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Council considers ditching trail plans

The Crowley City Council will consider ditching plans for a Wilderness Walking Trail.
During the June council meeting, Alderwoman Kim Stringfellow proposed pulling out of the grant program that would fund the trail along Bayou Blanc in south Crowley.
Attorney Tom Regan explained that since the grant funding program had begun and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had begun an ecological impact study of the area, simply “pulling out” of the plan is not possible.
Regan said he would research the program and the agreements in which the city has entered.
Meanwhile, Lee Lawrence, explaining that he was speaking on behalf of L.J. Gielen, asked that the council consider going ahead with the planned trail that he said would provide recreation — and possibly tourism dollars — for the city.
In other action during the regular monthly session, council members voted to hold a hearing to obtain public input on a plan to amend the city’s code of ordinances relative to the collection of Occupational Licenses.
Currently, the flat rate of $50 for professions and businesses not otherwise exempted has not been increased since its adoption in 1987. A comparison with other license fees charged by other municipalities of similar size indicates that most have levied a fee based on gross receipts as provided by state law.
The proposed amendment would follow state law basing Occupational License fees on one-tenth of 1 percent of the annual gross receipts with a minimum annual fee of $50.
The provision of this article shall not apply to:
• sales of meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit or perishable farm products;
• sales of handcrafted items at arts and crafts shows, fairs or festivals sponsored by a Louisiana nonprofit corporation;
• sales made at events commonly known as flea markets, stamp shows, coin shows, arts and crafts shows, trade shows or other exhibitions, provided the manager, promoter, coordinator or other persons in authority for such market, show or exhibition and with the applicable requirements of the City of Crowley;
• authorized sales by participating vendors on fairgrounds during a local or parish fair;
• sales of soft drinks or refreshments;
• sales of secondhand or used clothing;
• sales of cut flowers;
• sales of balloons and other trinket items at parades and circuses, provided that the sponsor of the parade or circus has obtained the proper permit and authorization from the City of Crowley; and
• sales of handcrafted items made or produced by an individual who has obtained a valid home-occupation license from the City of Crowley as required by law.
Stringfellow recused herself from the vote.
In other action, the council:
• authorized Regan and City Engineer Tim Mader to review the Efficiency Services Agreement between Alumia and the City of Crowley;
• approved a new liquor license for Martin’s Tavern contingent on Chief Jimmy Broussard’s approval;
• approved the recommendation of the Zoning and Annexation Committee in regards to Preliminary and Final Plat Approval for WMH Farms, LLC and John Bryant Gielen, Lot 34A, 34B, 35B, 35C;
• approved an ordinance amending the budgets for the fiscal year beginning Sept. 1, 2018, and ending Aug. 31, 2019, and adopted millage rates for tax year 2019;
• accepted LAWCO’s offer to contribute the lump sum amount of $10,000 to the cost of the investigation and repairs of the washout at Parkerson Avenue and First Street; and
• approved co-sponsorship of:
- Crowley Main Street “Kids Day” on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to be held on North Parkerson Avenue between Second and Fourth streets; and
- the Crowley Boxing Club’s day long event to be held at the Rice Festival Building on Aug. 10.
The next scheduled committee meetings will be on July 3 at 4 p.m. and the next regularly scheduled city council meeting will be held on July 9 at 6 p.m. in the City of Crowley Council Chambers.

Managing Editor Steve Bandy contributed to this story.

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