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December Minden City Council Meeting

File Photo | Minden City Hall

December’s Minden City Council meeting marked it’s last one of the year, during which the City Council and Mayor moved forward with resolutions pertaining to water pollution prevention, the hiring of a new Minden Police Officer, the approval of businesses utilizing the City’s TIFF districts, and more.

Near the beginning of the meeting the item of approving the new police department’s hire Jackie Mangum was on the agenda.

“I’ve known Jackie since she was just a little girl. I worked with her father. She doesn’t have law enforcement experience, but she does come from a law enforcement family. Her dad actually started his law enforcement career with the Minden Police Department, and took a job with the Sheriff’s office and retired from Webster Parish.” said Police Chief Steve Cropper.

“So she’s got a family with a lot of law enforcement background and I’m really looking forward to starting her tomorrow morning.”

The item was motioned in by Councilman Wayne Edwards of Dist. A and seconded by Councilman Pam Bloxom of Dist. E. The motion passed with four in favor and one opposed. 

“We welcome you to our Police Department, if there is anything we can do for you upstairs, just let us know,” said Mayor Terry Gardner.

Later in the meeting the council discussed adopting a resolution for Municipal Water Pollution Prevention. The item was motioned in by Councilman Bloxom and seconded by Councilman Edwards.

During the time allotted for discussion, Edwards commented, “In reading the report, one of the comments that Gary put into the report, there are no plans for an upgrade to our facility. I know that plant has been around a long time, and that’s something we need to take a real serious look at.”

“I really want to know from him what we can do to that plant to make it operational. We’re in the process of wanting to build additional homes in Minden, and with that increase in flow in this particular situation, I want to make sure we have a facility that can handle that change.”

Mayor Terry Gardner stated Gary could be present at the next workshop to explain the details.  “I understand what you’re saying, if we’re going to expand some of our neighbourhoods, we’re going to have to expand our sewer treatment plant,” said Gardner. 

The Motion was passed unanimously. 

Next up on the agenda was a motion to adopt the adopt a Resolution Authorizing the Execution of a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement by and between Minden Economic Development District No. 3, State of Louisiana, and F&S Community Center, LLC relating to the Collection, Use, and Expenditure of certain Sales Tax Increment Revenues collected in said Minden Economic Development District No. 3, and providing for other matters in connection therewith, as presented.

Minden’s Economic Development Director Phillip Smart explained, “We already had the TIFF Districts in position. This was a company that wanted to participate in the TIFF, which is basically coming into an agreement that they will collect a 2% tax and, of that 2% tax, they’re going to get 90% of it back.”

“They fill out an application, saying they are going to spend about $52,000 in infrastructure, so the city is basically going to reimburse them that $52,000 in infrastructure over ten years.”

Essentially, this was an already existing program that incentivised this business, and could potentially incentivize others, to start up business here in Minden.

“This program is in effect so more businesses will take an initiative to say hey, this is for sale, and it’s a TIFF district. If you’re going to build, you’re going to have to spend regardless, so why not get reimbursed for it?” said Smart. 

The Motion was passed unanimously by the Council.

Last month Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper was questioned as to whether or not there had been a substantial uptick in the number of alcohol related arrests since Minden voted to allow alcohol sales to take place within the city. During his Police Report the Chief illuminated the council to some of the figures from this year and compared them to last year.

“In 2019 we had 12 total DWI arrests. and from January 1 till today we have 20 DWI arrests. In 2019 we had 15 arrests in reference to public drunkenness and disturbing the peace by intoxication. This year so far we’ve had 16. Open container arrests in 2019 we had 12 and this year through today we’ve had 14,” said Cropper.

“So it’s increased a little bit, but not too terribly bad.”

During the time for comments from the City Council, Councilman Edwards made it a point to emphasize how crucial it is that people follow safety guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This concerns the coronavirus. A lot of us think wearing a mask is a joke. We are in a serious situation. Wear your mask, stay apart and out of large groups. Our safety sometimes depends on us, and we all got an idea of what works and doesn’t work. Care about others, put your mask on, and have a Happy Holiday,” said Councilman Edwards.

“Just to reiterate what Mr. Edwards said about wearing your mask. Especially when it’s the holiday season and everyone is out shopping. Please, wear your mask, stay safe, have a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year,” said Councilman Terika Williams-Walker of Dist. B.

Also trying to drive home the point, Mayor Gardner stated, “Until we practice social distancing, washing our hands, face masks, and staying away from large crowds, this will continue to spread.”

Councilman Bradford of Dist. C used part of his comment to welcome the MPD’s newest officer. “I’d like to welcome Mrs. Mangrum to our police force, and I’d like to thank everyone for participating in our last two elections. I hope everybody had a good thanksgiving and I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” said Councilman Bradford. 

Councilman Bloxom during her comment said, “I’d like to thank all of the city crews as well as the mainstreet department for all of the decorations in Minden, they’re truly beautiful as always. Also, to all the citizens who are participating with decoration in their yard, it does make the city look so pretty at this time of year.”

The Councilmen and Mayor also wished their constituents and the City of Minden a Merry Christmans and Happy Holidays.

The monthly Minden City Council meeting takes place on the first Monday of each month starting at 5:30 p.m. at Minden City Hall. During the COVID-19 pandemic, occupancy is limited, so members of the public who are interested in watching are urged to do so online through the City of Minden’s Youtube Channel titled City of Minden-Feels Like Home.