Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

2020 Census Needs Workers


The decennial US Census is underway, and the effort needs more people to help do the counting, Delores Smith told last night’s meeting of the Ruston Board of Aldermen. Smith, of Grambling, is heading up Lincoln Parish’s census operation.

Smith said the results of the count help determine legislative and congressional district boundaries, and allocation of state and federal funds that might come to the area. She added that Lincoln Parish had openings for 1100 temporary “enumerators” and that only about 350 had applied so far for the eight week job.

Said Smith, “They’re paying $14.50 an hour. It’s part time, temporary work. You go online and apply at 2020 They will train you how to do the job – they will pay you while they train you.”

The aldermen unanimously approved cooperative endeavor agreements with three agencies – Boys and Girls Club of North Central Louisiana, Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, and Dixie Center for the Arts.

Ward 4’s Jim Pearce asked if the city had any oversight of the agency’s finances. City Treasurer Laura Hartt said that reports were submitted and reviewed periodically.

Pearce noted that the agreement with the Dixie didn’t have that specified in the agreement, so it was agreed to add that provision and resubmit it at the next meeting.

Several properties, most in the area hit by the April tornado, were approved for addition to the property condemnation process.

Nasir Ahmed, owner of property on Minden Street, said he would like to have more time to make repairs, as he had limited capital.

City Inspector Bill Sanderson promised to work with Ahmed on the issue.

Ruston City Council Tomorrow


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, January 6, 2020, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton. The meeting will be in the first floor courtroom.

Here is the agenda.

Streetscape Project for Monroe Street Corridor to begin


A project to upgrade South Monroe Street in downtown Ruston got the go-ahead at last night’s meeting of the Ruston Board of Aldermen. Hunt, Guillot & Associates was tagged to provide plans, specifications, and bid documents for the project.

Monroe Street runs north/south parallel to and one block west of Trenton Street.

The project will consist of street and sidewalk upgrades, utilities relocation, street lighting, and landscaping. Portions of West Mississippi Avenue, Dan Reneau Drive, and South Homer Street are included in the project.

Mayor Ronny Walker noted that a $17 million federal grant will fund the project.

The council also approved annexation of 26.7 acres into the city, located on West Alabama north of its intersection with Maple Street.

Ruston City Council Tonight


Ruston’s City Council will meet tonight (Monday, December 2), 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here’s the agenda.

Ruston City Council Tomorrow


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

Here is the agenda.

A zoning change for an 81.66 acre tract located at 2000 South Trenton will be considered. Presently, the Ruston Country Club property is zoned residential estates district, and will be rezoned to central parkway sports.

Here are the two pertinent ordinances:

Zoning Ordinance
Ruston 21 Comprehensive Plan

Ruston’s zoning commission had recommended the change last month.

The council will also consider annexation of 26.65 acres into the city. The tract is located on the north side of West Alabama Ave. near the Alabama/Maple intersection.

Here’s the ordinance.

The board will consider approving a resolution authorizing an agreement with American Testing Laboratory for geotechnical, testing, and observation service for phase II of the recreational complex on South Farmerville.

See here the document.

The 2020 meeting dates, times, and place ordinance will be considered.

Here’s the ordinance.

Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor – The Money


Walter Pullen’s 6/14/19-9/2/19 campaign finance report shows contributions of $8,250 and loans of $5,902, for a total of $14,152 in receipts.

Among the significant contributions:

Bodet Place 1, LLC – $2,500
Todd Davison: $2,000
Our Plan B: $2,000

Pullen’s most significant expenditure – just over $3,100 – has been to Tommy’s Tees for signs, t-shirts and cups.

See here the complete report.

Billy McBride’s 1/25/19-9/2/19 report shows contributions of $6,025, and loans of $34,165, for a total of $42,190 in receipts.

McBride reported no contributions of $1,000 or more, but had numerous contributions in the $50 to $250 range.

His most significant expenditure – $12,500 – was to 50+1 Strategies for campaign consulting and film production.

Another expenditure of about $2,900 went to Cochran’s LLC for signs.

See here the complete report.

Ruston Board of Aldermen Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, September 9, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

There are a couple of notable items.

A budget amendment will be proposed for the 10/1/18-9/30/19 budget year that is about to end. That amendment will siphon $400 thousand from the general fund into the Sports Complex operating budget.

Those monies will be used to cover a $360 thousand deficit that is projected for the department this budget year.

See here the budget document.

Also, a resolution to award a Construction Manager At Risk (CMAR) contract to Lincoln Builders for Phase II of the Sports Complex.

The contract will have a “guaranteed maximum price,” but that figure is not disclosed in the resolution. The CMAR process allows awarding of certain construction contracts without bidding.

See here the proposed resolution.

More on Ruston Budgets


Here are a couple more budgets for the City of Ruston

Capital Projects

Spending on street improvement projects will be sharply curtailed for FY2020. Only $500 thousand is budgeted, compared to $1.0 million in 2017, $2.67 million in 2018, and $2.37 million in 2019.

This will likely further delay one of the major projects of the 2015 Moving Ruston Forward plan – widening of Kentucky Avenue from US 167 to Farmerville Hwy. Originally estimated at $15 million, the bulk of the project remains uncompleted.

The bridge over Colvin Creek was widened in 2015, and clearing and grubbing on the segment from Cedar Creek Road east to Farmerville Hwy was approved in 2018. Underground utilities on that segment were also installed.

See here the Capital Expenditure Budget.

Collection Department

This department hasn’t economized at all over the past three years. In FY2017, the department spent $733,591. For FY2020, Spending is projected to be $1,061,420.

Most of the increase is in the personnel category.

In FY2017, $525,854 was spent, and for 2020 that figure is budgeted at $881,770.

See here the budget.

Here is the complete budget document as presented to the Board of Aldermen last week.

Sumlin Case Headed to Trial


After four (4) years of delays, continuances, refixes, and hearings, former Louisiana state representative William Sumlin is headed to trial.

The trial, on charges of indecent behavior with a juvenile, will be held Monday, October 21, 9:00 AM in Third Judicial District Court in Ruston. A hearing for any outstanding motions is set for Wednesday, October 15, 1:30 PM, and a pretrial conference is set for Friday, October 18, 9:00 AM.

Sumlin was originally arrested in October of 2015.

The action came late yesterday afternoon in Division B Judge Tommy Roger’s courtroom.

As Sumlin and his attorney LaValle Salomon stood before the bench, Rogers could be heard asking, “What are we waiting for, Mr. Salomon?”

Appearing for the state was Assistant District Attorney Tracy Houck.

Ruston Budget Details


For the past few days, we’ve been reviewing Ruston’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, effective 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020.

Here are some of the significant items:

Police Department

The FY2020 budget allocates $4,747,814 for the year. This compares to a FY2019 original budget of $5,031,052. The projected actual spending for FY2019 is $4,882,789.

The fiscal year ends September 30, 2019.

Much of the reduction is in personnel services – salaries, overtime, retirement, insurance, etc.

The FY2020 budget allocates $3,820,243 for the year for personnel. This compares to a FY2019 original budget of $3,989,071. The projected actual spending for 2019 is $3,840,808.

Actual personnel services spending for 2017 and 2018 was $3,536,052 and $3,788,603, respectively.

See here the document.

Executive Department

This department shows a FY2020 total proposed budget of $2,646,641, compared to a proposed FY2019 amount of $2,294,022. Actual FY2019 spending is projected to be $2,492,629. FY2017 actual spending was $2,669,418, and for FY2018 it was $2,270,109.

Personnel Services for the department have been relatively constant – 2017 actual: $1,063,943, 2018 actual: $1,140,885, 2019 proposed: $1,160,084, and 2020 proposed: $1,144,056.

However, there is an item that was not budgeted for in 2019, “rent of building.” This item looks to be the culprit for the overage in 2019, and the 2020 increase.

FY2019 projects total spending in this line item to be $398,736. For FY2020, $235,062 is budgeted.

See here the document.

Sports Complex

For FY2020, this department proposes $588,107 in spending. For FY2019, the original budgeted amount was $408,925. Projections are for FY2019 spending to actually be $434,506.

Personnel Services for this department are proposed to be $401,307 for FY2020, compared to FY2019’s budget of $204,425. Actual FY2019 personnel spending is projected at $174,503.

See here the document.