Documenter name: Natalie McLendon
Agency holding meeting: Westlake City Council
Date: Monday, February 27, 2023
The council recognized Tristan Goodly, local track champion, and Sasol gave a presentation about their plans for the future.
The city council chamber was full of regular attendees who walked around shaking hands and greeting one another. All city council members were present. Sarah Hughes and Eric Walker from Sasol were also in the audience.
No one from the community provided public comment.
Through Louisiana’s Lawrason Act, the city of Westlake operates with a five person council.
The council approved the minutes from the last meeting in January.
Discussion and Action Items
Mayor Hal McMillin begins the meeting by saying that a city contractor was hacked about a year and a half ago. The hacker who stole approximately $64000 via wire transfer has been extradited back to southwest Louisiana. We previously reported on this issue in our January notes. One news article stated that the Legislative Auditor found this $64000 mistake, but the city finance director found the error first and contacted the FBI as well as Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
McMillin acknowledged that Tristan Goodly was in the audience. Goodly is a Westlake High School 2023 Division 2 indoor long jump and triple jump state champion. The council congratulated him and issued a certificate of recognition. Goodly plans to attend Southeastern Louisiana University.
The council voted in favor of Sarah Hughes, Manager of Stakeholder Relations at Sasol, making a presentation about “the future of Sasol.” Among the highlights of what Sasol has provided to the community, Hughes says that Sasol has spent over $18 million in sales, property, and payroll taxes. Sasol participates in Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program, or ITEP. Eric Walker, Vice President of Operations in Louisiana, Arizona, and Texas, was also present. Walker, who has worked for Sasol for over 20 years and is from Lake Charles, says that the site here in southwest Louisiana is the “crown jewel” of Sasol. He discussed Sasol’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030, and indicated a number of ways that Sasol plans to do that through its forthcoming Sustainability Hub, which includes CCUS. Carbon Capture Utilization and Sequestration is a process that Stanford University researcher Mark C. Jacobson indicates is not as clean as it is purported to be. “All sorts of scenarios have been developed under the assumption that carbon capture actually reduces substantial amounts of carbon. However, this research finds that it reduces only a small fraction of carbon emissions, and it usually increases air pollution,” Jacobson said.
Next on the agenda was Resolution 3643, a resolution authorizing Mayor McMillin to accept substantial completion and notice for work done by H.D. Truck & Tractor for the Golf Course Hole 14 Drainage Improvements.
They approved the introduction of Ordinance 1018, an ordinance for the purpose of soliciting online bids through govdeals.com to dispose of obsolete and unnecessary property and/or equipment.
The city introduced Ordinance 1019, which would allow Mayor McMillin to sell property within city limits to John Perry for $1000. The property is adjacent to lot 31 of augusta village.
The council appointed Johnny Conrad to the Westlake Real Estate Board to replace Derek Benoit. Conrad is a former Kemah city councilman.
The Behavior Policy for the golf course was approved and went into effect the same evening. The policy can be found in this month’s agenda packet.
The city approved Resolution 3644. The mayor was authorized to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and Recreation District 1 of Ward 4 of Calcasieu Parish for producing a comprehensive golf program.
The city needs to appoint a public works director, but this item was tabled.
- City Projects
- John stine road improvements – final inspection has been done.
- Foster Lane and Jones Street sewer extension – completed by williams construction. The city accidentally cut one property owner’s electric line.
- Old #14 golf hole has been completed
- The sanitary equalization system is a $7.5 million project. The city still does not have all of the funding for this, but the project has been submitted to the state.
- Pinderosa Parkway – This road will be adjacent to the water park that is still in development. This is a $7 million project and is currently under review.
- Finalized ductwork. Aerial flythrough will be done see 37:00.
- Monthly work order reports for all departments
- Hearing for departmental reports
- Police Department
- Chief Willrye handed out a report. There is a Westlake officer patrolling I-10 now.
- Fire Department.
- The fire report indicates that there were 82 calls in December 2022, and Chief Duff says there were over 100 calls in January. The fire department gives out smoke detectors and will go to your home to install them, and they have been giving these out for the past 15 years. Now they are working with the state fire marshal’s office.
- Westlake is now the first fire department in southwest Louisiana to have advanced EMTs who can start an intravenous line while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Duff says he plans to get some firefighters to the level of paramedic.
- Yesterday they found a baby owl that had fallen out of a tree on the golf course. With the help of Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation, Inc., firefighters were able to return the owl to the tree.
- Public Works Director
- Doug Fleming has been in the hospital, so there is no report for this month.
- Director of Golf
- The golf course had the best daily play revenue in the history of the club, averaging over $10,000 last weekend.
- The St. Patrick’s Day tournament is March 11th.
- There is a tournament on March 3, the Sunshine Cup, to benefit the Children’s Museum.
- Police Department
The next agenda meeting is Tuesday, March 14. The next regular council meeting is Monday, March 21, 2023.