Councilman Vining began this debate with a motion to accept the ordinances for both sewerage collection and treatment and water rates. This matter has come up for discussion amongst the council many times in the past. Councilman Vining asked for the amendment to the ordinances during the March meeting. Amite apparently has the lowest water and sewerage rates in the parish.
During the meeting Councilman Daniels requested that Town Clerk Mary Lou Lee re-read the ordinances, which had been discussed among the council at least twice before. Councilman Vining questioned Daniels as to why he was asking for the ordinances to be read again when the ordinances had already been discussed. Councilman Daniels responded that he, "would just like them read again."
Lee read the ordinances again and Daniels shook his head intermittently as she read. The ordinance if put into effect would have increased inside town payers a total of $8.60. Their bills are currently rated at $27.80; with the change their bill would be $36.40. The dispute came with the fact that customers outside the city limits pay double the fee because they are out of town. This increase would bring their bill from approximately $55.60 to $72.80. The would be a $17.20 increase.
Daniels dispute was that "I would like the outside people left out because lots of them are senior citizens." He wants just residential customers outside of town left out of the ordinances. This raises the bills for his voters. Daniels further stated, "I just don't think that's fair to them."
Lee called for a roll call vote on the matter. Councilpersons Vining and Rose Sumrall voted for the passing of the ordinance while Councilmen Daniels, Neil Currier and Jonathon Foster voted against. The motion failed.
The matter was then brought up again at the end of the meeting. Councilman Vining requested that the ordinance be changed to at least increase out of town customers the $8.60 that inside town customers were being increased. Councilman Daniels implied that Councilman Vining could not bring the matter back up for discussion. Councilman Vining countered stating that he was not speaking about the first motion but introducing a new idea. Councilman Vining was asked to just let the matter drop until a later meeting by Mayor Reggie Goldsby. A comment was made by an audience member to the point of asking why Councilman Vining could not broach the new subject. The idea was dismissed and so the meeting adjourned leaving the matter unsettled.
In other business:
• The council accepted gasoline bids from Amite Oil Company for: regular gasoline at 1.916; plus gasoline at 1.991; road diesel at 1.911 and off-road diesel at 1.712
• The council decided to give homeowner Sammy Richardson 30 days before a judgement of condemnation of his property on South Third Street.
• The council was introduced to the 2010 Amite Oyster Festival Royalty. King Bruce Cutrer spoke for the court and assured the council that the 2010 court was ready and willing to represent Amite this year. The court for 2010 are as follows: King Bruce Cutrer, Pearl Mary Cutrer, Miss Queen Amy Ferrara, Teen Queen Taylor Guzzardo, Deb Queen Victoria Rooney, Junior Queen Ashlee Rae Stafford, Little Queen Delany Rae Johnson and Petite Queen Jocelyn Stewart.
• The council discussed the many street lights throughout town that are out. Amite Police Chief Jerry Trabona stated that his men are tying ribbon around the street lights in each district that are not working. Entergy is supposed to come in a rectify this issue.
• The council approved the amendments to the parks rules and regulations amendments.