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City council votes to release proposed balanced budget to public

by Will Phillips

The Minden City Council meeting for the month of August once again had the position of mayor filled and by one who is familiar with the position and what it entails as well. Interim Mayor Tommy Davis started off the meeting by expressing his humble thanks and aspirations to be of service to the wider Minden community over the course of the next five months. 

“I’m just thankful to the citizens of Minden. It’s quite humbling and quite an honor to be asked to come back up here and serve for these five months. There’s part of me that’s a little nervous tonight, I haven’t done this in three and a half years, but I’m glad to be here, and I hope I can be of service to the citizens of Minden,” said Davis.

One of the first items on the agenda was that of the promotion of Lt. Ron Payton to the rank of Police Captain. 

“Lt. Ron Payton was administered the Fire and Police Civil Service Board Police Captain Examination. Lt. Payton scored 87%. Civil service mandates that a passing score is 75%,” said Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper. Given his passing of the exam with flying colors, the council voted unanimously to promote Payton to the rank of Captain. 

As is the case every year, the council was tasked with voting on an ordinance to levy the tax mills for 2022. This is a regular affair that the council votes on each and every year. That being the case, the tax rates that people are familiar with are not changing from what they have been. However, given that it was recently an assessment year, City Clerk Michael Fluhr did state that if citizens were to see any possible change in the amount of taxes owed, it would be as a result of their assessed property value having changed and not the rate of the taxes themselves. 

“Tax millage has not changed; maybe the assessment level of your property or house has changed, but the tax millage has not changed,” said Fluhr.

Shortly after being motioned in, the council voted unanimously to pass the item. 

The council was also tasked with voting on an interesting opportunity for the City of Minden, that being the addition of an electronic vehicle charging station that would be available for public use at Minden City Hall. The cost of the station and its installation would be paid for by the Department of Environmental Quality of the State of Louisiana with no cost on the part of the city. 

“We’re going to have a charging station, if this passes, at no cost to the city. There’s not a charging station between Bossier and Monroe, so we would have a charging station here at city hall, where people could come, and hopefully, charge … walk around and see town, and spend some money while they’re here,” said Davis.

 “And there is a probability that we can make some money off of this, depending again on how much sells. But there’s no cost to the city, except getting electricity to the charging station.”

The council voted unanimously to allow the installation of the charging station to go forward. 

Lastly, during Fluhr’s monthly budget/financial report, he noted that the budget for the next fiscal year had been made and, upon approval of the council, will be available to be viewed by the public on August 15 and approved in the September council meeting. 

“The budget is a balanced budget, and it sees pay increases for every employee in the city, including police and fire,” said Fluhr. 

Councilman Wayne Edwards of District A also noted the work that he and the council had put into this year’s budget, and he hopes that the local citizens will be pleased with it. 

“The budget he just talked about was the budget that this council worked on to come to a conclusion, and it’s a good budget. A lot of hard work went into it, I think everybody will be real pleased with it,” said Edwards. 

The monthly Minden City Council meeting takes place on the first Monday of each month starting at 5:30 p.m. located at Minden City Hall. It is open for the public to attend and, for those who wish to watch from home or after the meeting has taken place, the livestream of the meeting can be viewed online at the City of Minden’s Facebook page or YouTube channel titled City of Minden – Feels Like Home.

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