Mayor Raymond Harris presented Almetra Franklin, CEO of the Mary Community Action Agency an award commemorating the agency’s 50 years of service.

Speed sign complaints aired before city council

Franklin City Council conducted their April meeting on Tuesday evening.
Mayor Raymond Harris presented Almetra Franklin, CEO of the Mary Community Action Agency an award commemorating the agency’s 50 years of service.
“For the past 50 years, St. Mary Community Action Agency has been a shining example of what it means to serve,” said Harris. “(It) has affected…the quality of life of thousands upon thousands of St. Mary residents down through the years.”
The agency is hosting a celebration at Cypress Bayou Casino on May 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Third Ward Court Marshal David McCoy spoke in regards to the marshal and constable conference that will be hosted in Franklin. He asked that the council lift the ban on open alcoholic containers for the event, which will take place April 27-29.
The city council motioned to approve lifting the ban.
Larry Guilbeau approached the council as a concerned citizen.
“If you’re coming from Walmart and you’re passing The Forest restaurant, the speed limit says 45 miles an hour,” Guilbeau said. “As you turn on Joe Hoy Drive, and you make a sharp left turn to Barrow Street, there is a sign that says 25 miles an hour. But the sign is located past the Community Action Agency.”
“If you make that turn, it’s no way possible that you could be in the 25 miles an hour zone,” he continued. “I find that strange.”
According to Guilbeau, a driver would not know the speed zone until they pass Caffery Park. Guilbeau explained that the lack of a speed limit sign is dangerous, especially during baseball season when children are crossing Barrow Street.
Franklin Police Chief Sabria McGuire explained that “in 99 percent of the cities, they have ordinances.”
“We also have an ordinance that in the corporate city limits of Franklin, the speed limit is 25 miles an hour unless posted differently,” McGuire said.
This means that the default speed limit in Franklin is 25 mph unless there is a speed limit sign stating otherwise.
McGuire also said that the city of Franklin is limited to where they can place speed limit signs. For example, they cannot place signs on state highways, which include La. 3211, La. 182, Sterling Road and part of Willow Street.
“People don’t want speed limit signs in the middle or in front of their business,” she said. “They don’t want speed limit signs in the middle of their yard. That’s why cities all across the US – not just Louisiana – have these ordinances on the books that say the speed limit.”
McGuire agreed to conduct a traffic survey on Barrow Street with the assistance of Guilbeau.
Director of Finance Ed Hay discussed the decrease in sales tax revenue and how it is causing wage reductions for city employees.
“What’s been happening over the last three years is that there’s been a decrease of about 33 percent, which has a serious effect on the city’s ability to maintain its operations,” Hay said.
For example, Franklin’s police and fire departments, which used to receive $55,000, are now receiving $40,000 in sales taxes. The sales tax used to support the city’s sewage rates declined from $90,000 per month to $60,000.
Hay suggested to the council that the city of Franklin “curtail all non-mission critical activities and put those functions in a kind of suspended mode until we get some relief from the sales tax.”
At the same time, Hay said, the city should research grants that would permit government assistance.
Hay also suggested increasing garbage rates by $2 per month per customer and to increase sewer rates by $1 per month per customer.
“My real idea is that this is no fun for anybody,” Hay said. “It’s no fun for anybody…to have to do this, but I think we’re at a point where we need to do this and we need to do it before it gets too far out of hand.”
Ordinances that were introduced:
—Ordinance #3359: An ordinance amending Chapter 34, Section 34-29(a) of the Franklin City Code to provide for the assessment of fees and charges within the City of Franklin, La., for the collection of solid and/or bulky waste, garbage and trash material; and repealing all ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith.
—Ordinance #3360: An ordinance establishing the sewer user charge to all resident and customers receiving sewer services from the City of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, La., with said income to be utilized for construction, renovation and operation of the City of Franklin’s sewer system, or for any public purpose, defining the same; providing for billings to said residents and customers; and repealing all ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith.
The council adopted Ordinance #3355: An ordinance fixing the rates of tax to be assessed by the municipal corporation of the City of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, La., subject to taxation therein, for the year 2017.
Resolutions that were approved:
—A resolution lifting the open alcohol container law on Teche Drive and downtown Main Street for the Louisiana City Marshals and City Constables Association Conference to be held on April 28, 2017. No glass containers.
—A resolution authorizing the mayor to submit a pre-application, application and issue debt in the amount of $2 million in the Department of Environmental Quality on behalf of the City of Franklin.
—A resolution urging the United States Congress to pass destination rate-based legislation that would give the states the option to collect from remote online retailers the same that local brick-and-mortar merchants currently collect.
—A resolution in support of the application for grant funding of the Bayou Beaux Arts Summer Program.
—A resolution support of the application for Community Partnership Grant funding of the Summer Dance program.
—A resolution in support of adequate and stable state funding for the 16th Judicial District Public Defenders Office.


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