Home » Minden City Council Advances Infrastructure Projects and Property Swaps

Minden City Council Advances Infrastructure Projects and Property Swaps

by Will Phillips

The March Minden City Council meeting took place Monday evening where the mayor and council approved moving forward with projects such as the consolidation of the public works facilities, property swaps with the Webster Parish School Board, and the expansion of Minden’s water capacity.

Since shortly after taking office, Mayor Nick Cox has been working to move forward with the consolidation of various public works departments within the city. Recently, bidding went out for the project and Minden’s director of public works, Tyler Wallace, recommended that the bid be awarded to Testament Construction Services. This motion was approved unanimously by the council. 

“Our plan is to consolidate public works. We have many locations across the city and old facilities that are not energy efficient or handicap accessible. So we’re wanting to merge our public works department and put it all located at the steam plant. This is phase one of that plan, to build a control center,” said Mayor Cox. 

“Right now we have electronic monitoring at the steam plant on the third floor. We have  water monitoring of that equipment at the water plant. All this will be moved to one location. The public works director will be there, the assistant public works director and several of our department heads will be located there. And eventually, the plan would be to have everybody at the steam plant and have one consolidated public works facility.”

Later in the meeting, the scheduling of the upcoming April City Council meeting was voted on to be moved a day, from April 1 to April 2, in order to let Minden’s elected officials participate in the opening ceremony for the REC Center’s baseball and softball programs. The council approved this motion unanimously. 

“The reason for the move, just moving it one day, is because opening day for baseball and softball at the REC center is scheduled for May 1, that’s already been communicated out very well to the parents and coaches. Our numbers are up in participation for those programs quite a bit, due to a lot of volunteer activity  and trying to gain a lot of support from the community,” Councilman Andy Pendergrass of Dist. E explained. 

“And the REC center staff and some volunteers have planned a big ceremony for opening day, that includes throwing out the first pitches at the games by us and the police chiefs and deputies, so we want to be out there to be able to show our support for the community in that way, and it just necessitated us needing to move this meeting back one day.”

Another big move for the city that was discussed during the meeting was that of a property swap between the City of Minden and the Webster Parish School Board. Currently, the City of Minden owns Griffith Stadium which is primarily utilized by Minden High School, and the school board owns the property where the city’s water plant on Clerk Street resides. The council voted to pass a motion where, pending attorney approval, the two would swap the properties with one another. 

“Currently, and for eternities past, Griffith Stadium has been owned by the City of Minden and utilized very primarily by the Webster Parish School Board, namely Minden High School. At the same time, the City of Minden has the water well and water plant at the Clerk Street location, and that property is owned by the school board. So there was some discussion about doing a land swap, and I believe we have it all worked out through surveys. There’s a little bit of attorney work still pending, but I am seeking a motion to do a land swap with the school board, swapping our Clerk Street water plant with Griffith Stadium property pending attorney approval,” said Mayor Nick Cox. 

While the ownership of the property of the Clerk Street water plant was settled, there was still discussion to be had regarding the city’s plans with the facility. Ultimately, Public Works Director Wallace recommended that the plant be decommissioned and leveled in order to make space for an improved water infrastructure project. The council unanimously approved this decision. 

“That plant has low water quality compared to what comes out of the other plant, so we don’t really integrate that water into the system very often, only just enough to keep it going and cycling through,” said Mayor Cox. 

“It’s a very expensive plant to keep running to not be utilized. I’m told the good water in the city that we all know we have comes down by the steam plant, and the poorer water is up where the Clerk Street water plant is. So we are in the process of working with the state to get a capital outlay project where we can build a 2 million gallon capacity tank , and our engineers have identified that the best place to put that tank is where the Clerk Street water plant is.

“So I’m seeking tonight the council’s approval to decommission that and to level that plant. It’s contingent upon if we get this water project through the capital outlay. We met with the capital outlay people in Baton Rouge two weeks ago, and it’s looking very optimistic that we’re going to be able to put this water capacity in. Side note, this extra water capacity allows for a great amount of expansion in our city when it comes to the water needs that we have.”

The monthly Minden City Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month starting at 6 PM at the Minden Civic Center. The meetings are open for the public to attend, and for those that cannot attend in person or who wish to view the meetings after they occur, the meetings are live streamed on the City of Minden’s Facebook page and YouTube channel titled City of Minden – Feels Like Home. 

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