St. Martinville City Council plans again to discuss utility rates

St. Martinville Mayor Melinda Mitchell hasn't attended a City Council meeting since calling for unity at a town hall meeting in mid-July.

ST. MARTINVILLE — The St. Martinville City Council is scheduled to revisit the setting of rates for its utility services after tabling the discussion at its last meeting.

The utility rate increases for the city’s water and sewerage became a point of contention last month when Mayor Melinda Mitchell posted on social media that the move to raise rates was being done without her input or knowledge, despite the fact that the rate adjustment had been discussed last year during the budgeting process and again in recent months as part of the city’s audit.

Mayor Pro Tem Craig Prosper, District 1 Councilman Mike Fuselier and District 3 Councilman Dennis Paul Williams tabled the discussion on July 21, saying they would not take action until Mitchell was present.

Mitchell has not attended a council meeting since June 1.

The raising of rates is required to keep the water and sewerage departments from running deficits. According to the current city audit, the water production side of the city’s utility operation ran $178,000 in the red in 2019.

The council will also revisit the hiring of a clerk for the Mayor’s Court. A candidate for the position was introduced at the July 18 meeting, but a decision deferred until they could meet with the court for an interview.

In other business, the council is expected to:

• Hear a request from John Williams to operate a food truck and trailer on municipal streets.

• Consider action on two unlicensed mobile homes, one at 412 W. Madison at the corner of Martin Luther King and Governor Mouton.

• Discuss the mobile home in Adam Carlson Park.

• Consider a request use of Maison Duchamp every Sunday to hold a prayer breakfast from 10 a.m. until noon.

• Consider hiring a police officer.

• Consider hiring a Supply/Warehouse Clerk, an Equipment Operator II, and a Carpenter/Concrete Finisher for the Public Works Department.

• Consider re-hiring Ronald Batiste as a part-time grass cutter.

• Discuss putting GPS in all city vehicles.

The council will also hear from former 16th JDC Judge Lori Landry, who resigned from the bench to run for District Attorneyin the district, and Alicia Johnson Butler, who is a candidate for Landry’s previous seat as a judge in the 16th JDC.

The St. Martinville City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the city council meeting room of city hall, 120 New Market St. in St. Martinville.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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