Minutes - May
Regular Business Hours : Monday thru Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF
CADDO LEVEE DISTRICT
AT REGULAR MEETING HELD ON MAY 13, 2021
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At a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District held at 10:00 a.m., May 13, 2021 at 1320 Grimmett Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana, the following members were present: Patrick Harrison, Kandi Moore, James T. Sims, Jackie L. Baker, Carolyn C. Prator, Gary Procell, and Willie Walker.
Ronald F. Lattier, Law Offices of Ronald F. Lattier; Robert Tomasek, LA Department of Transportation and Development; J. Marshall Jones Jr., Jones & Odom, LLP; John Barr, Regional Director Senator John Kennedy’s Office; Ali M. Mustapha, Executive Director; Sam Brimer, Forester; and Lynda Jones, Administrative Assistant were also present.
The meeting was opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Harrison asked for any comments from the public regarding agenda items or other issues. There were no public comments. President Harrison welcomed the newest Board Member, Mr. Jackie L. Baker.
Ronald F. Lattier, the Board’s Legal Counsel, administrated the Oath of Office to the newly appointed board member, Mr. Jackie L. Baker.
President Harrison stated that the minutes from the April 8, 2021 meeting had been emailed for review and asked for a motion to approve. Mr. Sims made a motion, with a second by Mrs. Moore, to approve the minutes from the April 8, 2021 meeting. The motion unanimously passed.
Mrs. Moore discussed the monthly financial reports, reporting that there is a slight increase in expenses due to office building repairs caused by the February ice storm and regular maintenance operation during the Spring. Overall, revenues and expenses are in line with this time of year.
The Board reviewed payments and invoices for the month of April 2021 and subsequent bills for the month of March 2021. Mrs. Moore made a motion, with a second by Mr. Walker, to ratify payment of the invoices for the month of April 2021 and subsequent bills for the month of March 2021. The motion unanimously passed.
The Board opened the meeting to public hearing to discuss the millage rate of Caddo Levee District for 2021 with a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Walker. The Board discussed the millage rate and reviewed the details. There were no public comments. The public hearing was closed with a motion by Mrs. Prator and a second by Mr. Procell.
The Board unanimously passed the following resolution to set the millage rate for 2021 at zero:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following millage(s) are hereby levied on the 2021 tax roll on all property subject to taxation by Caddo Levee District:
Caddo Levee District 0.00 mills
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the proper administrative officials of the Parish of Caddo, State of Louisiana, be and they are hereby empowered, authorized, and directed to spread said taxes, as hereinabove set forth, upon the assessment roll of said Parish for the year 2021, and to make the collection of the taxes imposed for and on behalf of the taxing authority, according to law, and that the taxes herein levied shall become a permanent lien and privilege on all property subject to taxation as herein set forth, and collection thereof shall be enforceable in the manner provided by law.
The foregoing resolution was read in full; the roll was called on the adoption thereof, and the resolution was adopted by the following votes:
The Board unanimously approved the attendance of the Executive Director and Commissioners at the Red River Valley Association 96th Annual Convention to be held on June 2-3, 2021 at Horseshoe River Dome in Bossier City, LA, with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mr. Walker.
The Board unanimously approved the payment of the sponsorship of the Red River Valley Association 96th Annual Convention of $1,000.00 with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mr. Walker.
Mr. Mustapha reported that Danielle Thames, former Assistant Executive Director, has resigned but has agreed to continue to help with bookkeeping, administrative services, and the annual audit later this year until a replacement can be found. The Board unanimously passed the following resolution to approve a contract agreement with Mrs. Thames for Bookkeeping and Administrative Services, with a motion by Mr. Procell and a second by Mrs. Moore.
WHEREAS, on May 13, 2021, the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District has agreed on the terms and conditions of a Contract Agreement, dated May 6, 2021, between Caddo Levee District and Danielle Thames as Contractor for Bookkeeping and Administrative Services at a rate of $30.00 per hour, not to exceed a total of $6,000.00.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District, in legal session convened, that it does hereby accept and agree to the terms and conditions set forth in the Contract Agreement between Caddo Levee District and Danielle Thames and that the Executive Director of the Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District is authorized to execute said Contract Agreement.
The Board discussed the renewal of CDs currently held by Home Federal Bank. Mr. Mustapha reported that interest rates are very low, and Home Federal has placed a maximum limit of $250,000 per CD. President Harrison proposed that each CD be re-invested with the maximum $250,000 for twelve months at a rate of 0.5% and the remaining amounts be placed in a money market account. The Board unanimously approved the recommendation with a motion by Mrs. Prator and a second by Mr. Procell.
The Board discussed the renewal of the six (6) CDs currently held by Iberiabank. The Board agreed to renew the CDs for only 6 months term at a rate of 0.05% with a motion by Mrs. Moore and a second by Mr. Sims.
Marshall Jones reported that crude oil prices have improved in the last 30 days and may continue to rise because of the increase in the demand.
President Harrison reported that he attended the Association of Levee Boards of Louisiana (ALBL) Convention held in Baton Rouge at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on May 6-7 and stated that it was a much smaller in person attendance meeting this year due to COVID-19. The in-person meeting was limited to executive board members and available virtually to all ALBL members.
Mr. Mustapha reported that North Louisiana Economic Partnership has expressed their appreciation of the Levee District’s assistance in securing the necessary permits from the USACE for the Amazon Distribution Center site which is located adjacent to the Agurs Borrow ditch and along the landside of West Agurs Levee Segment. Also, he reported that discussions with developer’s and their Design Team are progressing regarding the need for a storm water pumping system to ensure proper flood protection is provided during extreme weather conditions and flooding of Twelve Mile Bayou and the Red River.
Mr. Mustapha reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the annual inspection of the levees the week of April 19-22, 2021. All the levee segments are in a very good condition. The inspection reports will be released in late summer.
Mr. Mustapha reported that Ms. Willie Jointer, head of Jointer Janitorial Service, has retired after more than 25 years of providing cleaning services for the Levee District. He reported that he has contacted Red River Sanitors cleaning services who provided a quote to perform the cleaning services for a monthly fee of $450.00. The Board unanimously approved a motion by Mr. Sims and a second by Mr. Procell to authorize the Executive Director to executive an agreement with Red River Sanitors for the cleaning services.
Mr. Mustapha also reported that due to the extreme wet weather conditions in the last 2 months, it has been difficult to maintain the route mowing schedule of the levees and ditches. Also, the Red River and Twelve Bayou levels are at and above the normal flood stage which required closure of Agurs flood gates and operation of the pumps during local heavy rain events.
Mr. Mustapha also provided a written report that detailed the status of all ongoing projects and the status of all open permits.
Ronald Lattier, Board Legal Counsel, reported that he had obtained the judgement to vacate the illegal occupant of Lot 139 on Black Bayou on Caddo Levee District’s property. The occupant must vacate the property by May 31, 2021. He also reported that the judgement includes assessment of all court costs and rent to the occupant. He stated that the Sherriff’s office has the court order and will be serving the illegal tenant with the judgement and eviction notice.
Sam Brimer, Forester, reported that lumber prices are high, and the demand is high but the interest in harvesting timber is very low and the prices are extremely low.
There was no Engineer’s Report.
Mrs. Moore, Personnel Committee Chair, asked that the agenda be amended to move the Personnel Committee Report to the end of the meeting. The Board unanimously approved the amendment of the agenda with a motion by Mr. Walker and a second by Mr. Procell.
There was no Legal Committee Report.
There was no Equipment Committee Report.
Mrs. Prator reported that the Recreational Committee will be meeting immediately after the Board meeting to discuss recreation opportunities.
Mrs. Moore made a motion, with a second by Mr. Sims, to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters. The motion unanimously passed. Mr. Procell made a motion, with a second by Mr. Sims to come out of Executive Session. The motion unanimously passed. Mrs. Moore reported that the Personnel Committee has discussed the Executive Director’s annual performance during the executive session and recommended to the Board to increase the Executive Director’s salary and that the Board has approved this recommendation.
With no further business to be brought before the Board, Mrs. Prator made a motion to adjourn, with a second by Mr. Procell. The motion unanimously passed, and the meeting was adjourned.
President Executive Director