Property Swap Highlights Monthly City Council Meeting

Written by on March 5, 2024

Condemned properties, a property swap, and a new police hire highlighted the monthly meeting of the Minden City Council on Monday. The Council acted on four condemned properties on Monday’s agenda:

  • The Council voted to condemn property at 217 Main Street belonging to Willie Combs, Jr. and ordered it cleaned within 60 days.
  • Appointed a Curator for property at 1105 Linden St. belonging to Essie Lee Carter Newman.
  • Gave 120 days to clean property at 406 Plateau Street, belonging to Lela Mae Washington Edwards.
  • Tabled action on property at 604 Lee Street belonging to Rosa Jackson to the April Meeting.

The Council approved to give Mayor Nick Cox authority to execute an Exchange Deed for the exchange of property between the City of Minden and the Webster Parish School Board. The properties to be exchanged are the parcels of land that Griffith Stadium is located on and the parcels of land that the Clerk Street Water Plant is located on. In addition to the property swap, the Council also voted upon the approval of the property swap, to decommission and level the Clerk Street Water Plant. According to Mayor Nick Cox, the plant will be replaced with a 2-million-gallon water tank that will be paid for with a Capital Outlay Project funding from the state. Because of the category that the plant was labeled under by the state, the funding will not require any matching funds from the city, which is expected to cost over $2 million. Cox stated that the current plant is only operated 3 days a week just to keep it operational, as the water in that area has a higher iron content.

The Council also approved the hiring of Branthony Brown as a full-time Police Officer for the Minden Police Department, subject to passing all applicable tests.

In other business, the Council approved:

  • Awarding Bid No. 01-2024, Construction of Minden Utilities & Control Center Office to the lowest qualified bidder meeting all requirements, Testament Construction Services, LLC at an apparent low bid of $798,500. Mayor Nick Cox stated that this money would be paid from the American Rescue Act funds, which the city currently has a balance of $4 million. Cox also stated that this was the first phase in moving all the Public Works departments under one roof. Eventually, the plan is to have a shop and storage for vehicles at the same location.
  • Adopted a resolution declaring water meters as surplus and fixing the terms of sale. There is a total of 64 (27 1-inch meters and 37 ¾ inch meters) that are being declared surplus. The minimum bid is set at $130 for the ¾ inch meters and $240 for the 1-inch meters. Bids will be received online and the deadline for submitting is 10 AM on April 2nd.
  • Approved the rescheduling of the April Meeting of the Minden City Council to Tuesday, April 2nd. The reasoning for the rescheduling is to allow the Mayor and Council to be at the opening day of the baseball/softball games at the Minden Rec Center on Monday, April 1st.
  • Approved Mayor Nick Cox to enter execute an Engagement Agreement to retain the services of Katherine W. King of Kean Miller, LLP to serve as “Outside Counsel” for the City of Minden under supervision of the City Attorney.
  • The council tabled action on the awarding of Bid No. 02-2024 for Street Improvements Project as the low bid came in $50,000 over budget. By law, the budget must be amended to accommodate the total cost of the project and will be moved to the April meeting.

The Council heard from City Clerk, Melaney Langford, who reported that Sales Tax collections for January totaled $579,879.17 which is 13% less than $660,215 collected in January of 2023. Langford said that a large collection in January of last year skewed the numbers and that the Sales Tax Commission reports that the online and retail sales for January continue to show gains. Langford also reported that total money in the bank for January stood at $23,440,780.

Minden Fire Chief Brian Williams gave his February report. Numbers for the month included:

Thirty-eight total calls, two structure fires, three motor vehicle fires, eight miscellaneous fires, eight public service calls, twelve false alarms, and five fire alarms.

Minden Police Chief Jared McIver gave his February report. Numbers for the month included:

112 arrests, 196 incident reports, 1,174 calls for service, 4 death investigations, 1 stabbing, 2 assaults, 35 traffic accidents, 5 hit and runs,       2 animal bites, 7 animal at large calls, 20 alarm calls, 1 armed subject with gun, 6 burglaries, 80 disturbances, 22 juvenile calls,                       1 sexual assault,  1 shots fired call, 52 suspicious person/vehicle calls, 36 thefts (including cyber theft), 652 traffic stops, 11 property damage calls, 7 reckless driving calls, 190 public service calls.

The next scheduled meeting for the Minden City Council is set for Tuesday, April 2nd.



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