The Minden City Council voted to give Mayor Tommy Davis authorization to attempt to negotiate the terms of the city’s contract with SWEPCO Monday.

The authorization included retaining legal counsel if need be.

“It (contract) was very good to Minden in the first five years, but as we all know, it hasn’t been recently,” Davis said.

Davis has explained in recent workshops the need for the negotiation, saying the city is paying too much for its energy costs.

The city pays millions of dollars each year for energy, he said, adding the city is in year six of its 20-year contract with the energy company.

Benny Gray made the motion, seconded by Mike Toland, passing unanimously.

Storage Tank Removal

In other news, the council also approved a request from Waller Petroleum, who asked for permission to remove and replace the single wall underground storage tanks at 102 Broadway. Waller Petroleum sought permission to move forward with their project as the underground storage tank at the Bulk Plant site is within 1,000 feet of public wells. However, Ordinance No. 802 provides for an exemption for replacement and repair.

The company will replace the single-walled 100,000 fuel storage tank with a double-walled 30,000 gallon tank, thereby reducing storage capacity. The idea is to replace the current tank with the newest, state-of-the-art technology and remove the above ground storage tanks.

Waller Petroleum intends to build a convenience store similar to Bon Temps on Sibley Road.
The motion was made by Mike Toland, seconded by Benny Gray and passed unanimously.

Economic Development

The council also got a report from Economic Development Director James Graham, who writes in his report the city has a strong network, but also faces challenges.

“While there are numerous challenges facing the community as it seeks to further develop, there are also plenty of important development opportunities that will result in more skilled labor, a growing middle income population, a more diversified and stronger industry base and an improved quality of life for all of its people,” he writes.

Among his goals is to implement the economic development strategy put into place before his arrival. He also talked about business retention and expansion meetings as well as workforce development and economic development incentive, purpose and program.

He says a new theme for branding and marketing Minden has come into play, “Making It Work.”

“You will see this phrase used in numerous ways as we move forward with the strategy,” he writes. “We ask all community organizations and businesses to use this tag line in their promotion materials and electronic correspondence. A unified Minden is essential to developing a better quality of life for all of its citizens.”

Other Business

In other business, the council approved the following:

the hiring of Antonio Mims to the Minden Police Department

the reappointments of Kent Gibson and Charlotte Jones to the Minden Downtown/Residential Historic Commission

the appointment of Ron Anderson to the Minden Housing Authority, replacing the unexpired term of Larry Johnson, and Latasha Dent, replacing Angela Wills

Property annexation request from Anthony Garner and Andreka Garner on Weston Street

The amendment and re-enactment of Ordinance No. 1063, Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places

Adoption of amended Ordinance No. 1064 Governing the Sale of Adjudicated Property

Adoption of Ordinance No. 1065 Accepting Dedication of Water Main

Adoption of Ordinance No. 1066 Abandonment of Right-of-Way

Adoption of Ordinance No. 1067 Abandonment of Servitude

Request to rescind re-subdivision of property – The Minden Planning Commission approved the preliminary plans for a re-subdivision of property owned by Benjamin Wood, located at Ferguson Street, but he has asked that council rescind that approval.

Approval of final plat for re-subdivision of property – The Minden Planning Commission approved the preliminary plans for a re-subdivision of property owned by Larry Brown at Third Street.