Alexandria City Council members approved on Tuesday a resolution that opposes the U.S. Postal Service's possible closure of a mail processing center that employs 50 on Odom Street.
The center processes mail for many other state and out-of-state post offices. If the Alexandria center were closed and the operations moved to Lafayette, Alexandria would still have post offices, but mailing a letter or bill across town would take four to five days, officials said.
Mayor Jacques Roy and Councilman Charles F. Smith Jr., who met with members of Louisiana's congressional delegation recently during Mardi Gras festivities in Washington, cautioned council members to allow U.S. Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu and U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander to work out negotiations.
"Mr. Smith and I worked very hard on this," Roy said. The delegation "recognize(s) the importance of this."
MAYOR READIES REPORT
on take-home vehicles
Roy told the council he was nearly finished with a report and recommendations on a new city vehicle take-home policy, and that he would reveal its contents at the Feb. 27 meeting.
"There are going to be some changes," Roy said.
The report is to address vehicles used by all departments except fire and police. Reports and recommendations on fire and police vehicles will come later, Roy said.
With city studied
Discussion on renewing media consultant Ken Juneau's contract is scheduled for Feb. 27 in the council's Legal Committee.
Juneau has been consulting for the city at $70 an hour since before the 2005 vote on a sales tax increase for city employee raises. Last year, the council capped his fees at about $45,000.
If the contract receives a committee recommendation, a full council will vote on it during the regular meeting that starts at 5 p.m.
ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY FOR ALEXANDRIA HIRED
Alainna Mire has been hired to be an assistant city attorney for Alexandria, joining Laura Sylvester as the legal team that reports to new City Attorney Charles "Chuck" Johnson.
Mire replaced Tiffany Sanders, who resigned earlier this year. Mire was introduced to the council on Tuesday.
Leaking arts center ROOF
STILL BEING DEBATED
Also at the meeting, Councilman Harry Silver asked Roy for an update on the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, for which the city probably is headed to court.
Roy kept his comments to a minimum, but said the city and companies involved in the design and construction of the center have "exchanged letters" and are "not on the same page yet."
The Town Talk has requested a copy of a report done by Quick & Associates, a leak forensics company that examined where and why the building leaks.
Roy has said he would not release the report, citing an exception in the public records law that excludes reports based on mental impressions in anticipation of a lawsuit.
city remains silent
ON Cleco audit report
The Town Talk also made a request on Wednesday for a copy of a letter Roy sent to council members about the on-going court-ordered audit that could reveal if Cleco Corp. owes Alexandria ratepayers money.
By Friday, the city had not written a response to the request.
However, asked for a copy of the letter after last week's council meeting, Roy said the city would not submit one to the media, citing the order of a federal judge to keep mum about the audit.