From left at the Eunice Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday are Alderman Chad Andrepont, Germaine Simpson, legal counsel Vernon McManus, City Clerk Ginny Moody, Mayor Scott Fontenot, Adlerman at-large Marion “Nootsie” Sattler, Alderman Ernie Blanchard and Alderwoman Connie Thibodeaux. (Photos by Harlan Kirgan)
Board moves on library breakup
A move to reestablish the Eunice Public Library gained traction at Tuesday’s city meeting as aldermen approved a pair of ordinances — one to repeal an ordinance forming the Opelousas-Eunice system and the other to reestablish the Eunice library.
Mayor Scott Fontenot said, “This came up a couple of years back. When I was on the council I brought this up to Mayor (Rusty) Moody and unfortunately we didn’t get far with that.”
Fontenot said, “In my personal opinion I believe the city of Eunice can run a library on its own.”
The city sends $154,000 to the Opelousas-Eunice Public Library, he said, but the city of Eunice pays the utilities, janitorial services and supplies for the library in Eunice.
The money Eunice sends to the library system is used to pay the utility and janitorial costs for the library in Opelousas, he said.
“For quite some time we’ve had problems getting actual numbers on what this money was being spent on,” Fontenot said.
The mayor said there is “red flag” in looking at the library system’s finances. In 2013, the system had cash assets of $113,000, which declined to $21,000 in 2016, he said. The net position of the system ws $243,000 in 2013, but three years later was $190,000, he said.
“Councilman (Ernie) Blanchard and myself went to Port Barre today and we met the mayor over there. Mr. Johnny Ardoin gave us a tour of their library that they created in 2014. Very beautiful. Nice. Well kept and ran library. It doesn’t cost them hardly anything to run that library. It cost them $50,000 a year to run that library ...,” he said.
Fontenot said the city owns its library building. “I don’t think it should cost the city of Eunice and the taxpayers $154,000 a year plus the utilities to have this library run,” he said.
The Opelousas-Eunice system was created in 1967.
Alderwoman Germaine Simpson asked Fontenot to come back to the July meeting with more financial information about the library.
Alderman at-large Marion “Nootsie” Sattler asked the mayor to request all bank statements from the Opelousas-Eunice board.
Public hearings are to be held at the July Eunice meeting.
Other Board business Tuesday included:
— Approving liquor license applications for Billy Joe Hallum and Adam J. Srar to business as Terrazzo Italian Kitchen, 650 W. Laurel Ave.
— Adopting an ordinance for 0.25 percent sales tax to fund public safety salaries and benefits.
— Declaring surplus a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria with 105,000 miles; a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria with 114,000 miles; and a 2007 Chevrolet Impala with $160,000 miles. All are police department vehicles.