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City council addresses revisions to legislation

by Minden Press-Herald


I have called a special session of the City Council to address the proposed revisions to the Minden Downtown Development District (DDD) law, House Bill No. 1878 passed in 1990. In order to meet deadlines for drafting and advertisement, a special session will be necessary to formally propose and potentially adopt a resolution for these revisions to be prepared for legislation.

It has come to the attention of this office that the current structure of the governing commission of the Minden Main Street Project, the Minden Downtown Development Commission, is not in compliance with existing law; and legal council to the City of Minden has strongly advised that we become compliant to avoid future noncompliance issues.

In reviewing the best ways in which to do this, we recognized that existing law, which reads that all commissioners “shall be qualified voters of the City of Minden and shall have their principal place of business and profession in, or own property in, the Downtown Development District” is very confining.

In fact, the reason the current commission is not in compliance with this law is due to the fact that it has been difficult to find business or property owners with the DDD who are also qualified voters of Minden and are willing to volunteer countless hours of their time.

Therefore, it is proposed that we broaden the pool of potential commissioners by removing the requirement that they operate a business within or own property inside the District. Also, we will further broaden the pool of volunteers and allow unrestricted participation from willing volunteers by adding language that will allow the Commission to establish subcommittees for various needs and events with no limitations on residency.

I believe this is a progressive proposal that ensures inclusion from anyone willing to serve the citizens of Minden and surrounding areas in this volunteer capacity. This Commission and the numerous projects and events that it executes are a highly valued part of our City’s growth and beauty.

Additionally, it is important to note that the City of Minden receives on average only $16,000 annually from the small millage that exists with the DDD which oversees the Minden Main Street Project, and state grant funds have greatly diminished in recent years. Therefore, the City of Minden has funded the majority of, and will continue to contribute to, the projects and operational expenses of the DDD and Minden Main Street Project. It is the responsibility of my office to ensure that the tax dollars of residents of Minden are managed in the most fiscally responsible manner and that it does so in accordance with the law.

Tommy Davis is mayor of the City of Minden. Reach him at 318-377-2144 or visit mindenusa.com.

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