Collection of the dedicated ½-cent sales tax, approved for recreational purposes and related matters by Broussard voters in November, will begin April 1. The Broussard City Council passed an ordinance imposing the sales tax at the January meeting at the recommendation of bonding attorney Donald Cunningham.
Council members noted some confusion, as the ballot gave Jan. 1 as the effective date. Cunningham explained that the tax is collected by the Lafayette Parish School Board and would take some additional time to implement.
Councilman Kenny Higginbotham expressed some concern about the long term plans for the sales tax after the park is paid for. Cunningham explained that the funds could be used for recreational purposes and related matters such as maintaining roads leading to the park. The sales tax could either be rededicated or cancelled should they no longer be needed for recreational purposes.
Jim Newberry, a Broussard landowner, requested reimbursement from the city for the death of his livestock. A pipe carrying treated sewerage across his property developed a couple of leaks which were repaired by the city. Several cows and a calf died mysteriously after they drank from a pool of standing water created by heavy rains. He had the water tested at several points and concluded that there was chlorine from the leaks that surfaced after the rains, which then killed the livestock. City engineers pointed out that all water is treated with chlorine; this particular main discharges water treated with chlorine into the wetlands. Testing is done on a regular basis showing no negative effect on wildlife.
The insurance company refused Newberry’s claim stating that he had no concrete proof, such as blood tests from the dead animals. The mayor, at the recommendation of City Attorney Donald Landry, offered him $500 to settle the matter, but Newberry stated he would not accept less than $1200. The council gave Landry authority to settle the case.
Residents of Hernandez Heights Subdivision applauded when the council passed an ordinance annexing their subdivision. The council also approved an ordinance annexing the area known as the Moulin Road/Maurice Shannon Annexation.
City engineers reported that they applied for and received grants totalling more than $43,000. The money allowed for insulation upgrades at the fire department, air conditioning units in the police offices and in the council room, as well as replacement of water service pumps.
At the request of Councilman Terry Guilbeau, a speed limit of 35 mph was imposed on the length of Moulin Road due to the number of residential areas on the road.
Council members and the mayor expressed concern about Broussard’s image in the water meter dispute with LUS, as well as some frustration with the process. Consensus was that the whole story had not yet been told.