Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

City Council Approves Downtown Project


At last night’s meeting of the Ruston City Council approval was granted to move forward on Phase 6 of the ongoing Downtown Revitalization Project. This part will involve about seven blocks along and either side of Trenton Street south from West Alabama to Georgia Avenue.

The work will involve sidewalk and parking construction, burial of utilities, street lighting, and plantings.

Public Works Utilities Manager Andrew Halbrook said that Amethyst Construction of West Monroe was the low bidder. He also said that construction would begin after the first of the year, and would take about 20 months.

Another project about to begin is the second phase of obstruction removal at the Ruston Regional Airport.

Public Works Director John Freeman said this part of the project would acquire the grants from the Department of Transportation, and allow the city to obtain permission from the property owner for tree removal.

The council approved a subdivision on the I-20 North Service Road that will result in a new restaurant between Whataburger and Don Chuey.

Panda Express is a fast food chain with a Chinese menu, and has about 2,200 location across the US.

Ruston Board of Aldermen Tomorrow


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, October 4, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here’s the agenda.

Most Lincoln Parish DC Inmates not Vaxxed


About 60% of the inmates now housed at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center are not vaccinated, Warden Jim Tuten told the quarterly meeting of the Detention Center Commission this morning.

Said Tuten, “Right now, about 40% of our inmates are vaccinated, and 60% refused to be vaccinated. Any time anybody comes in that’s been arrested, we ask them, we have a form they fill out and we ask them if they’ve had the inoculation, and if they answer no, we ask them do you want a shot, and the vast majority are refusing.”

However, Tuten said that only four inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 this year, and they all exhibited no symptoms. The jail continues to have an extensive disinfection and screening procedure in place, he said.

“We’re still taking every inmate’s temperature three times a day,” said Tuten. He added, “All of our employees – when we come in the morning, the first thing that happens, we take our temperature. We’re doing all that we can to try to protect our staff and our inmates.”

Tuten noted that as of midnight last night, the jail held 306 inmates, with 203 of them in pre-trial detainment.

The commission also set dates in November and December to adopt an amended budget for the current year, and a proposed budget for 2022.

Asked about the in-custody death of an inmate last week, Sheriff Stephen Williams said that the body had been sent to Little Rock, AR for autopsy by Dr. Frank Peretti of the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

Lincoln Parish Coroner Dr. Michael Belue will have to sign off on the findings, Williams said.

Detention Center Commission Thursday


The Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission will meet Thursday, September 30, 10:00 AM, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here is the agenda.

Ruston Board of Aldermen Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, September 13, 2021, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton Street.

Here is the agenda.

City Keeps Millage Rate Same as Prior Year


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen last night approved an ordinance levying property taxes for tax year 2021 that is at the same rate as tax year 2020.

A 5.19 mil tax is dedicated to general operating needs, and a 2.89 mil tax is dedicated to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

City Clerk Julie Speir said that the general operating tax brings in about $1 million/year, while the RPAR tax takes in about $560 thousand.

Said Speir, “Without rolling either millage forward, we anticipate modest growth, based on new properties coming on to the tax rolls.

The council also introduced an ordinance amending the criminal code relating to the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Recent legislation signed into law by Gov. Bel Edwards and effective 8/1/2021 makes possession of less than 14 grams of cannabis is punishable by a $100 fine and no threat of jail time for the first and every subsequent offense. Possession of more than 14 grams still carries harsh penalties.

Mayor Ronny Walker said that the proposed amendment will align city ordinances with the new state law.

Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, July 12, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

City Council Tomorrow


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, June 7, 2021, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

Ruston Council Overrides P&Z on Church


After 45 minutes of an active public comment period from supporters and opponents of a zoning change requested by Faith Church Ruston, the City Council rejected the unanimous recommendation of the City’s Planning & Zoning board to grant the change.

Ward 5’s Bruce Seigmund moved to adopt the recommendation, but there was no second.

This was the second time this year that a P&Z recommendation was overruled.

Pastor Stan Pody said that the church needed room to grow, as its membership has continued to expand.

Said Pody, “I believe the sight and sound issues, if they were taken care of, this would be a win-win to everybody.”

He said that an addition to the existing building would enable the seating capacity to be doubled.

At the March 15 P&Z meeting the opponents cited loud music, unsightly storage buildings, and future commercial encroachment into the neighborhood.

Several people from the nearby Trenton Place subdivision spoke.

Allen Tuten said that he was concerned that the property wouldn’t be kept up and degrade the neighborhood.

Michelle McGee noted that rezoning could change property values in Trenton Place.

Said McGee, “If that back behind me becomes commercial property, that changes the value of my home.”

Several Church members gave testimony about how Faith Church had turned their lives around.

A + Cuts Lawn and Landscaping owner Grayson Allen said that he learned Biblical business principles at Faith.

“I didn’t learn the principles that I know about business going to Ruston High, going to Tech – I learned them from teaching from The Word – how to do Biblical business. I got taught that at Faith Church Ruston,” he said.

Colton Hall said Faith Church his life was changed for the better.

Said Hall, “I was lost, I was bound by addiction. I was not leading a very good life. I took a leap of faith and I moved down here, and shortly after I opened up my own insurance agency. It’s absolutely change my life, it’s changed my wife’s life, and now we have a one year old son.”

Earlier in the meeting, the council approved a resolution to hire a feasibility consultant for study of a city-owned internet service provider.

The vote followed public comments from over a half-dozen residents who were not satisfied with the local cable provider’s internet service.

Mayor Ronny Walker cautioned that if the plan were to move ahead, it could be as long as two years before the service would be up and running.

No Taxes on Water, Electricity


A proposed economic development district located on East Mississippi Avenue WILL NOT result in the city’s water and electricity customer paying a 1.75% sales tax as we reported yesterday.

We regret the error.

A commercial development is underway on the property, utilizing an old building that once housed the city’s diesel power generation equipment.

See here the complete resolution.

See here the complete ordinance.