republic

DENHAM SPRINGS – City residents will see a 92-cent increase in their solid waste-recycling bill.

The City Council approved the rate hike for Republic Services of Baton Rouge at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Mayor Gerard Landry said the Republic Services’ annual rate modification request was based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Republic’s request was based on a CPI increase of 5.04 percent.

City residents are currently billed $18.20 monthly, $15.45 for residential pickup and $2.75 for recycling.

The rate will go up to $19.12, or $16.23 for pickup and $2.89 for recycling.

The number of homes serviced was adjusted from 3,217 down to 3,158, while second carts – billed at $9 a month – will go up from 12 to 80.

In other business, the City Council scheduled at public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at City Hall to amend three sections of the city code dealing with fence heights.

One amendment proposes to increase the height of fences from 6 feet to 8 feet.

Another amendment changes how the fence height is defined as “measured from the ground, at a point where the fence makes contact with the ground, to the highest part of the fence.”

A fence built with standard 8-foot boards must be built “so that three-fourths of the fence shall be no higher than a maximum of 2 inches off the ground.”

The third amendment deals with exceptions to the 8-foot height, allowing decorative posts, lights, columns and gates “which are integral parts of an 8-foot fence to go above 8 feet not higher than 10 feet.”

Fence heights up to 10 feet will be permitted along a boundary between a residential and commercial or industrial district.

Permit applications must accompany a request for this type of fence with drawings from a professional of record.

The 10-foot fence may be extended by security wire for a commercial permit, but it will have to be determined by a city building inspector on an individual basis.

These applications also must include a drawing from a professional of record.

Developers may apply for a blanket height variance for an entire subdivision, the section says.

The council also accepted the bid from Kel-Ar Consulting, of Sulphur, for accounting and financial computer software.

Kel-Ar Consulting was the lone bidder, Landry said.

The bid’s total initial cost is $36,450, which include software costs, $33,150; implementation and training costs, $1,800; and data conversion costs, $1,500. The annual maintenance cost will be $9,945.

In other items on the agenda, the council:

--Adjusted the contract time for the Maple Street Overlay and Widening Project to add 26 days.

The mayor said heavy rain, the relocation of utilities and a subsurface problem near the Maple Street-Jackson Street intersection added the days.

The added days will not cost Denham Springs anything, he said.

--Approved payment of $100,962 for the Maple Street Overlay and Widening Project.

--Authorized the city to seek a hazard mitigation assistance manager.

The city will put out a request for qualifications (RFQ) to help homeowners who take part in FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance program.

The program offers to help homeowners either elevate their home or buy a home to be demolished if it has had multiple floodings.

It requires a local manager to help homeowners, Landry said, who will be paid through fees included in the grants, so there is no cost to the city.

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