Mansura may revise pavilion rental policy

Small private functions will have to pay a rental fee to use the Cochon de Lait Pavilion in Mansura under a proposed amendment to the rental policy, the Town Council noted at its Dec. 12 meeting.
The amended ordinance was introduced and will be discussed in a public hearing at 5:45 p.m on Jan. 9, just prior to being on the agenda for adoption at the council meeting.
Councilman Gaon Escude said some people “have been taking advantage of the policy,” which did not address such events as baby showers.
The revised policy would charge $150 for such an event.
Council members also discussed the requirement that renters of the pavilion cannot conduct for-profit events, such as concerts. It was also pointed out that renters must bear the cost of additional security if alcohol is served at the function.
Escude floated the possibility of allowing for-profit events at the pavilion, but added that the town would have to charge the renter a higher rate for such an event. No action was taken on that suggestion at the December meeting.
Depot museum
In another matter, the council approved paying architect Wayne Coco $5,000 to clear the way to begin the Depot Museum project.
The vote was 4-0 with Escude abstaining, noting some disagreements he had with some of Coco’s charges.
Mayor Kenneth Pickett said Coco’s bill had been $5,275 but he reduced it to $5,000.
In a related item, Escude said he recently received a large packet of information containing sources for exhibits for the museum once it opens.
Escude also raised the still unresolved issue of monthly storage fees for a motorcycle impounded by the Mansura Police Department.
Escude reminded aldermen that the council had instructed Police Chief John Johnson earlier this year to take the motorcycle out of storage and chain it up in a town-owned facility.
The storage cost is being paid out of the Police Department budget. Escude said it appears the town has paid $2,500-3,000 in storage fees.
Other business
In other business, the council:
-- Acknowledged receipt of $15,000 Local Government Assistance Program grant.
The town had applied for the grant to assist with its condemnation/ demolition program, but Town Engineer Ron Bordelon said the council could ask the state to approve another appropriate project -- such as drainage or sewer improvements -- if councilmen decided there was a more pressing need for the funds.
-- Discussed the possibility of contracting with the Louisiana Municipal Association’s LaMAT program to aid in collective overdue sewer bills and property taxes.
-- Decided to eliminate one of the three town-provided cell phones, noting that the town did not need the third phone for employees.

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