Documenter name: Tracy E. Antoine
Agency holding meeting: Dequincy City Council
Date: March 13, 2023
The council voted on seven issues regarding the process of condemnation for four structures within the city, with the council members hearing from a resident regarding an ongoing sewage problem.
The atmosphere was casual as citizens spoke with each other and council members. Some appeared to be tense. The mayor went around the room greeting citizens. Approximately 25 citizens were present.
The Dequincy City Hall Meeting commenced at 5:30 p.m. with Council Chairman Eddy Dahlquist calling the meeting to order. Mayor Riley Smith gave the invocation and Jim Smith led the pledge of allegiance.
A motion was made by Jim Smith and seconded by Scott Wylie to approve the February 13, 2023 regular meeting minutes. All members were in favor and the motion was approved. Attendance was checked by Sherri Breaux, who will be replacing Pat Brummett, City Council Clerk (in May 2023). Cameron Smith, Margaret Brown, Eddy Dahlquist, Jim Smith, and Scott Wylie were all present along with Mayor Riley Smith and City Attorney Doug Cox.
Valecia Royer read the financial report. As of February 28, 2023, actual year-to-date revenues $2,742,548.00 with a budget of $6,527,710.00, budget remaining $3,785,161.00. Total year-to-date expenses $2,333,666.00 budget $8,672,570.00 budget remaining $6,338,903.00.
Mr. Dahlquist asked Mayor Smith for his report. Mayor Smith referred the council members to look at the packet he’d given them regarding a financial audit. Mayor Smith stated, “That is an audit that we just went through. During the audit they found 4 minor infractions. The findings were that there were two mistakes that we made on our bid, and one was our budget preparation … a misunderstanding on the way it was worded, and then one was a Purchase Order.”
Mayor Smith thanked Valecia Royer for the preparation of the audit.
Mayor Smith continued with his report. He stated, “I need two of our council. We want to form a committee for the annexation and some building codes.”
Mayor Smith asked, “If you all want to get with Ms. Kim Rainwater, we will be doing the golf cart shuttling and that’s going to be Friday and Saturday for the scheduling, so get with her on that. Also, we do have the parade, that’s going to be April 7th. We will be meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Third St.”
The shuttling service will be for patrons who have to park off site during the 2023 Dequincy Railroad Festival, which start on April 6, 2023.
Mayor Smith concluded with a thank you to all the city council members for attending the chamber banquet. Mr. Jim Smith congratulated Mayor Smith, as he and his wife won Citizen of the Year award.
Mr. Dahlquist asked for approval of the March 13, 2023, agenda. Mr. Scott Wylie made the motion and Mr. Cameron Smith seconded it. The council members all approved. No comments or discussions.
Mr. Dahlquist asked, “does anyone have anything that’s not on the agenda we need to talk about?”
Ms. Vivian Boyd introduced herself, including her address. Ms. Boyd stated,“this is pertaining to the sewer. Did you find out when it is going to be fixed. I came out here and talk to somebody in January and they said that you all had been approved for some money and you all were supposed to be starting in February. It’s been an ongoing with sewer and everything else in the street and keep on smelling it, sanitary products in the road and all in the yard and stuff. It’s at Richard Allen St and William Still St.”
Mayor Riley agreed with Ms. Boyd that there is a problem, he then asked Hank Frazier (Public Works) to explain what is going on with the project.
Mr. Frazier said, “Well, I spoke to her before and I feel like she thought maybe I wasn’t being truthful with her, but the hold-up now is we’ve been approved for the money, the equipment has been purchased, some of the equipment is coming from Sweden and it’s a problem right now getting stuff and that’s what the holdup is.”
Ms.Brown said, “I think I’ve spoken to you regarding that, and I’ve spoken to other people that are on that street. Yes, it’s terrible, it’s awful, but I have been in touch with Hank regarding the ongoing problem that’s been there for years and years, so we are at this point trying to do something.”
Ms. Boyd said that,”since returning to Dequincy in 2005, it has been going on since then and we are in 2023 and the problem is still not corrected.”
Mayor Smith and Ms. Brown both said that they are working on it.
The council moved on to number 5 on the agenda, which was to start the process of condemnation at 1001 Richard Allen St. Jim Smith made a motion “to table it” until May, after being informed by Ms. Brown that she has spoken to a buyer and once the land is purchased, the buyer will pay for the condemnation. Cameron Smith seconded the motion. All members voted for approval.
Motion made by Scott Wylie, seconded by Margaret Brown, to proceed with condemnation of 522 Beech St. Motion was made by Jim Smith and seconded by Cameron Smith to proceed with the condemnation process of 603 Velmar.
Ella Chapman addressed the council regarding a variance to allow her to purchase a permit to place a 16×72 mobile home to place on her property. The motion to approve was made by Margaret Brown and seconded by Jim Smith. Motion approved.
Martha Gross addressed the council regarding a variance to build a home on her property that is smaller than the square footage allowed in Dequincy Ordinance. Motion was made by Jim Brown and seconded by Mr.Dahlquist
The council approved the authorization of Mayor Smith to act on behalf of the City of Dequincy to consider and take appropriate action for a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with The Pentecostal Church of Dequincy and the City of Dequincy.
Mayor Smith said, “What that is, is when the hurricane destroyed the church, the rebuilding and the way that their building is, the city sewer is higher than the sewer in the church, so a lift station is needed.” The motion was made by Cameron Smith and seconded by Margaret Brown to provide this via the CEA. Motion was approved.
Motion to adjourn was made at 5:59 p.m. by Scott Wylie and seconded by Margaret Brown.