Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

Ruston Board of Aldermen to Teleconference Monday

04/04/2020

The Ruston City Council will meet Monday, April 6, 5:30 via teleconference. As was the case with the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, this is believed to be the first time ever for such a meeting by the Board of Aldermen.

The meeting can be followed on the city’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cityofruston/

RE: Notice of April, 2020 Regular Meeting of the City of Ruston, Louisiana
DATE: April 2, 2020

Notice is hereby given that a Regular Meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Ruston, Louisiana will be held on Monday, April 6, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held by teleconference and/or video conference only from the Council Chambers/Courtroom at Ruston City Hall by livestream on the Facebook Page of Mayor Ronny Walker, City of Ruston.

A copy of the proposed Agenda is attached and the Agenda is also posted on the City of Ruston website at https://www.ruston.org/agendas.php?f=4. Comments from the public on Agenda items may be made prior to the meeting by email to astegall@ruston.org and may be made on Agenda items during the meeting on the comment section of the Facebook livestream.

Pursuant to Section 4 of Proclamation No. JBE 2020-30 dated March 16, 2020, issued by Governor John Bel Edwards, local political subdivisions of the state shall provide for attendance at essential governmental meetings via teleconference or video conference during the pendency of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. The City of Ruston certifies that it will otherwise be unable to operate due to quorum requirements if the meeting is not held by teleconference or video conference.

Here is the agenda.

NOLA City Layoffs Coming – We Told You So

03/18/2020

Coronavirus response to leave ‘gigantic hole’ in New Orleans economy; Cantrell weighs layoffs

New Orleans Times-Picayune
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – BY ANTHONY MCAULEY | Staff writer

The coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to slow its spread are set to levy a massive toll on the New Orleans economy, with the hospitality sector already seeing a sharp downturn in business and officials warning about likely cuts to city government.

Some New Orleans hotels are down to skeleton staffs amid the cancellations of conventions and events. Shuttered bars and restaurants that are now take-out only are being forced to lay off workers. And on Tuesday, while announcing that the city would allow business owners to delay sales tax payments, members of Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration said layoffs and furloughs of city workers may be coming.

“If we don’t make some of these important and drastic decisions now, it’s going to hurt us much more in the future,” said Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño, noting that the coronavirus response has already cost the city $1.5 million.

Local Government Layoffs Soon?

03/17/2020

Unlike the Federal Government, The State of Louisiana and local governments cannot print money. They must rely on current revenues to meet expenses.

Lincoln Parish local budgets, with which we are intimately familiar, rely on sales taxes for a large percentage of revenue. The City of Ruston, in particular, funds all of the new 1.5% tax on restaurants and hotels.

With Gov. John Bel Edwards order shuttering restaurants all across the Bayou State, he has vaporized a huge revenue stream for local and state governments. Tourism will go away in the blink of an eye.

The largest expense component for government is payroll, in some cases making up 85% of expenses.

Many teachers probably thought closing the schools would amount to a month-long paid vacation. They perhaps should spend their time updating their resumes.

Used to be, having a government job was seen as having a lifetime guarantee of employment. You had to really mess up to get fired. Great retirement and medical benefits, too.

That hayride is about to end.

Businesses Added/Deleted from Tax District

03/03/2020

If the Ruston City Council approves at next month’s meeting, several new businesses will be added and some closed businesses removed from Ruston’s Economic Development District No 1. A resolution was approved and an ordinance was introduced at last night’s meeting toward that end.

The district was created by Ruston’s City Council, and levies an additional sales tax of 1.75% on the business located therein. The tax became effective 1/1/2019. Since it’s creation, several business properties have been added and removed.

The council also approved a contract with Diamond B Construction to relocate a portion of LA Hwy 146 at the south end of Ruston Regional Airport’s runway to allow lengthening.

The contract amount was $1.54 million.

City Treasurer Laura Hartt is resigning, and will be replaced by Julie Keen. That action was approved by the council.

Keen had been at First National Bank, and is a CPA. Hartt had been the Parish Treasurer prior to taking the city job two years ago.

Lower Electric Bills for Ruston Likely

02/04/2020

Lower electric bills for Ruston utility customers are likely on the way because of a significantly cheaper rate from the power company that supplies wholesale electricity to the city.

Constellation Energy’s bid for a seven-year contract to supply power at a rate of $29.14 per megawatthour (Mwh) is considerably cheaper than the $40 per Mwh of the expiring five-year contract.

The Ruston City Council unanimously approved the new contract at last night’s meeting.

Said Public Works Director Darrell Caraway, “There will be some significant savings for our customers.”

Caraway added that the city has used Constellation as a supplier for over 20 years. The new contract takes effect June 1.

According to the FY 2020 budget adopted last fall, the city had estimated approximately $15 million in costs for power. That cost is marked up before it is resold to the city’s customers.

How much savings the customer actually sees will depend upon how much of the savings is passed along.

In other business, the council approved the acquisition of property to allow South Monroe Street improvements.

Also, approval was granted for engineering to begin on a project that will construct sidewalks along East Mississippi Avenue.

Ruston City Council Monday

02/02/2020

Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, February 3, 2020, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton Street.

Here is the agenda.

2020 Census Needs Workers

01/07/2020

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 census.gov. 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

01/05/2020

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

12/03/2019

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

12/02/2019

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

Here’s the agenda.