Town of Homer Regular Council Meeting Minutes
Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mayor and Council of the Town of Homer met in a regular meeting session on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers, 400 East Main, Homer, LA.

Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Council of the Town of Homer was called to order by Mayor Lewis at 6:00 p.m., by extending greetings to all citizens, staff and council members present. Councilman Willie Knowles offered the Invocation and Councilman Brandon Rich led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call
On Roll Call, the following members were present:
Mayor Roy Lewis
Councilman Willie Curry, District 1
Councilwoman Vannessia Kirk, District 2
Councilman Keldron Johnston, District 3
Councilman Brandon Rich, District 4
Councilman Willie Knowles, District 5

Staff Present: City Attorney, Daniel Bays
Police Chief, Russell Mills
Town Clerk, Lori Kirkpatrick
Town Treasurer, Shenovia Harris
Financial Consultant, James Colvin
Public Works Supt, Lee Wells

Kathy Hightower, Guardian Journal

Adoption of July 13, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes
On a motion made by Councilman Willie Knowles, seconded by Councilman Brandon Rich to adopt the minutes of the July 13, 2015 meeting. Motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: 5 (Curry, Kirk, Johnston, Rich, Knowles). Nays: 0. Out of the Chamber: 0. Absent: 0 Abstentions: 0.

Public Comments:
No public comments received.

Old Business
No Old Business presented for discussion.

New Business
Discuss Assessment for Water Rates –
Jimmy Hagan with BALAR Associates, Inc. opened the discussion of the assessment of water/sewer rates for the Town of Homer and the 20-year loan to pay for the completion of laying new water lines in the city limits. Hagan went on to discuss the water well currently being drilled in Mayfield Park. He said the well had been out of service for about a year. The well will be fitted with stainless steel components which will last longer considering the corrosiveness of the area water. Hagan said the town had secured a low interest loan for $3.8 million from the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) for the water lines. The DHH loan allows about one-third of the money to be given for free which means the town will only owe about $2.5 million.
Hagan continued by saying that in order to pay for the water line renovations, the water base rate would have to be raised approximately $5 and the water rate raised approximately 50 cents per thousand gallons used. The monthly impact of the proposed rate increase will be approximately $5 to $8 per customer.
Mayor Roy Lewis stated the base rate for water in Homer is currently $7.34 per customer. He asked the council to increase the base rate $5 for a total of $12.34 with a 50 cent increase for each one thousand gallons used.
On a motion made by Councilman Willie Knowles, seconded by Councilman Keldron Johnston to approve the increase of the base water rate to $5.00 with a 50 cent increase for each one thousand gallons used. Motion passed to adopt this resolution by the following vote: Ayes: 5 (Curry, Kirk, Johnston, Rich, Knowles). Nays: 0. Out of the Chamber: 0. Absent: 0 Abstentions: 0. The increase will take effect September 1, 2015.

Authorization of rededication of 1% Sales Tax originally dated July 1971- Bond Commission. Resolution #15-014
James Colvin, financial consultant, presented the council with a proposal to authorize the rededication of the one percent Sales Tax originally dated July 1971 – Bond Commission. He stated the tax which was to fund the industrial park was no longer viable. The fund currently holds about $262,000 which cannot be used for anything except industrial related items.
Colvin stated that if this sales tax was rededicated it could be used to help pay off the debts such as the water and sewer treatment replacement. He noted this would not be a new or renewed tax but a rededicated tax. He continued by saying that if the rededication of the tax passed or didn’t pass there would be no change in the tax. Anyone inquiring about the tax should be advised that the town “is not adding one percent or a new tax but rearranging the one percent tax.
On a motion made by Councilman Brandon Rich, seconded by Councilwoman Vannessia Kirk to approve Resolution #15-014 which grants the authorization of rededicating the 1% Sales Tax to be placed on the ballot in the upcoming election. Motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: 5 (Curry, Kirk, Johnston, Rich, Knowles). Nays: 0. Out of the Chamber: 0. Absent: 0 Abstentions: 0.
Introduce Ordinance for the Town of Homer designating routes for heavy trucks. – Councilman Brandon Rich.
Councilman Brandon Rich introduced an ordinance for the Town of Homer designating routes for heavy trucks. Rich proposed to have the semis use the bypass rather than coming into town and going around the square. He also proposed that each time the truck drivers violate this ordinance they may incur a $500 fine. Mayor and Council will seek legal counsel on this matter and publish a notice before adopting the ordinance.

Discuss and approve declaring old water meters as surplus.
Mayor Lewis discussed declaring the old water meters as surplus and to advertise them under sealed bid. Old meters that were replaced by new electronic waters meters The town will sell them under a per meter basis and not by weight and will receive bids until August 28.
On a motion made by Councilman Willie Knowles, seconded by Councilman Brandon Rich the old water meters were declared as surplus and will be advertised under sealed bid until August 28, 2015. Motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: 5 (Curry, Kirk, Johnston, Rich, Knowles). Nays: 0. Out of the Chamber: 0. Absent: 0 Abstentions: 0

Approval of awarding construction contract to Utility Services Co., Inc. in the amount of $128,300.00 contingent upon approval LDHH concurrence.
Mayor Lewis asked to the Council to approve the awarding of the elevated water tank painting and repair to Utility Services Co., Inc., in the amount of $128,300.00 contingent upon approval by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. On a motion made by Councilwoman Vannessia, Kirk and seconded by Councilman Keldron Johnston to approve the awarding of the construction contract to Utility Services Co. Inc. Motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: 5 (Curry, Kirk, Johnston, Rich, Knowles). Nays: 0. Out of the Chamber: 0. Absent: 0 Abstentions: 0

Mayor’s Report
Main Street – Lori Bolling with Main Street Homer thanked the council for the use of Homer City Hall for the recent “Tablescapes for Streetscapes” event. She also updated the council on other upcoming Main Street Homer events like the Great Louisiana Harmonica Festival that will take place on the courthouse lawn again this fall on Saturday, October 17 with many of the great names in harmonica returning to headline the festival.

Adjourn
There being no further business before the Mayor and Board of Selectmen, motion by Councilman Willie Knowles, seconded by Councilwoman Vannessia Kirk, Motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: 4 (Curry, Kirk, Johnston, Rich, Knowles). Nays: 0. Out of the Chamber: 0. Absent: 0 Abstentions: 0. meeting was adjourned.

I, LORI KIRKPATRICK, CLERK, TOWN OF HOMER, DO CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE CONSTITUTES A TRUE AND CORRECT COPY OF THE MEETING MINUTES HELD BETWEEN THE MAYOR AND BOARD OF SELECTMEN OF THE TOWN OF HOMER, THIS August 10, 2015, COUNCIL CHAMBERS, HOMER, LOUISIANA.
_____________________________
Lori Kirkpatrick
TOWN CLERK, TOWN OF HOMER, HOMER, LA.