ONALASKA - Justice of the Peace and Municipal Court Judge David Johnson administered the oath of office to Mayor Roy Newport as well as council members James Arnett and B. Milton “Chip” Choate when the Onalaska City Council convened on Tuesday.
All were won four-year terms when the May 7 election was cancelled when no other candidates filed to challenge them.
The council re-elected Shirley Gilmore to serve as mayor pro-tem and then re-appointed Johnson to serve as the municipal judge for two more years.
They also voted to appoint San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Greg Magee as the associate judge. Johnson explained that it could be possible for him to have prior knowledge of a defendant through his justice of the peace official duties and that would be a conflict. Because of that, there is now another judge ready to serve.
Council also re-appointed David Moorman to serve as city attorney and municipal court prosecutor. Johnson will administer the oath when Moorman appears for regular court.
Police Chief Ron Gilbert reported the department responded to 173 dispatched calls and answered another 919 requests for service. During the month the department made 13 felony arrests and 25 misdemeanor captures. They issued 231 citations, 61 warnings and opened 58 new cases, 13 of which were either DWI or narcotics related.
Fire Chief Jay Stutts thanked the community and local business owners for the very successful barbecue and auction last week. The auction raised $38,075 and an additional $18,550 for the “Chief Special,” which will be placed in an account to purchase a new pumper in 2020. It will take about two years to be manufactured and outfitted. The food costs were $29,620, and food sold totaled $36,403, for a grand total income of over $65,000.
During April, the fire department responded to 41 calls, 29 of which were medical in nature, three structure fires, four grass fires and one each motor vehicle incident, hazmat (large gas spill) and landing zone. They also helped other departments twice.
Lee Parish, the city’s building inspector and fire marshal, reported 21 permits issued and 10 inspections performed on structures during April. There were 12 warnings issued for code violations and three have already been remedied. No fire instigations were needed during the month.
Librarian Sherry Brecheen reported 29 new patrons and the addition of 110 new books. The library was open 20 days with a circulation of 897 and 257 people used the computers during the month. Revenues were $360 and there was a donation from the Friends of the Onalaska Library for $500 to help defray the cost of eBooks that patrons can read on their tablets in the library.
The library is participating in the “Rock One Sock” supporting the National Missing Children’s Month activities. Participants are asked to take a photo of their feet with only one sock and post it on the Facebook page or social media using the hashtag #RockOneSock.
Newport announced the Bass and Bugs activity this weekend in Onalaska and the Clean Up Lake Livingston next weekend, and encouraged everyone to participate in these worthy events.
After the meting Newport announced that Pineywoods Sanitation would begin garbage collection for Onalaska customers effective June 1.
Consent agenda items consisting of vouchers, financials and minutes were approved.