Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

Ruston City Council Approves Tax Increase Vote

02/09/2016

Ruston’s Board of Aldermen approved a resolution calling an April 9 special election to raise the city’s sales tax by 3/4 cents at last night’s meeting. Making the motion was Angela Mayfield (Ward 2), and seconding was Carolyn Cage (Ward 1). Also voting for the motion was Jim Pierce (Ward 4) and Bruce Siegmund (Ward 5). Jedd Lewis (Ward 3) was absent.

The tax is expected to collect from taxpayers over $4 million/yr for 20 years, with the proceeds going toward various infrastructure projects. Also in the plan is a new $15 million sports complex off South Farmerville. The existing facilities would be replaced.

See here the plan.

Moments later, the council voted to award a local business, Timeless Treasures Originals, a tax break for restoration and renovation of it’s building at 103 North Trenton.

That resolution also passed on a 4-0 vote.

In other business, Mayor Ronny Walker recognized Lincoln Builders as the Employer of the Month.

Edwards Fundraiser @ Squire Creek Next Month

01/22/2016
click to enlarge

Mays Files Motion to Dismiss Charges

01/20/2016

There was a defense motion filed in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston yesterday, but wasn’t filed by the defendant Cameron Mays’ attorney James Buckley. It was written and filed by the defendant himself, or “pro se.”

In the motion, Mays writes that the several charges against him (2nd degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated rape, possession of stolen things, aggravated burglary) should be dropped, because his trial didn’t commence within the time specified by Louisiana’s Code of Criminal Procedure.

The motion will be heard at 9 AM, February 16. Trial is scheduled to begin February 22.

Buckley wasn’t in court because of an illness.

Prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General Mike Ruddick, and presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

Monday’s Ruston City Council

01/06/2016

For several years, the Ruston City Council and the Administration have been aggressive in condemning substandard structures in the city limits, as per Ruston’s Code of Ordinances. Several were on the agenda at Monday night’s meeting.

In the case of the already-condemned structures reviewed Monday, the 30-day recommended deadline to bring the structures into compliance was extended to 90 days on three of the structures. The council will review the progress, or lack thereof, at the end of the time period.

See here the memo.

Earlier in the meeting, Hunt, Guillot & Associates was recognized for their award by Engineering News-Record with a 2015 Regional Best Project Award on the recently completed Streetscape Project.

HGA Principal Jay Guillot reviewed a slide presentation of the project with the council and audience, and told how the project progressed from a sidewalk project over ten years ago into a major rebuild of the streets, sidewalks, and utilities.

Asked Guillot, “Do you miss the overhead powerlines? It’s remarkable, because go down there now, you forget they were there.”

Sales Tax Hike “Announcement” @ Ruston City Council Tomorrow

01/03/2016

An “announcement” of a proposed 3/4 cent sales tax increase is on the agenda for tomorrow’s (Monday, 1/4) meeting to of the Ruston City Council.

Announcement that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, at their next regular meeting to be held on February 8, 2016, plan to consider adopting a Resolution to call a special election on April 9, 2016, to propose to the voters of the City, the authorization of a 3/4% Sales Tax.

The meeting will be at Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton, 5:30 PM. Here is the agenda.

Mays, Bonton February Trial Date on Schedule

12/15/2015

A February 22, 2016 trial date for accused murderer Cameron Mays and his alleged accomplice Brandon Bonton is still on schedule, Assistant Attorney General Mike Ruddick said in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court this morning in Ruston.

Ruddick said he would be trying Mays first on charges of aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated burglary that allegedly occurred near the Cypress Springs neighborhood where retired Grambling State University Professor Dr. Sue Hashway was found slain in June of 2012. The alleged victim in the rape and kidnapping case was a Louisiana Tech student.

Representing Mays is Public Defender James Buckley.

A 1/19/16 status hearing is set for Mays.

Bonton was also in court this morning, where he enrolled as his attorney of record Robert Noel, of Monroe. He is charged with accessory to 2nd degree murder, accessory to burglary, possession of stolen things, and theft of a firearm.

Presiding this morning was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

The 12/7/15 Ruston City Council Meeting

12/08/2015

Last night’s meeting of the Ruston Board of Aldermen saw a slew of resolutions adopted, including one pertaining to the Monster Moto project.

That resolution is in the form of a contract with the State of Louisiana for a community development block grant that will fund development of streets and utilities relative to the project.  If approved, the grant will reimburse the city $870 thousand.

See here the documents.

Also approved was a resolution to purchase another 13 acres in the industrial park, near the intersection of McDonal Avenue and Beacon Light Road. That parcel is priced at $70 thousand, according to Kristi Lumpkin, the city’s economic development officer.

Finally, the council reviewed and approved a list of substandard structures that must be rehabilitated or demolished.

See here the memo.

Ruston City Council Monday

12/06/2015

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

Here is the agenda.

Among the items to be considered will be final adoption of budget amendments for the FY 2014-2015 budget ended 9/30/15. A public hearing will be held prior to the council’s vote.

Here are the proposed amendments.

Also, an ordinance setting the dates of council meetings for 2016 will be up for a vote.

See here the proposed ordinance.

Ruston Daily Leader Begins Drumbeat for Higher Taxes on the Little People

11/25/2015

With two “news” articles within five days touting Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker’s massive infrastructure rebuild for the city, it is almost assured that the area’s daily paper, The Ruston Daily Leader, will be supporting the plan, along with sticking the people who shop in Ruston for an additional 3/4 ¢ in sales taxes to help pay for it.

On Sunday, 11/22/15 there was this:

Infrastructure package proposed

Today, another article reporting on a Walker news conference held yesterday:

Sales tax approval needed to move forward

Readers will recall that in late September, The Leader began a campaign to reverse a 9/8/15 Lincoln Parish Police Jury vote to deny a tax break to two local businesses.

Several articles and editorials held forth on the necessity of such tax breaks to encourage “economic development.”

At the 11/10/15 jury meeting, the earlier vote was reversed, and the tax breaks granted.

One of the counter arguments was that the tax breaks would have to be made up by other taxes somewhere else.

Sure enough, days later a massive spending plan has been unveiled that will have to be paid for by taxing those who can least afford it via sales taxes.

You can bet the people who are pushing this plan of higher sales taxes are the same ones who stampeded the police jury into reversing their vote on the business tax breaks.

See here the complete Ruston infrastructure plan.

Readers need to know about, however, the business relationship The Ruston Daily Leader enjoys with the City of Ruston.

For calendar year 2014, as “official journal,” the newspaper billed the city nearly $12 thousand for “legal advertising.”

See here the document.

This amount does not include similar relationships that the newspaper has with other governmental entities in the area, such as the police jury and the Lincoln Parish School Board.

Walker Unveils Massive Infrastructure Rebuild of Ruston, Plus 3/4 ¢ Sales Tax Hike to Pay for it

11/18/2015

Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker has unveiled a multi-million dollar “wish list” that includes streets, sewers, water, drainage, and recreation projects to be completed over the next ten years. Walker spoke to a group of at the old Fire Station earlier this afternoon.

Said Walker, “When I came on board in January I started meeting with all our department heads and looking at our city from a strategic plan and long term plan, as far as the next ten and twenty years. What I found was we had a backlog of infrastructure projects that some were ten and fifteen that we needed to do just to get us up to this point, but we really needed to look forward if we were planning on growing the city.”

To fund the projects, Walker wants to put a 3/4 ¢ sales tax increase before the voters next April.

Among the more significant projects:

Three lane rebuild of Kentucky from 167 to hwy 33 – $15 million
Sheppard Creek drainage improvements – $6.5 million
Street Overlays – 35 miles – $5 million
Sports Complex on South Farmerville – $15 million

Map of proposed Ruston Projects

Map of proposed Ruston Projects

Financing for the projects, estimated at $80 million total, would be a combination of borrowing, sales tax proceeds, state funding, and existing funding.

WP_000587

Walker noted that while the tax increase would put Ruston’s sales tax at 9 1/2%, it is still lower than other communities in the area.

Seen in the crowd of three to four dozen people were representatives of the area’s engineering, construction, and real estate interests.


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