The March Minden City Council meeting saw the appointments of three key positions within the city: director of public works, director of parks and recreation, and fire chief.
All the appointments went smoothly with the council unanimously voting to appoint each of Mayor Nick Cox’s recommendations for these positions.
Tyler Wallace was the person appointed to serve as the new City of Minden public works director. “I’ve seen him keep in communication between the public works departments. He’s always available when he’s needed. He has good working knowledge of all the public works departments, and I also believe he has the respect of his employees,” said Cox.
For the new director of parks and recreation position, Zita Williams was appointed. “Zita has worked at the REC center for 18 years, and I believe I’ve known her for 18 years. She always handles very well. She’s easy to work with but not afraid to push back when she needs to. She has a heart and a vision for the future of the REC center, and she’s willing to take on the challenge,” said Cox.
In regards to the new Minden fire chief, Brian Williams, who recently retired from the position of Webster Parish’s District 7 fire chief, was recommended and appointed to the position.
“I believe he has the respect of the firemen and the fire department. I believe Brian has a vision for the future of our fire department. He has grant-writing experience which I think will really pay off in the future. I would like to say that, for all the positions, we had really good applicants, but I really feel strongly about recommending Brian Williams for the position of Minden fire chief,” said Cox.
Outside of appointments, some important matters of city business were addressed as well. First was the renewal of a cooperative endeavor between the City of Minden and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office where, essentially, the city would pay the sheriff’s office $18,000 in order for the sheriff’s office to facilitate the collection of property taxes on the City of Minden’s behalf.
The original collaboration started in 2014. Beforehand, citizens would see two separate property taxes coming to them, one for the parish and one for the city. This agreement helps streamline the process and makes the payment process simpler.
“At this point, all the collections are done through the sheriff. To help compensate him for his administration of that, we had a deal with him in the past to pay him $18,000 a year to administer that and then remit the payment due to us. It was an old deal, so we just need to renew that. So we’re really only making a one year deal that would expire at the end of his year,” said Mayor Cox.
The City of Minden also agreed to a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Junior Service LeagueLeague (JSL) of Minden to use the “Girl Scout Hut” at Victory Park. It was used a few years ago by the JSL but, due to a lack of maintenance, it started flooding, leading to its vacancy.
The agreement between JSL and the City of Minden would allow the JSL to utilize the building as long as they were to maintain it, pay for the electricity, cover liability insurance, etc.
“Junior Service League, they have for years used what we call the Girl Scout Hut. But for the last two years they hadn’t been using it because, everytime it rains, the rainwater runs through the building,” said Mayor Cox.
“They approached me and said we’d like to use that building again like we used to, but what we’d like to do is to be able to do some maintenance to it where it doesn’t take on water everytime it rains. Basically, we got a deal with them that says, if you maintain it, pay the light bill, insure it, take care of the liability, we’ll make this cooperative endeavor for four years.”
Another item of note was the passing of a motion to amend the chapter of the Code of Ordinances having to do with the cost of occupational license fees for mobile food truck operators. Essentially it would be slashing the price in half, from $100 to $200, in order to make the city more appealing to food truck vendors.
“The Chamber of Commerce came to us last month and asked us to look at making a specific ordinance for food trucks. To be more food truck friendly, they asked us to move the rate from what we were currently charging, which was $200, down to $100,” said Cox.
The monthly Minden City Council meeting takes place on the first Monday of each month starting at 6 PM. There is also a workshop that takes place beforehand starting at 4:30 PM which is also open to the public. For those that cannot attend the meeting in person, the meetings are live streamed to the City of Midnen’s Facebook page and Youtube Channel titles “City of Minden – Feels Like Home.”