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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
July 28, 2016     The Ponchatoula Times
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July 28, 2016

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THE TIMES, JULY 28, 2016 PAGE 4 Pl TOWN OF INDPENDENCE + 2016 Lexus ES300h This hybrid The next time I am rambling you will find me at the nearest ES300h. The "h" of course stands forexplained to me on one of my hybrid. Texas ride and drive education- A proud longtime environ- al trips sponsored by,Lexus. mentalist, buying this auto-Lexus has its act so together mobile is the least I can do for that it almost seems like cheat- Mother Earth. ing, they are so good at it. Oh sure, there is the added Now mind you, not all of Lex- incentive that Lexus makes us automotive mastery can be cars that you could be forgiven found under the hood. Its vehi- for purchasing with your most cles are luxuriously appointed precious body parts, especially and comfortable, steady on the their hybrids. While cousin road, and easy to handle. Toyota uses the hybrid technol- My caviar-colored Lexus ogy to skimp on gasoline, Lexus ES300h boasted 200 horses un- uses the same basic technology der the hood, and rode on 17- to manufacture vehicles with a inch. You select your ride (Eco, decided performance bent, with Normal, Sport). great gas mileage a secondary Its sound was Marc consideration. Levinson's 15-speaker 835-watt That is the beauty of the Premium Surround Sound with hybrid, from an engineering a premium in-dash DVD-CD standpoint, player with navigation system No automotive brain, I and 8-inch VGA screen. learned at the feet of Lexus en- The steering wheel was a gineers quite proud of the corn- heated wood and leather that pany's technological mastery of tilted and telescoped. this new age of automotive en- Base price is $40,920, but gineering. Lexus was not going to stop It all boils down to how thethere. A $500 blind spot monitor engineers calibrate this cen- complemented a pre-collision tral rod running through thesystem with pedestrian detec- heart of the engine, as it was tion ($1,015), a $2,650 naviga- luxury Lexus makes you love your planet By BRYAN T. McMAHON Times On Wheels columnist around town with $49,410 in loose change bulging my pants pocket, Lexus dealer plunking it down in exchange for a new 2016 9040A more glamour and luxury. Those wonderful options brought the bottom line to $49,410. And being a Lexus, safety comes built-in, including a self- deploying power rear sunshade and • smart-stop technology, which is just the start of a long list of safety equipment which will not by itself keep you from marriage, always a possibil- ity with that fine piano black trimmed interior and Sirius Satellite Radio. And no, I have not begun to mention all of this fine vehicle's many attractions. This hybrid gets a combined gas mileage of 40 mpg from its all-aluminum engine, riding on 17" machined finish 5-spoke wheels shod in all-season tires. Did I mention that it is an absolute delight to drive? Well, it is. tion system and Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package added Town of Jndependence Regutar Meeting July 12, 2016 Call To Order Pledge was led by vlnce Falcone Prayer was led by Vince Falcone Roll Call Present: Aldermen Larry Cardaronella, Aldermen Luke Suarez, Aldermen Jim Paine, Aldermen Jimmy Gregory, Aldermen Calvin Batiste A motion was made by Calvin Batiste, seconded by Larry Cardaronella to go into Public Hearing. No discussion Voting was as follows: Yays: Calvin Batiste, Larry Cardaronella, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine Nays: None Motion was passed to go into public hearing, Motion was made by A]der men Jim Paine, seconded by Larry Cardaronella to go out of public bearing Voting was as follows: Yays: Calvin Batiste, I any Cardaronella, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine Nays: None Motion was passed to go out of public bearing. A motion to give approval of prior meeting minutes by Larry Cardaronelfa, seconded by Calvin Batiste Voting was as follows: Yays: Calvin Batiste, LaNv Cardaronefra, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine ¢ Nays; Note Motion passed Lmanimously. al ":es L.L.C. Jason Shaffett - Owner & Manager Serra Sanchez - Assistant Manager FO ALL YOUR LOAN ° P 80NAL L@AN8 985=386=304 111] 4 Highway 5I] Noah = Ponvha ula In regards to the Audit for fiscal year 2015-16, Mayor Mannino asked the boards permission to agow him to sign the engagement letter for Durnin & James to perform the audit Town CPA Phil Hebert spoke and stated that the town is p~eparing for this audit and will be ready late summer or early fall for the audit to begin. A motion was made by Larry Cardaronella, seconded by Calvin Batiste to allow Mayor Mannino to sign the engagement letter. Voting was as follows: Yays: Calvin Batiste, Larry Cardaronega, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine Nays: None .. Motion passed unanimously. Town Attorney LeAnnc Malnar would like to Lheck into el program (PTI) which would be a diversion program for any offenders of misdemeanors in traffic court. This is a program that the offenders would have the option of going online and after paying a fee, could participate in the program to avoid the charges going on their record and insurance. After a brief discussion, Aldermen Jimmy Gregory questioned the program and how would it benefit the town, He asked if Arty Malnar could provide him with more information and present it to the hoard at a later time. This would enable the town to cogect revenue that is due to the town Along with this program which would allow the town to collect what is due from traffic tickets, Mayor Mannino discussed the fact of property taxes that are past due to the town. The amount currently that is due before penalties are added is over $50,000. Mayor Mannino stated that he is going to contact LMA (Louisiana Municipal Association) regarding a program ~hat would help him colect past due taxes. This service would provide trainmg and help in the property tax sale in order for the town to collect past due taxes, The town Clerk will send out past due notices for the 2015 property taxes that are past due Air taxes owed from 2014 and earlier will be given to the LaMats program to proceed with letters and/or legal action, This is a service that is available to all cities and towns in the State of Louisiana and it is called LaMats. Mayor Mannino also discussed the water billing program and the problems we are having with it. We are currently uncovering issues with the system and meter readings that were entered previous to this administration and a representative frocn the company will be coming to city hall soon to help us review the program. During the next two months the town will adjust the billing on those that have been billed mcorrectly. He asked residents to check for leaks and please report such as soon as possible. There have been accounts that are receiving services, but are showing as inactive in the water program.These accounts will be Investigated to see why this has happened. Mayor Manninodiscussedthemlgageforthe20t6AdValorumTaxes The town has passed the time period allowed by the state to roll forward the millage This process was to ' be completed and submitted to the Assessor by July lS. At this time, Mayor Mannino asked f0~ a mQt~n tQ adopt the resolutio~ for the lower i~fllage rate. A mot,on was made to adopt the ,esolutlon by Larry Cardaronelia, seconded by Calvin Batlste Voting was as follows: RaciNe_, Phone: 985-878-6982 55351 Hwy 51 N Fax: 985-878-2207 Independence, LA 70443 Email:floydc@clausenracing. net Southern Tree Arbor Service Offering tree removal / Trimming and Stump Grinding Insured and Licensed Arborist with South Tangipahoa Parish Port Commission 39 years experience Free Estimates 5-1743 ForAny Occasion A motion was made by UarryCardaronella, seconded by Calvin Batiste to add Public Input to the agenda Voting was as follows: Yays: Calvin Batiste, Larry Caldaronella, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine Nays: None Motion passed unanimously. A motion was made by Larry Cardaronella, seconded by Jimmy Gregory to add traffic court to the agenda Voting was as tolFows: Yays: Calvin Batiste, Larry Cardaronella, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine Nays; None Motion passed unanbnously PUBLIC INPUT *MayorManninoaskediftherewasanypublicinputonitemsontheagenda. No comments OLD BUSINgSS I. After discussion on the Official Journal, a motion was made by Aldermen }irony Gregory, seconded by Larry Cardaronella to approve the Independence Times as the official journal. voting was as follows: Yays: Larry Cardaronella, Jimmy Gregory, Luke guarez, Jim Paine Nays: Calvin Batiste Motion passed. Mayor Mannino discussed the trees that are being cIeared out at the 1-55 interchange. He said that we are still in the process of removing trees• The wish of the council is to remove enough trees so that it will be possible to bush hog the area between trees. After removal of the trees, the town will research options in the type of light to use to keep the area lit at night. Mayor Mannino stated he is going to research to see if there are any grants available to help with the beautification of the interchange area. Also Larry Cardaronella stated that he would like to possible have the trash barrels that Amite and other communities have to help ruminate the trash on the ground, This will be checked into. Mayor Mannin0 discussed the matter of the retirement program (MERS and MPERS). At the current time the town owes approximately S500,O00. After review of the employees that are no longer employed by the town, MFRS is currently recalculating the amount due after removing a portion of the former employees portion, We should be hearing back from MERS soon and Mayor Mannino will report this to the board at that time, SOUTH TANGIPAHOA PARISH PORT COMMISSION 163 WEST HICKORY STREET PONCHATOULA, LA 70454 (504) 386- 9309 NOTICE THE SOUTH TANGIPAHOA PARISH PORT COMMISSION WILL HOLD A REGULAR MEETING ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2016 AT 12:00 NOON AT 163 WEST HICKORY STREET, PONCHATOULA, LA Pro-Team Chemical• Your p001. Our roptdation, Yays: Calvin Batiste, Larry Cardaronella, tin, my Gregory, Luke Suarez, J m Paine Nays: None Molion passed unanimously¸ Mayor Mannlno announced that the new hours at City haft will be 8 am to 4:30 pro, Monday through Frlday, Previously city hall was closing at 3:30 pm in order to process the dally end of day work. Larry Cardaronella inquired about what are the holidays that city hall is clogged ]his will be on the agenda for the July 26, 201-6 special meeBng. In regards to the matter of Mayor's Pay, Mayor Mannlno stated that in the new budget that he will be introducln¢ soon, he will be eliminating the truck allowance that was in effect w~th the previous admlnistraUon Mayor Mannmo will be using his personal truck du~,,~ his admlnistration and not expect a ~ruck allowance from the Iown. Police Matters: Chief Edwards wasout of town and unable to attend the meeting. Mayor Mannino stated that the town is currently working with USDA in order to obtain new police units. Mayor: Mayor Mannino stated that the 4'" of July celebration was a huge success, the Town is already planning the next celebration to make!t even better. Weategoingto be investiBatlngallleaksand problems with the water system We aregoidgtoimplement a wo~korder program for all maintenance issues in the town Mayor Mannlnospokeofthe town workers who were, at the One of this meeting working with on a water main break along Highway B1 North• The utility company WhO had broken the line while boring will be billed for the repairs. Mayoriannino stated that he made the right decision on the staff that was chosen to help him, including Town Clerk, Asst. Clerk, Attorney, CPA, We are correcting problems in the office and it will take time, but we are on the right path. Mayor Mannlno stated that he ~ent to a chamber meeting in Han~mond and the matter of the schools ill Independence was brought up and our voices are being heard with the school system. Mayor ianninorecognizedTowllCPAPhiIHebert. He assured the board that as of August, they will have a financial statement every month. We are in the process of cleanin~ out ditches as promised. He asked the residents that Ifyoususpectawaterleakinor around your meter, to call us Calvfn Batiste; Everything is going great Ill the towrl and he asked for the community to support the town. Aldermen Batiste said that this administration has an opendoo, policy. Luke $~arez; Said tha~ the town is going to move forward with the new administration He is looking forward to workir~g with each and every one of the board members and he has faith that Mayor Mannino is going to do the right thing for the Town of Independence, He hopes to see a full house at the next meeting also. Larry Cardaronega: Said that he would like to form committees for town events, He said that the town had a great 4¢" 0f July celebration and is looking forward to next year• Jimmy Gregory: Asked that if the residents need anything, please feel free to go to any aldermen and let them know so the matter can be corrected or brought to our attention, Jim Paine: Thanked everyone for coming out to the meeting and supporting the new administration Meeting adjourned. ? / Town Clerk - ~ • 7 / .? /(. • We Lease, Rent, or Sell Carts • We Carry New & Used Carts • We Can Repair and Customize All Brands of Golf Carts Bull BBQ Grills • Pool Cleaning Service is Available • We Sell Above-ground Pools (special Pricing) • We Change Pool Liners • We Carry Regal & Pro-Team Chemicals Mention this ad for Special 5% Discount on MI Pool Chemicals MON. r FRI. 8am-5:30pm SAT. 8am-3pm 957 East Pine Street--- Ponchatoula, LA Owner -- Jeff Wiggins I / I ; g'