By Sherri L. Jackson
In less than 30 minutes, the Alexandria City Council conducted all of the city’s business on its Dec. 15 agenda with little fanfare, with one noticeable exception: Mayor Jacques Roy and his staff were seated at their table inside the Council Chambers.
By all accounts, it appears Council President Roosevelt Johnson may be on his way to reach his goal of bringing a spirit of unity and cooperation among the Council and the Administration.
“It gives me great pleasure to invite the administration back to the council chambers…,” Johnson said.
Johnson gave Roy an opportunity to address the Council.
“Let’s move forward united together,” Roy said during his first Council meeting back in the council chamber since Councilman Myron Lawson, under his presidency, removed Roy, and his staff away from the table to seats in the audience.
Meanwhile in the brief meeting, the Council after discussion of concerns gave the administration the approval to accept the Ducote Wrecking Inc. low bid of $86,200 to demolish the former Dominique-Miller stockyard.
Previously, District 2 Councilman Everett Hobbs, who owns a construction company, was concerned that the bid was much lower than the estimated $290,000.
However, at Tuesday’s meeting Hobbs said he spoke to Tom David with Pan American Engineers about the project and still came away with some concerns that Ducote could have the site “construction-ready” at such a low price.
Yet, Kay Michiels, Roy’s chief operating officer, explained the price was such because “the demolition contractor actually wants to use (salvaged) materials personally.”
District 1 Councilman Ed Larvadain III said he wanted assurances that there wouldn’t be any additional costs related to the demolition.
Demolition work should begin by the end of the year, Ken Juneau, mayoral assistant told District 3 Councilman Jonathan Goins.
In another matter, the Council accepted the administration’s recommendation to continue its relationship with Charlie Anderson, site coordinator, programming for the Area 4 Weed & Seed Initiative funded through the U.S. Department of Justice.
During the Public Safety Committee, Larvadain asked the administration whether the city was looking to expand the program to include District 1.
Roy said the administration was looking to expand the scope of the program’s services or to find similar program, such as Safe Streets, which the city previously had.
Larvadain asked that the discussion continue at a February council meeting.