge Replacement. ORD07-23 (Mayor Danahay)
- The parish wants the city to pay for half of the proposed amount of $1 million. The city wants to make a $400,000 payment since the parish has much more available funding than the city. This ordinance was introduced in December 2022.
- The ordinance was granted.
Introduction of ordinances
- An ordinance authorizing Mayor Danahay to sign Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with State of Louisiana to bore 120 feet of 12-inch water main under main drainage lateral at Louis Alleman Road.
- The State has allocated approximately $200,000 to “repair and extend life of leaking 12-inch water main that is routed below a main drainage lateral; to increase reliability of distributing clean water to homes and businesses; to mitigate the risk of damage to bridge revetment and foundation.”
- An ordinance declaring certain surplus movable property of the City of Sulphur and providing for the disposal thereof (I.T. and fire equipment). ORD09-23 (Mayor Danahay). The ordinance passed.
- The city accepted Substantial Completion for Mimosa Heights Phase 2 Street Improvements. RES02-23 (Mayor Danahay)
- Mayor Danahay was authorized to sign any and all Environmental Review documents for the Sulphur Housing Authority.
- The council approved approximately 75 liquor licenses for 2023 (see page 87 here for the full listing of all businesses related to these licenses.
Follow up questions
How will the city of Sulphur disperse funds realized from the American Recovery Plan Act? Who will be in charge of this?
- Agenda 01-09-2023
- Resolutions and Orders 01-09-2023
- Meeting minutes from 01-09-2023
- Meeting minutes from 12-12-2022
- Read our notes from December’s meeting here.