Agency Holding Meeting: Lake Charles City Council 

Location: City Council Chambers, Lake Charles City Hall

Date: February 7,  2023, 5:30 pm

Documenter Name: Carl M. Ambrose, Jr.


A delayed council meeting due to Mardi Gras means a packed agenda. A member of the public brought flooding issues to the council’s attention.

The Scene

Significantly few people were present for the meeting, with only one person there to speak who told those in attendance why she was there and what she wanted to talk about.  She gave pictures for Mike to put up as she spoke and chatted with anyone who would listen.  Other than her voice, it was reasonably quiet.

Flooding issue brought to the council

Present Ieyoub brought the agenda meeting to order and advised that a constituent needed to speak so she could leave due to her inability to drive at night. Teresa Manuel, who has spoken in front of the council before about flooding in her yard, described the pictures that were up for the council to see. She stated that her entire backyard and now her carport flooded. This is due to the new development behind her home, she said.  

When asked where the water was coming from, her response was: “from that development that’s built four and a half feet above my yard.” She said, “The pond’s still there.” She said the three bids to remove the standing water are all in the $6,000 range. If she could get the contractor to reduce the drainage and lower it, it would give her relief.

She also stated that her fig tree had rotted in the pictures and that something needed to be done because her fence was rotting away.  Marks noted the height of the new home compared to Ms. Manuel’s fence and that he had personally visited the property and asked about the new drainage ordinance and how they related. Ieyoub, who is familiar with the situation, stated that he thinks they are in compliance and that he had a similar situation and the new development ended up helping the homeowner out. Marks said he just wanted to “check all the boxes” and ensure everything was in compliance, then be part of a conversation to help resolve it.

Cardone advised that they would “evaluate it” and get back to Marks in a week.  Ms. Manuel thanked Marks and hoped this would finally be solved. 


Then, Ieyoub asked Thibodeaux to “start reading in,” and she started with the chair appointments. 

  • The first, for Various Citywide Drainage and Infrastructure Improvements Phase II, the purchase of one new tandem axle dump truck for the Wastewater Division of the Public Works Department and a grapple truck for the Solid Waste Trash Division of Public Works. 
  • Other chair appointments needed are to review bids for four one-half ton extended cab trucks for Engineering and Wastewater and Vehicle Maintenance Divisions
  • Two three-quarter-ton trucks for the grounds maintenance division of public works
  • Review bids for the Southeast Water Treatment Plant
  • Review bids for three one-half ton trucks for the Water Division of Public Work

Public hearings and actions on demolitions

  • There will be ordering of demolition of 1220 Opelousas St, owned by Willis Jacob, Sr. and Claude Brooks, III.
  • The council will also be setting a hearing date for condemnation demolition structures located at
    • 3308 South General Wainwright, Geraldine Savoy January, owners
    • 1020 17th Street, Charles Stafford Valentine and Annette F. Braxton Valentine, owners
    • 317 Brammer Lane, Raymond Antoine, owner.

Final action on ordinances

  • Accepting the lowest responsible bid for the Downtown Streetscape, Phase II
  • Amending the Code of Ordinances concerning the proximity of permitted liquor sales to schools, churches, etc.
  • Authorization to purchase tracts of land on North Martin Luther King in the 1500 block.
  • Accepting the best quote to repair the fencing at Nelson Park ballfields

Other actions 

  • Accepting the Center East and Chennault Water Treatment Plants’ Pressure Filter Rehabilitation as substantially complete and the advertising of the 45-day lien period.
  • Authorizing the City of Lake Charles to issue a Request for Proposals for appraisal services for its’ HOME and CDBG housing programs.
  • To receive bids for  North Beach Recreational Pier Project, Civic Center Exterior Repairs, and repairs and improvements at the Prejean Park ballfields.
  • Authorization for the canceling of the Lake Charles City Council Agenda Meeting that is  scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2023, due to the Mardi Gras holiday.
  • A resolution authorizing the City to proceed with several development projects to establish additions and improvements to the City’s waterwork systems and authorizing application to the Louisiana State Bond Commission.
    • GEORGE WEST Water Plant, involving issuing taxable revenue bonds not to exceed One Million Four Hundred Thousand dollars ($1,400,000)and 
    • SOUTHWEST Water Plant, involving issuing taxable revenue bonds not to exceed One Million Four Hundred Thousand dollars($1,400,000)
    • CENTEREAST Water Plant, issuing taxable revenue bonds not to exceed Two Million and No/100 dollars ($2,000,000)
  • A resolution sponsored by Geyen thanking Commissioner of Insurance James J.  “Jim” Donelon, the Southwest Louisiana Legislative Delegation and Governor John Bel Edwards for assisting with providing homeowners insurance coverage with an incentive plan for insurance companies to write new business in Louisiana.
  • An ordinance authorizing a change order for Rosa Hart Theatre Repairs
  • Ordinances for introduction were introduced for two properties, one at 1020 17th St, Charles Stafford Valentine and Annette F. Braxton Valentine, owners, and another at 317 Brammer Lane, Raymond Antoine, owner.
  • The city is authorized to find the most qualified firms responding to a proposal request for appraisal services for the “HOME and CDBG housing programs, as well as bids for the North Beach Recreational Park Pier and the Civic Center Exterior Repairs, and the Prejean Park ballfields.  An authorization for issuing twenty million dollars in bonds to be sold to the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund for the City of Lake Charles Public Improvement Project.
  • The city is authorized to enter into an agreement with Entergy to complete the lighting repairs on the Contraband bayou corridor and purchase a property at 1201 6th Ave.

Comments from the council

Ieyoub opens the floor for comments and additions. August spoke about running water near the corner of Goos and Carter, near the graveyards, and asked for that to be looked into, as well as some of the properties she put up for demolition, saying some of the properties she put up a while ago are still up and others submitted later are coming down. 

Geyen spoke about sending a resolution to the Insurance Commissioner, governor, and state delegation, thanked them for the work to have the incentive to write new business in the state. “It may not solve all of our problems,” he said, “but they made a concerted effort to get something done, and I want to thank them for that.” 

Marks thanked the Lake Charles Police Department for the work they have been doing clearing the roadways of abandoned vehicles. He also commended Castille on how the parks and ballfields look excellent and well-kept. Finally, he inquired about the status of the speed bumps. Cardone said he would get a timeline to him. He ended by asking about an installed driveway that they were adding onto it. “We still needed to find out if it was within the code,” he said, and asked that it be investigated.

Comments from the public

There was one card from a speaker who wished to address the council. Cullen Washington spoke about a problem with the city water company concerning a $2,000 water bill for rental properties. Washington said that he was trying to solve a problem with his account for his rental properties when he was threatened with a merger of bills, having his water cut off. He said they would “tear the street up to cut your water off.” This was after calling the police on Washington after unsuccessful attempts to cut off his water at his residence, even though that bill was up to date. Washington stated, “I put my vehicle over the meter so they couldn’t get to it, and the next day, the police were there.” 

He spoke passionately about how he was “mistreated and embarrassed” after having the police called to his home. August spoke about how some action should be taken against the individual that caused the problems for Washington. The discussion also centered around preventative measures to keep this from happening again. August said,”It’s our job to please the customer, and when we can’t cop an attitude…that is why I asked Washington to come.” 

She said this seemed an extreme situation and that “this is someone who has taken a lot of authority into their position, and I think that that person should be spoken to.” After a brief discussion, Cardone said: “No water will be cut off until it is investigated.” Geyen noted that some “corrective measures” should be taken to put procedures in place about conflicts ”so this kind of attitude won’t be there.”

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