In the newly appointed Bastrop Mayor Arthur Jones' first Council meeting, held Thursday night, he commended Bastrop Fire Department District Chief John Hattaway on his retirement. He also commended Mayor Betty Alford-Olive on her 12 years of dedicated service to the City and William "Sonny" Nason for his four years of dedicated service as a city councilman.
Other items on the agenda were to appoint various office holders and committee members, including: Arthur Hamlin and Phillip Marrow as members of the zoning board of adjustments Cindy Haynes of Hill and Inzina as city auditor John Bentley and Doug Lawrence as city attorneys Sandra Goleman as city clerk Amanda Hall as assistant city clerk Sandra Goleman and Amanda Hall as sales tax commission members. An ordinance was introduced for the prospect of the city of Bastrop to borrow $1,500,000 in anticipation of future revenue to be used to meet current needs. This ordinance will be voted on at a future meeting. During the Council meeting, a meeting was also held for the Bastrop Sales Tax District Number 1, at which a resolution calling for a special election for the renewal of a .5 percent sales tax was discussed. This resolution passed and the sales tax meeting was adjourned, and the council meeting resumed. Morehouse Chamber of Commerce Director Dorothy Ford and Keep Morehouse Beautiful Board Member Vickie Carpenter were both on the agenda and each spoke to the councilmen regarding the changes in the City government. “We want to welcome the new mayor and councilman,” Ford said. “We are excited to work with you and want you to know that you have the chamber's full support.” Carpenter had similar respects, but also asked the council for two favors. “I just ask that the you [the council] help us to condemn buildings that are abandoned, safety hazards, eye sores and that welcome drug addicts,” Carpenter said. “We are very proud of our zoning ordinances, but need the council's help to have more bite. People respond better when something is going to hit them in the pocketbook.” Carpenter also implored the members to explore options of fining those breaking the zoning ordinances. "We want to look into how much other places are fining people in order to have the most success," Carpenter said. Part one of a residential anti-displacement and relocation plan passed. The first part of the plan is to identify the area to be used. A resolution to adopt the Ad Valorem millage rates for 2013 also passed. These rates will remain the same. Adjudicated property located at 427 Scott, formerly owned by Lee Debman, is no longer needed for public use and the council voted to authorize the employment of Phillip Lester, attorney at law to provide the legal service for the sale of the property for the minimum bid of the appraised amount or for the amount of parish and city taxes owed with cost of appraisal and legal services in accordance with the law.