Morgan City council discusses library’s future
MORGAN CITY, La. — As the only city-operated library in the parish, a resident suggested to the City Council that the city consider turning its library over to the parish, which he said would save the city money.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, resident Terry Guarisco said he approached the library commission Monday, and he thinks St. Mary Parish should take over the Morgan City library. The Morgan City library on Everett is the only library in the parish that is city owned, he said.
Guarisco said there is no city library tax so $60,000 to $80,000 comes out of the city budget to pay for the library. Guarisco said it costs the city nothing to let the parish take over the library.
Guarisco did say, however, that the city needs to keep its archives department city-owned.
“This, to me, is a quality of life situation. ... With the parish involved, we save money, and it would be a much better facility for everyone concerned,” Guarisco said.
Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said the general fund puts up $75,000 to fund the library, while the Young Foundation puts up $25,000, and the city gets $12,000 from the parish for the library. “The city is heavily subsidized. We subsidize almost every department,” Grizzaffi said.
Grizzaffi said he sees Guarisco’s point about the city saving money. However, Morgan City residents have gotten use to many departments being subsidized, and “it is hard to make the change,” he said.
St. Mary Parish Councilman Steve Bierhorst said having a parish library in Morgan City would require a property tax for city residents.
The parish property tax that supports the parish library system is 4.752 mills, Mayor Pro-tem Louis Tamporello said.
In other action, the council approved a resolution to declare commercial garbage dumpsters surplus.
The city has picked up many of the city’s commercial dumpsters, but is looking to keep the best ones and get rid of the rest, Grizzaffi said. By Sept. 1, the city will be “completely out of the commercial dumpster business,” he said.
The council did a first reading of an ordinance to approve the final form of a power project revenue bond and resolution, which includes the first steps to get the funding to build the new Louisiana Energy and Power Authority power plant slated to come to the city, Grizzaffi said.
The plant will be 64-megawatts of which the city will have a 10-megawatt share. The communities of Houma, Vidalia, Jonesville, Rayne and Plaquemine have also signed on to participate in the project that is scheduled to be complete in 2015.
There will be a public hearing on the ordinance at the September council meeting.
The council also approved tearing down a building at 400 Levee Road. “That’ll be the first of many as we start to address a lot of blighted property in our city,” Grizzaffi said.
At the meeting, Paul Landry was appointed assistant city prosecutor and assistant city attorney with the council’s approval.
In other business, the council,
—Approved a resolution to accept the finance committee’s recommendations to allocate up to $16,145 from the general fund balance to the fire department to participate with St. Mary Parish on the 911 Radio Grant, to reallocate $2,500 from the fire department to the maintenance budget to purchase a new air conditioner, and to allocate up to $30,000 from Capital Additions & Contingency to Public Works to repair a 6-inch gas valve on Myrtle Street.
—Approved the accommodations needed to provide free prostate screenings at Skinner’s Barber Shop at 1001 Railroad Ave.
—Approved a Class A beer license to Song Zhu, owner of Lewa Garden Buffet Inc. at 605 Martin Luther King Jr.
—Approved the Hoodstock organization to be able to close 11th Street for its annual event on Oct. 12.
—Approved a permit for the Holy Cross Knights of Columbus to solicit donations for its Tootsie Roll Drive.
—Approved a request from the Angling Against Autism Team Bass Tournament to the city’s judges’ stand on Sept. 28.