GONZALES — The city of Gonzales and the Ascension Parish School Board are tweaking agreements they have to use each other’s facilities at no charge.
The school district will begin to pay a fee for its high school swim teams to use the outdoor pool at the city’s Jambalaya Park, which became a heated pool for year-round use last year, under a city contract with Southeast Louisiana Aquatics, which now manages and operates the pool.
The city pays for the gas it takes to keep the pool heated in the winter months. In past years, the pool would close for the winter season.
“The schools will get a lot of additional time in the pools,” City Clerk Clay Stafford said at Monday’s City Council meeting.
The School Board will continue to use, at no charge, other city facilities, such as its tennis courts, soccer fields and the Gonzales Civic Center.
In turn, the city will pay a fee if its basketball teams need to play at the East Ascension High gym, which has heavy use with school activities, Stafford said.
The city basketball teams will continue to play at no charge at the Gonzales Middle and Gonzales Primary school gyms.
Monday night’s City Council meeting was the last for five-term Councilman Kenny Matassa, who will assume office as the new Ascension Parish president in January, after winning the Nov. 21 runoff against Clint Cointment.
Mayor Barney Arceneaux, councilmen Kirk Boudreaux, Harold Stewart and Terance Irvin and Police Chief Sherman Jackson commended Matassa at the meeting, as did new parish Councilman John Cagnolatti and former Gonzales Police Chief Bill Landry.
City Councilman Neal Bourque was not at the meeting due to illness.
“When it came down to public service, he was always there,” Jackson said of Matassa. “He was able to create that synergy to get things done.”
Matassa choked up a bit as he tried to make closing remarks on his 19 years of service on the council, so simply said, “It’s been a good ride, and it’s not over yet.”
In January, the City Council will name an appointment to fill Matassa’s spot through 2016, until elections for all the council seats in the fall of next year.