The January Minden City Council Meeting took place this Monday where the Mayor and Council met to start the City’s work for the new year. In particular the items of note from this month’s agenda included the election of Councilman Terika Williams-Walker of Dist. B as Mayor Pro Tempore as well as the adoption of resolutions that could get the city $100,000 in funding towards replacing it’s 95 year old main sewer line.
One of the items on the agenda was to elect a new Mayor Pro Tempore. Initially, the agenda item was written to elect Councilman Wayne Edwards of Dist. A. Councilman Pam Bloxom of Dist. E moved to elect Edwards with the motion being seconded by Councilman Tommy Davis of Dist. D.
“For the past 30 years there has been a practice that each district have a duly elected council member. That councilmember, because of the past practice that this council has established, rotates the Mayor Pro Tempore position from district to district. Each district has an expectation that they’re duly elected representatives serve as the mayor pro tem. Currently there are two years left on this current administration, and for me to serve as Mayor pro Tem is a disadvantage to the other districts that haven’t had the opportunity to serve,” said Edwards.
Edwards then suggested that in the future the Council should introduce an ordinance formally adopting the rotation of Mayor Pro Tem.
“I really suggest that in the next term, that an ordinance pass as to how this election should be made on rotation and stay on that rotation regardless of situation,” said Edwards.
Edwards went on to elaborate that while the current ordinance regarding the election of Mayor Pro Tem doesn’t mention anything about the rotation. “That does say to elect a mayor pro tem, but there is nothing said about the rotation. Because we’ve done it for the last 30 years we’ve established a practice, and that became the norm, but I can’t find anything in writing to actually support that.”
After some more discussion, Councilman Davis asked Edwards if he would like to continue serving as Mayor Pro Tem, to which Edwards responded, “I’d rather not.”
Wayne Edwards then offered a substitute motion to elect Councilman Walker as Mayor Pro Tempore for the Year 2021. The substitute motion was duly seconded by Vincen Bradford and carried unanimously.
Two resolutions added to the agenda would allow the City of Minden to acquire grants that would help fund its project to replace a 95 year old sewer line that runs from the water plant to the water tower.
“In our budget this year we have $350,000 to extend our main sewer line 1000 feet from the main plant that I think is about 95 years old. If we get this grant we’ll get $50,000to offset our expense on that,” Gardner said, referring to the first of the two resolutions.
“What direction are we taking that 1000 ft?” asked Edwards.
“We’ll start at the water plant itself,” Gardner stated, clarifying that it would go from the plant to the water tower.
“If we were to replace the whole line to the water tower, the estimated cost of that is 2 million, because one of the major things on that is that we have to go under the railroad tracks and then we gotta remove all the bricks, and then put them all back, so this is just getting us started.”
The first resolution was met with unanimous approval from the councilman.
Referring to the second resolution, Gardner stated, “If we get both of them, that means we’ll be $100,000 ahead in our budget this year.”
The second resolution was met with unanimous approval from the Council as well.
During their time for comment, Councilman Edwards started of by saying, “I know that’s it’s the start of the year for the City of Minden … and I’m hoping that we make a lot of progress with this Council and that we move the City forward in such a manner that we’re all going to be proud and leave plenty of money in the bank by the end of this term.”
The other Councilmen echoed Edwards ideals for the new year, and wished the citizens a Happy New Year as well.
Also, given the continued rise of COVID-19 cases in the state and across the country, Mayor Gardner once again reminded Minden’s citizens to follow proper safety guidelines in order to help combat the spread of the virus.
“I would like to encourage everyone in our entire City to continue to stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, and social distance. We can win this thing over the virus,” said Gardner.
The City Council Meeting takes place on the first Monday of each month starting at 5:30 p.m. While members of the public are welcome to attend, the City would like to encourage those wanting to watch to do so from home. The City Council Meeting can be viewed live through the City’s Youtube Channel “City of Minden – Feels Like Home.