The Tuesday meeting of the Slidell City Council was the first for four recently elected members, as well as for Greg Cromer as mayor of the city.
The council and administration felt their way through a relatively light agenda, but the meeting lasted 90 minutes — considerably longer than the usually tidy amount of time the previous council took to handle city business.
The newly seated council also postponed action Tuesday on several of the weightier agenda items, including creation of a new economic development district and rezoning property on the edge of a neighborhood for use as a senior assisted living facility.
Both of those proposed ordinances were called back by the administration, showing perhaps that the new mayor and his staff are being extra thorough as Cromer, a former City Council member, begins his first term as the city’s chief executive.
The postponed rezoning proposal involves property located at 198 Audubon Drive in north Slidell that the landowners want rezoned from A6 Single Family Residential to A4 Transitional, which would allow it to be used as a group home.
Since the property would be used to house memory-care patients, however, City Planner Eric Lundin suggested that the matter be returned to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission to examine if it should be zoned as a nursing care facility.
Lundin assured the council that his commission would address the matter at its July 16 meeting and have a recommendation back to the council when it next meets on July 24.
Any decision on the proposed W-14 Economic Development District also was delayed until July 24. Creation of the 21.1 acre district, which roughly follows the W-14 Drainage Canal near Town Center Parkway, would make it possible for the city to levy taxes (if approved) to spur infrastructure growth in that area.
The council also postponed execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Sterling Levis 2, LLC to “provide the basis for certain economic development incentives and public infrastructure improvements” to facilitate creation of a multipurpose real estate development that could include space for retail, residential, commercial, office, hotel, educational or medical facilities.
Neither the council nor the provided agenda detailed specifics about that possible development.
The council also postponed a decision to condemn property at 2522 William Tell St. in south Slidell. The homeowner will be required to acquire a $10,000 surety bond that cleanup will begin and plans for rehabilitating the home will be put in place by the July 24 council meeting.
Councilman at Large Bill Borchert had a special presentation for John Deben, Patrick Carroll, Patrick Kelly and Jaslyn Bright for their roles in saving a life in a near-drowning accident last month at the Boys & Girls Club. St. Tammany Parish Coroner Charles Preston addressed the council on pool safety at the meeting as well.
District F Councilwoman Kim Harbison recognized 11 students for attending the annual American Legion Boys State and Girls State gatherings in Natchitoches earlier this month. They are Joshua Fisher, Thomas Penta, Luke Price, Ethan Skyles, Carson Canulette, William Stark, Gabe Hunt, Abby Natvidad, Abby Herdliska, Madeline Musselman and Christina Lindsly.
The council elected Harbison to be council president for the next six months. Borchert was elected vice president.
Also, Gary Navarre and Shane Jordan were appointed to fill unexpired terms on the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustments.