by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

Despite all the fireworks existing around the potential casino activity, the Long Beach Board of Aldermen (BOA) did have to discuss and decide on several city items.  Concerns about subdivision issues arose along with city repairs from Hurricane Zeta close to three months ago.

Initially, the BOA adopted the minutes from the city planning commission with an exception of one item brought up by Ward 5 Aldermen and Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Lishen.  This dealt with drainage problems from the Bear Point Development, which would be effecting neighborhood subdivisions.

Bear Point Developer Charles Gant and Engineer Danny Boudreaux came forward to speak about these potential problems assuring the BOA that a review would be done.  With a 6-1 vote; Lishen dissenting, the BOA approved the Preliminary Play Approval for Bear Point Subdivision.

Following that deliberation, a discussion to install sidewalks in The Grove Subdivision occurred whereupon Lishen motioned to require the developer to put these (sidewalks) in the rear of the neighborhood in order to provide a pathway to the resident’s mailbox and handicap access.  The BOA voted 5-2 to approve the installation with Alderman Timothy McCaffrey and Donald Frazer voting no.

Additionally, Frazer was the sole no vote on the next vote to grant acceptance of the subdivision by the city upon installation of the sidewalk in The Grove.

Finally, the board unanimously approved the contract with the Pickering Firm to perform Wetland Delineation and Permitting Assistance for the Joyce Avenue Drainage project and to adopt the Close-Out Package of the NRCS Project on Espy, Commission, and Lang Avenue.

Upon the return of City Attorney Steve Simpson after enduring the global pandemic; COVID-19, the BOA directed him to draft an amendment to Ordinance 639 to include an abatement for up to $200,000 on commercial properties with regards to the city Tax Abatement Ordinance.  After the discussion of the sidewalk ordinance, Simpson was asked to draft an amendment to the ordinance to include sidewalks in front of detention ponds and undeveloped areas inside neighborhoods.

In other actions, the city approved for the city engineer to proceed with the repairs of all traffic control items; including signals, signs, and other items on Federal Aid roads.

Additionally, the BOA authorized Overstreet and Associates to negotiate and proceed with a pre-dredge survey not to exceed $6000 for the Long Beach Harbor.

As the deadline approaches, there is only one contested race for the upcoming city elections.  Ward 2 Aldermen Bernie Parker is being challenged by Long Beach School Board Member Shane Walker while Jason Boyd is the only candidate that has entered in Ward 5 and Junior Husband being the only in Ward 6.

Long Beach Board of Aldermen Mark Lishen of Ward 5 and Tricia Bennett of Ward 6 will not seek re-election.

The deadline to qualify is February 5 at 5pm.  Primary elections are on April 6 with the general election being on June 8.  If you choose to run as an independent, must claim 50 certified voting city residents in your petition.