Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

Many Local Politicians Get Free Ride to Office


Many local politicians were unopposed for election at the closing of the three-day qualifying period at 4:30 PM today, including all the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB), all the Ruston City Council, the Mayor of Ruston, a Third Judicial District judge, and an appeals court judge.

Elected without opposition were:

Jay B. McCallum – Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, District 2, Division 1
Jeff Robinson – Third Judicial District Court, Division A
Susan Wiley – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 1
David Ferguson – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 2
David Gullatt – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 3
Mike Barmore – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 4
Danny Hancock – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 5
Joe Mitcham – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 6
Hunter Smith – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 7
Lisa Best – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 8
Lynda Henderson – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 9
Otha Anders – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 10
George Mack, Jr. – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 11
Debbie Abrahm – Lincoln Parish School Board, District 12

Incumbent school board members Curtis Dowling (District 3) and Trott Hunt (District 7) did not run for re-election. All the others were incumbents and were unopposed.

Smith is a petroleum landman and graduate of Ruston High School and Louisiana Tech. Gullatt is an adjunct professor at Louisiana Tech.

Robinson is a local attorney and is an assistant district attorney in the Third Judicial District.

Also, incumbent Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker was unopposed, as was the entire incumbent Board of Aldermen:

Carolyn Cage – Alderman, Ward 1
Angela Mayfield – Alderman, Ward 2
Jedd Lewis – Alderman, Ward 3
Jim Pearce – Alderman, Ward 4
Bruce Siegmund – Alderman, Ward 5

The race for Division C of the Third Judicial District is contested, and will be decided on Tuesday, November 6.

Vying for that position are Bruce Hampton and Monique Clement.


Ruston Mayor Walker Still Pushing for Sparta Water “Fees”


Despite the failure earlier this year of legislation that would have imposed “user fees” upon metered water customers within 16 parishes that comprise the Sparta Aquifer region, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker is still insistent that the money is needed to pay for a $100 million treatment plant and water pipeline from Lake D’Arbonne to Ruston. That lake water would replace water that is now withdrawn from the Sparta Aquifer.

Walker made his comments at a “planning session” meeting of area officials and some members of the Sparta Groundwater Commission yesterday afternoon at Ruston City Hall.

Walker’s push was met with resistance from area legislators. Getting the legislature, and then the voters to agree to that plan was problematic, they said.

District 35 State Senator Jim Fannin suggested that voters would support more taxes and fees if the priorities were different.

Said Fannin, “You’ve got to be honest with your citizens. When we put our priorities that need funding first, ahead of football, and ahead of athletics, then some of the funding will be there. Water ought to be the number one priority, period.”

Fannin suggested that a pipeline might not be the best way for $100 to be spent, saying that a significant amount of water was wasted from leakage in the many community and rural water systems around the region.

District 33 Senator Mike Walsworth agreed.

“It’s easy to say one project is going to be the magic pill. I think there’s a lot of ways to get smaller projects so everybody can get a little relief,” he said.

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser told the group that he would chair a meeting of legislators and other officials of the sixteen parishes and see if some funding mechanism could be agreed upon, along with a course of action.

Lt. Governor Visits Jefferson Corner


Billy Nungesser (L), Jeff Robinson, Bobby Bennett, Cody Richard

Saying that he was fulfilling a campaign promise to revisit the Jefferson Corner coffee club, Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser showed up bright and early this morning to enjoy a cup of coffee with the group.

Nungesser made a campaign stop there in June, 2015 prior to his election.

Two Sparta Meetings This Week


Two meetings related to the Sparta Aquifer will be held this week – one in Ruston on Monday, and the other in Farmerville on Wednesday.

The Monday meeting is billed as a planning meeting and will reportedly have Louisiana Lt Governor Billy Nungesser as a guest.

Monday, July 9, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton, 3:00 PM

The Wednesday meeting is the regular quarterly meeting of the Sparta Groundwater Commission.

Wednesday, July 11, Police Jury Meeting Room, 300 E. Water Street, Farmerville, 2:00 PM

2018 City Property Tax Ordinance Introduced


An ordinance setting the property tax rates for the City of Ruston was introduced at last night’s meeting of the City Council. Rates are 5.25 mils (for ordinary expenses and public improvements) and 2.92 mils (for maintenance and operation of recreation buildings and equipment), the same rate as 2017.

See here the proposed ordinance.

After a public hearing at the August council meeting, the ordinance will be up for final adoption.

In other money matters, the council approved several amendments for the current budget ending 9/30/18.

See here the amendments.

Finally, the council approved the sale of a .13 acre parcel of land at the corner of US 167 and Jefferson Avenue, adjacent to the North Electric Substation.

Two years ago, the city sold most of the corner to J&T Office Building, LLC, who then built an office in turn leased by Weyerhaeuser Company. The remaining sliver of land is needed for additional parking, the council was told.

The parcel is being appraised in order to set a sale price.

Ruston Board of Aldermen to Meet Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here’s the agenda.

S. Farmerville Subdivision Permit Denied


Approval for a South Farmerville Street residential development was denied at last night’s meeting of the Ruston City Council in a 3-2 vote. It was a departure from what is normally a tightly scripted meeting format that rarely lasts more than 30 minutes.

The proposal was to subdivide into 10 lots a four-acre parcel located north of Martin Luther King between South Farmerville and Kirkland Street. No construction was included in the proposal, but the individual lots could be sold or developed in the future.

Making the motion was Bruce Siegmund, with Jim Pearce seconding. The three votes against the resolution were Jedd Lewis, Carolyn Cage, and Angela Mayfield.

Several area residents spoke against the resolution, with most of their concerns centered on additional traffic on what they said were streets that were already too narrow.

Lincoln Parish Police Juror Sharyon Mayfield: “The roads are very narrow. I have a problem how we’re going to get emergency vehicles through there.”

Mildred Hill: “That street is too narrow for two cars to pass conveniently.”

Mary Moore: “When are we going to bring our street’s width up to the width of all other residential streets? We don’t have sidewalks, and our children do ride bicycles and cars are coming by.”

It was noted that no one came to the Planning and Zoning meeting to speak for or against the proposed subdivision.

Ward Five’s Bruce Siegmund said that he supported the action, as Ruston was short of affordable housing.

In other business, the council approved an architect and engineer for a fire station to replace the existing station on West California near the Louisiana Tech campus.

Also, an agenda item for engineering services related to sidewalk improvements on East Mississippi Avenue was postponed indefinitely by Mayor Ronny Walker.

Ruston Taxpayers to Pay $6.4 Million on Shopping Center Construction


A cooperative endeavor agreement signed last November obligates Ruston taxpayers for $6.4 million toward the site development of a retail development under construction at the northwest corner of I-20 and Cooktown Road.

Among the obligations are:

$1.75 million for paving, curbs and gutter
$1.4 million for earthwork
$.75 million for storm and sanitary sewers

The agreement was authorized last October, but at that time, no cost figures were mentioned.

In November, the council authorized an additional 1/2 cent sales tax within the tax district that encompasses the retail development. That tax is dedicated to fund infrastructure improvements related to the district.

Hutton, a Chattanooga-based company is the developer.

See here the complete document.

Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will have the regular monthly meeting tomorrow (Monday, June 4), 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here’s the agenda.

Sparta Commission Meeting Later Today


The Executive Committee of the Sparta Groundwater Commission will meet today (Thursday, May 10), 2:00 PM, Ruston City Hall Peach Suite, 410 North Trenton Street.

Here’s the agenda.