Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

Council Approves Rec Property Purchase

02/07/2017

Ruston taxpayers will soon spend slightly over $1 million to purchase three parcels of land totaling about 29.4 acres on South Farmerville Street for development of a proposed recreational complex.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved unanimously at last night’s meeting the purchase of 14.47 acres from the Campus Community Assembly of God (parcel no. 36183000093) for about $818,000.

According to Mayor Ronny Walker, the property itself was appraised for about $230,000, and the building was valued at about $588 thousand. Walker said that the church building would be utilized as a new office for the the Ruston Parks and Recreation Department.

The church is located at 2505 South Vienna, and the property extends from South Vienna (US 167) eastward to South Farmerville Street.

Also approved was purchase of two parcels from Ruston Girls Softball Association (36183119795 & 36183954349), totaling about 14.9 acres. That price was about $235 thousand, City Attorney Bill Carter said.

Those two parcels are on the east side of South Farmerville, near the intersection of Ball Park Road.

Earlier, the council heard from Wastewater Superintendent Keith Jeselink, who reported that a bid had been awarded to Jabar Corporation for sewer rehab on South Farmerville Street, Calvin Avenue, Oakdale Street, Jones Street, Taylor Street, and South Trenton.

The contract amount was about $980 thousand. An LCDBG grant will pay about $568 thousand of the cost, Jeselink said.

Ruston Board of Aldermen to Meet Monday

02/05/2017

Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, February 6, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

Ruston’s $34 Million Bond Sale Plan Delayed

01/10/2017

A plan by the City of Ruston’s administration to issue up to $34 million in bonds to be repaid from sales tax revenues was delayed at last night’s City Council meeting. The bonds are to help finance Walker’s Moving Ruston Forward project of street, drainage, sewer, and recreation improvements.

Mayor Ronny Walker said he would soon be meeting in Baton Rouge with state officials to clear up the problem.

Said Walker, “This has been something that has been going on for 24 years, the rules have been the same. All of a sudden last month they decided to change them a little bit, so we feel we are on firm footing as far as our contract with the state. We just want to go down and make sure all of the votes are there.”

Earlier, City Attorney Bill Carter said the administration would likely be coming back to the council for approval of the bond sale plan at the February meeting.

In other business, the council approved contracts for two significant street construction projects.

Amethyst Construction was awarded $2 million to complete the extension of Martin Luther King Drive from its intersection of South Farmerville Street eastward to intersect with Mills Avenue. The right of way has been cleared, and the project is expected to be completed late in 2017 or early 2018, depending upon the weather.

Mills Avenue will be expanded to three lanes all the way to its intersection with South Vienna Street, Paul Riley of Riley Engineering told Lincoln Parish News Online.

Also, Womack & Sons of Harrisonburg was low bidder for the $7.3 million extension of I-20 North Service Road East from Tractor Supply eastward to Rough Edge Road, just over 1 1/2 miles. This project will take up to three years to complete, it was said.

Ruston City Council Monday

01/08/2017

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

Here is the agenda.

Several Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (contracts) will be considered by the board. The city contracts with several quasi-public entities, usually providing city-owned property and/or services and labor in return for some kind of community program.

See here who provides what:

Ruston Housing Authority
Ruston Dixie Baseball Association, Inc.
Ruston Girls Softball Association, Inc.
LTP Medical Mobile, Inc.
People Centered Support Services, Inc.
Boys and Girls Club of North Central Louisiana
Buddy Ball of Ruston, Inc.

City Council Approves Garbage Ordinance

12/06/2016

As expected, Ruston’s Board of Aldermen approved unanimously a revised ordinance at last night’s meeting relative to the city’s collection of garbage, trash, and refuse.

Public Works Director Darryll Caraway said the final draft differed from what was originally introduced. One change is that since residential customers would receive pickup once weekly instead of twice, they could obtain a second container.

Mayor Ronny Walker also noted that changes were made in the procedure for commercial garbage pickup, as that part of the ordinance hadn’t been revised in some time.

In other business, the council approved several dozen budget amendments for the fiscal year ended 9/30/16. Notable was $567 thousand in spending for acquisition of industrial park property, $523 thousand for recycling, and $1.1 million in revenues from oil and gas property leases.

See here the complete list.

Ruston Board of Aldermen Monday

12/04/2016

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

Here is the agenda.

An ordinance relative to the city’s garbage and trash collection will be up for final adoption. A public hearing will held for input from any citizen who wishes to comment.

See here the final draft of the ordinance.

Weyerhaeuser Offices Return to Ruston

11/08/2016

Weyerhauser, a Seattle, WA base wood products company will be consolidating several satellite offices around North Louisiana into a soon to be constructed buidling on a one acre lot at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Hwy 167.

Weyerhauer formerly occupied the old Willamette Industries regional office building on Reynolds Drive, after its hostile takeover of Willamette in 2002. After downsizing in the late 2000’s during the recession, Weyerhaeuser located its remaining personnel into offices at Dodson and Taylor. Last year, it bought Plum Creek Timber, and the decision was made to build an office in Ruston.

Last night, the Ruston City Council approved sale of the city owned lot to Weyerhaeuser for half the appraised price, conditional that the company create at least 20 jobs within two years of the sale. If that condition wasn’t met, the company would be obligated to pay the full price, City Attorney Bill Carter said.

Asked Jim Pearce (Ward 4), “These 20 jobs created, they have to last the duration?” Carter said there was no time limit on the agreement.

The sale price was $140 thousand and the lot appraised for $280 thousand.

The council approved several budget amendments for the fiscal year ended 9/30/16.

Budget Amendment Ordinance
Requests for Budget Amendments

Finally, the council introduced an ordinance that may prove to be contentious with many Ruston homeowners. Among other things, curbside garbage pickup would be cut from twice a week to once a week.

See here the proposed ordinance.

A public hearing and final vote on the matter will be held at the December council meeting.

Ruston Board of Aldermen Monday

11/06/2016

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

Here is the agenda.

“Smash & Grab” @ Jefferson Corner

11/04/2016
Jefferson Corner - Friday, November 4, 2016

Jefferson Corner – Friday, November 4, 2016

A 2:45 AM Friday morning “smash and grab” robbery at a North Ruston convenience store resulted in the theft of several cash register drawers, damage to the front of the store, and the attempted theft of an ATM machine.

Jefferson Corner manager Rebecca Hofford told LPNO that four perpetrators smashed the front window with a truck and tried to make off with the ATM, but were unable to load it. Instead, they took three cash drawers in the store.

The robbery was caught on the store’s surveillance camera. It was also reported that two of the alleged robbers have been apprehended.

There were early rumors that instead of robbery, the incident may have been an attempt by irate local politicians to put the resident Liars Club coffee drinkers out of business. That rumor proved to be unfounded.

Update:  From KNOE-TV8

Ruston Police issued the following release, giving more information on the incident:

“At approximately 2:50 AM on November 4, 2016, the Ruston Police Department received a call from a citizen reporting that a vehicle had just backed into the front plate glass window at Jefferson Corner, a local convenience store. The caller reported that several persons entered the store through the broken glass and burglarized the business. Officers from the Uniform Patrol Division of the Ruston Police Department immediately responded to the area and were able to locate the suspect vehicle as it was fleeing the scene. Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the suspect vehicle failed to stop and sped away. A vehicle pursuit then ensued eastbound on Interstate 20. Speeds reached approximately 100 miles per hour at times as the suspect vehicle continued eastbound on Interstate 20. Spikes strips were deployed in an attempt to end the pursuit. This caused damage to the suspect vehicle’s tires, but did not end the pursuit. The vehicle continued into West Monroe. Due to damage sustained to the suspect vehicle during the course of the pursuit, the vehicle exited Interstate 20 at the Fifth Street exit in West Monroe, and crashed at approximately the intersection of Filhiol Avenue. All occupants in the suspect vehicle fled. Officers from a number of surrounding agencies were able to take two occupants into custody relatively quickly. They have been identified as Jamie Howard B/F 31 YOA and Jboski Morrison B/M 29YOA; both from Monroe. Howard and Morrison have been booked at the Ouachita Correctional Center on the charge of Simple Burglary by the West Monroe Police Department. The Monroe Police Department and the Ruston Police Department also have pending charges on both subjects. The crime that occurred in Ruston matches other committed on Monroe and West Monroe over the course of last evening and early this morning.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

If anyone has information regarding this or any other crime, they are requested to contact the Ruston Police Department’s Criminal Investigative Division at 318-255-4141 or Crimestoppers of Lincoln Parish. Crimestopper information can be given in several ways; either by calling 318-255-1111, text a tip to “TIP515 plus your message” to CRIMES (274637), or submit a tip online at http://www.rustonlincolncrimestoppers.com, but please keep in mind that crimes in progress should always be reported immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agency or by calling 911.”

 

Ruston to Pay Feds $236 Thousand for Federal Bldg

10/04/2016

What was supposed to be a “free” building owned by the U. S. Government, but operated and maintained jointly by the City of Ruston and the Lincoln Parish Police Jury will wind up costing Ruston’s taxpayers $236 thousand, not including renovations, the Ruston City Council was told last night.

The Ruston Federal Building, located at 201 North Trenton, was once the Ruston Post Office, and also has housed various local, state, and federal offices since its construction in the early 1900’s. In 1992, the building and land was deeded to the city and the jury, with the provision that it be used for certain governmental purposes.

Last year, the jury relinquished its claim to the building and property.

Earlier this year, Mayor Ronny Walker said that plans for the building included an arts center. As that usage was not contemplated by the 1992 agreement, ownership would revert to the Government Services Administration (GSA).

Walker told the council that the building and property appraised for $236 thousand. That price was agreeable to the GSA and would release any obligations on future use of the building, Walker said.

The council passed the resolution unanimously. It is unclear how much in renovations will be needed to bring the building up to modern standards, or what the cost will be.

See here the resolution.

In other city property news, negotiations are underway between the city and Weyerhaeuser Company to purchase about an acre of city owned land at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and US 167.

Weyerhaeuser had been looking at area property on which to construct an office building, local real estate sources have said.