Kenner City Hall exterior

Exterior of Kenner City Hall, via Google Maps

The Kenner City Council on Thursday postponed meetings scheduled for March 2 and March 16 by one week each, a decision that will affect the timing of two much publicized, ongoing discussions pertaining to rules governing where residents can park their boats and how ride-hailing services can operate in town.

Officials said one reason for the postponement is that Kenner's municipal offices will be closed for two days during the week of March 2 due to Mardi Gras, set for Feb. 28 this year.

Therefore, to allow officials the normal amount of preparation time for the first of next month's two meetings, the City Council voted to reschedule that gathering for March 9, officials said. 

The City Council then pushed back the second meeting next month to March 23 because the body doesn't typically convene in consecutive weeks. 

Officials said delaying next month's first meeting to March 9 would also make it easier to receive an update from an attorney who is representing Kenner in a lawsuit filed against the city by the state Department of Environmental Quality over problems with the municipal sewer system, which has undergone extensive upgrades in recent years.   

The March 9 agenda is expected to include the council's vote on a proposal that would delay the enforcement of controversial rules governing where residents of the city can park boats at their homes until April 2018. Those rules were scheduled to take effect April 4, but City Council members are expected to ratify the measure proposing a one-year delay to allow for some fine-tuning to the rules. 

Meanwhile, officials on Thursday said they will again consider proposed rules governing how ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft can operate in Kenner as part of the March 23 agenda.  

The City Council has deferred taking action on those rules at several meetings now, citing the need to adopt rules that create a level playing field for Uber and Lyft as well as the rival taxi cab industry.

The proposed regulations are similar to ones already in place in Gretna, New Orleans and unincorporated Jefferson Parish. But New Orleans' and Jefferson's governments also held lengthy discussions before approving regulations addressing Uber, Lyft and similar firms.

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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