LOUISIANA – A flood-prone part of Louisiana could be transformed if a recently submitted grant application is successful.
Kiffany Ardeneaux (Ward II), the head of the Council’s housing committee, updated Louisiana City Council at its Monday, Feb. 10 committees meeting on the city’s application for a Community Development Block grant through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If successful, the grant could allow buy-outs of landowners in some areas south of Main Street along Rte. 79 in order to turn the property into green space.
The grant was put together by Ardeneaux, building inspector Jeff Windmiller, and Cindy Hultz, the executive director of the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments.
“We talked about turning it into a walking park, and [Hultz] said there’s a grant we could get for that where everything from the track to playground equipment to pavilions [would] be made with recycled material,” Ardeneaux said.
Ardeneaux said that Hultz, who assists governments throughout the region with applications for resources, felt positive about the prospects for the grants. Hultz could not be reached for comment before press time.
City Administrator Kelly Henderson cautioned the Council that new parkland would impose new maintenance costs, even if the cost of creating the new parkland is covered by the grant. Ardeneaux said Hultz had suggested that the state Department of Conservation might be able to help with maintenance costs.
End to no-appearance court fines advances
Also at Monday’s meeting the city’s ordinance committee voted to advance a proposed repeal of section 125.111 of the City Code, which provides for fines against people who don’t make their court dates at Louisiana’s municipal court.
The city’s ordinance committee voted to put the issue on the agenda for the next full Council meeting
The repeal reflects changes in state law designed to prevent snowballing fees for people as they move through the court system.
As it stands, the provision allows for a fine of up to $500 for non-appearance and a $150 “warrant fee” if a warrant is issued due to failure to appear.
Police Chief April Epperson told the Council that warrants could still be issued for people who failed to turn up to court, but a failure to appear would no longer be met with a fine.