Library, law millages rolled forward
Millage rates for the library and law enforcement were rolled forward by the St. Mary Parish Council Wednesday despite attempts by some to remain revenue neutral.
The millage rate adjustment was necessitated by reassessment of property values conducted every four years, according to Chief Administrative Officer Henry “Bo” LaGrange. He said the proposed roll forward would leave the millage rates the same but generate about $50,000 in additional annual revenue mainly due to new construction and development.
Councilmen Tim Tregle and David Hanagriff made separate motions to consider lowering the rates to generate the same amount of revenue.
The law enforcement rates are 7.25 mills in unincorporated areas and 3.62 mills in the parish’s five municipalities. Adjusted rates to remain revenue neutral would have lowered the rates to 7.22 mills and 3.61 mills, respectively.
Library operation and maintenance rates, that are not levied in Morgan City because it operates its own facility, are 5.72 mills. The adjusted rate would have been 5.69 mills.
“It’s a minute increase,” LaGrange said. “Most of the (assessment) increase is due to new development, not an increase on someone’s assessed value on their house, it’s new homes that were built or new businesses that opened up.”
A change in the millage designation would require introduction of new ordinances, LaGrange said. The ordinances considered Wednesday were introduced on June 13. If new ordinances were to be introduced, they could not be adopted until mid-October and the Sept. 30 deadline for the assessor to turn the tax rolls in to the state could not be met, he said.
Hanagriff and Tregle then both withdrew their motions and the ordinances were adopted unanimously.
In other business Wednesday, the council:
—Heard from U.S. Congressman Charles Boustany, who currently serves District 7 but is seeking election to District 3 against incumbent Jeff Landry. Louisiana lost the District 7 congressional seat because of population adjustments after the 2010 census.
—Heard from Council on Aging Director Beverly Domengeaux who asked for the council’s continued support in light of state and federal budget cuts. In her annual report to the council, Domengeaux said the agency served 2,690 senior citizens, made 5,890 home visits and provided 5,823 rides. The agency also delivered 59,500 meals at a cost $279,055.
—Heard from parish President Paul Naquin that bids on the Franklin Canal Flood Protection project opened by the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority with a contract award expected in two to three weeks.
—Introduced an ordinance on a $4.2 million sewer sales tax refinancing bond.
—Appointed Richard John Tabor to the Recreation District 7 board, and reappointed Joseph Foret Jr. to the Morgan City Port board.