Minden City Council to decide on ordinance variance

Waller Petroleum will be asking the Minden City Council at its next meeting to grant an exception to an ordinance in order to build a new convenience store with a gas station at 102 Broadway Street.

Mike and Jesse Waller explained during a city council workshop Thursday what the project will entail and why they are seeking the exception from the council. The property contains above ground and underground storage tanks and they are proposing to replace the current single wall tanks with state-of-the-art double wall underground tanks only.

Ordinance 802 prohibits gasoline or refueling facilities from placing underground storage tanks within 1,000 feet of any public wells. Rick Broussard, with public works, says there are eight wells in the area.

“It’s a standard for the groundwater protection ordinance that’s pretty much statewide,” Broussard said of the 1,000 feet criterion. “It seeks to protect the surface and anything that will contaminate a water well.”

Mike Waller says legally they can continue the business even though they can’t expand it; however, Ordinance 802 allows for the replacement of new equipment.

“What we’re proposing to do is reduce those tanks down to 30,000 gallons,” he said. “They’ll be brand new double-wall tanks that will have constant monitoring on them. It’s a reduction in the size of equipment, plus much better equipment. Right now, we’re loading big trucks there, and we’ll be moving that part of the business to another area. That’s a great improvement.”

The current tank size is 100,000 gallons.

The proposed idea is to cater to cars and smaller trucks as well as sell groceries, he said.
The property is roughly a little more than an acre, and the Wallers hope to break ground in May.

The item will be on the agenda for the December meeting.

In other council news, members discussed amending Ordinance 1008, which deals with the sale of adjudicated property. Currently, the highest bidder has five days to make a deposit on the property, and Mayor Tommy Davis says if they open bids on Friday, then that means the bidder loses two days.

He proposed adding five “business” days to allow the bidder to make the deposit during business hours at city hall. The minimum deposit is $500, but if the cost of the property is less than $500, the ordinance will also be changed to allow the bidder to pay the cost of the property.

On the issue of sidewalks, if approved during the city council meeting, members will change their policy on sidewalk repair. Right now the city pays up to 50 percent of the cost of repair with the remaining cost falling to the homeowner or business owner. If approved, the council will pay up to 50 percent of the standard cost for 4-foot sidewalks.

The Minden Planning Commission approved a variance for Craig Watson, with Impressions Advertising Specialties, who is seeking to place a digital billboard at Minden Seafood, located at 718 Homer Road. He says the sign will be 11 by 22 and 35 feet tall. The idea is to allow advertisers to rent space on the sign, Watson said.

Law enforcement will also have direct access to the sign for Amber alerts through a cell phone attached to the sign, if need be.

Traffic count on Homer Road, according to Watson’s survey, is 38,000 vehicles per day.
Planning commission members say they had no opposition from the community to allow the sign to be erected.

The council also discussed changing the time of the council meetings, but it will stay as is. The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 7 in council chambers at Minden City Hall.

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