City Attorney Woody Woodruff (right) administers the oath of office for the newly installed Councilman for District C, Justin Johnson. He replaces Richard LeBlanc who recently passed away after a brief illness.
Johnson named Councilman for District C
Justin Johnson was sworn in as the Councilman for District C to replace the late Richard LeBlanc who recently passed away after a brief illness.
He took his oath of office during the regular City Council meeting last Tuesday.
Johnson is not new to the workings of the city. He is also a member of the Finance Committee for the last three years.
His other involvement in the city are as a referee and umpire for youth sports.
He is a 2001 graduate of Kaplan High School and holds a degree in Business from McNeese State University.
His nomination was a unanimous vote. He will serve in that capacity until a special election is held on October 12, 2019.
The council also unanimously adopted a resolution ordering and calling an election to be held in the City of Kaplan on December 8 to authorize the issuance of general election bonds in the amount of $750,000.
While the monies were to be dedicated to the recreation department, Kaplan Mayor Mike Kloesel felt that the money was desperately needed to purchase equipment for city employees to do their job.
“I am the one that asked for this to be looked at,” said Kloesel. “I felt that rather than spend that much money on recreation, we need to look at the infrastructure and the equipment of our town. I had originally proposed an 85/15 split, with 15 percent going to recreation and 85 going to buying equipment.”
Kloesel said he has seen on a daily basis how city employees don’t have the equipment they need to perform their duties properly and would like to purchase what they need.
“However,” said the mayor, “Councilwoman Eva Dell Morrison asked that it be split 80/20 if the 20 percent could be allocated to constructing a pavilion at Clement Park.”
The vote passed unanimously and a public hearing will be held on September 20 take public comment on the revised proposal.
In other business, the council discussed:
•Installing a four way stop at the intersection of Church Avenue and Fourth Street.
•Changing the entire length of American Legion Road to a speed limit of 25 mph.
•The purchase of a new sewer pump at the Westgate lift station and other pumps needed for the sewer department.
Timmy Farris with the waste water department said the Westgate pump was installed in 1984 and runs 15-18 hours a day. Bids were given to the council for replacement pumps.
This pump takes care of all pumping all the sewage from the last street before getting to Highway 35 all the way to Trahan Street. (This includes Stanton Apartments, Westgate Apartments and a subdivision all rely on that pump to push sewage to the lift station.) Cost will be approximately $11,000 installed.
•Ratified raises of $325 per month to sewer department supervisors and creation of meter reading permit inspect at an additional $350 per month. (This will not create another job. The meter reader began performing another service of inspecting for variances. He assumed the responsibilities when the previous supervisor retired.
Raises for the fire and police part-timers will be put on next month’s agenda.
•Ratified the hiring of Eric Meaux as a distribution operator with the gas and water distribution department.
•Replacing the awning on the east and west entrances of the Kaplan museum.