BAKER — The city’s Buffalo Festival held in September raised $5,200 to benefit Baker schools, the Baker City Council was told Tuesday.
Baker financial manager Mary Sue Stages reported how much was raised from the festival — money that Councilman Glenda Bryant suggested be used to purchase something to help with the building of the new Baker High School.
Baker High was severely damaged in the historic flooding of 2016, and most of the buildings on the campus are slated for demolition. Plans call for building a scaled-down school that would center around one large structure.
Stages also presented the city’s quarterly budget report to the council, reporting that revenues and expenditures are on track with just a few budget revisions expected in the near future.
A budget revision allocating $12,000 for new carpet in the Baker Utility Department will be needed soon, she said.
Police uniforms also need to be updated, she said, though the city is looking into possible grants to cover that expense. Fire training is another expense that the city will have to address, she added.
Overall, Stages said, most city departments have spent about 20% of their budgets, which puts them on track with projected spending for the year.
In other business, city attorney Ken Fabre, speaking on behalf of Mayor Darnell Waites who was absent from the meeting, reported that the Baker Code enforcement department is implementing a new system of informing property owners about code violations. Courtesy notices will be printed on yellow paper; citations will be printed on orange paper.
The notices will list the violation and how long the owner has to resolve the issue before the city takes action. Officials hope the bright colors will help attract property owners’ attention, Fabre said.
The council also voted to hold trick or treat in Baker on Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The city’s annual "Treat Street" event will be held on the same date and during the same hours in Baker City Park, Councilwoman Doris Alexander said.
She also reported that the Allstate Foundation is holding a domestic violence nonprofit supply drive for soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and other hygiene products, along with children’s books, toys and diapers. Supplies can be dropped off at the Duane Jordan Agency, 3209 Lavey Lane, (225)775-9834 until Monday.
Alexander encouraged any grandparents raising grandchildren in the area to contact her or Rose Doolittle at email@example.com about organizing a support group through the organization Children Empowered by Caregivers of Louisiana Inc.
The Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates is collecting new and unwrapped items for the holidays to distribute to abused and neglected children living in foster care. A list of suggested items can be obtained by calling (225) 379-8598 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be dropped off at the CASA office, 848 Louisiana Ave. by Nov. 29, Alexander said.
Alexander also told council members that the Baker Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Baker Municipal Auditorium, 3325 Groom Road. The program will include a silent auction. Tickets cost $35 each or $250 for tables of eight and may be obtained by calling (225) 412-4311 or emailing email@example.com.
Bryant announced that the Labor of Love Health Forum will be held Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Baker Heritage Museum, 1606 Main St. It will be hosted by Baker's Prematurity Awareness Ambassador Kye Walter Black.
She also reported that First Quarter will present a community spelling bee for fifth and eighth grade reading levels Nov. 16 at SGFMCB Fellowship Hall, 16443 Plank Road.
Baker prosecutor Christopher Dassau told the council that the City of Baker Prosecutor’s Office will be holding its second Conference for Men, Boys and the Women Who Love Them from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Baker Municipal Building.
This story has been updated to more completely reflect how the code enforcement office will notify property owners of violations.