Alexandria City Council votes to approve declaring a state of emergency after Hurricane Delta

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 9:54 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Alexandria City Council voted to approve the City of Alexandria declaring a state of emergency following Hurricane Delta. The topic wasn’t originally placed on the agenda, but the council unanimously voted to add it during the meeting on Tuesday, October 13.

This approval allows Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall to work with contractors to help with the cleanup and restoration process following the storm. It also allows those in the city who were exempt from overtime pay that worked overtime during Delta to get the overtime pay that they worked for.

Mayor Hall said that although the debris cleanup won’t be as much as it was during Hurricane Laura, there are still many areas in the city that they are focused on helping.

“We are still working with Delta as it relates to backwater flooding. We did have citizens that got water in their home as a result of Hurricane Delta which we are not happy about. It was an overwhelming amount of rainfall that fell in a short period of time and it has to go somewhere and unfortunately, it went in the bayous that are full. Hopefully, we’re not going to have anymore rising water conditions, but diminishing water conditions," said Mayor Hall.

Another item on the agenda was for the council to consider adopting an ordinance to allow businesses affected by Hurricane Laura to use the Alexandria Business Development Center for an extended period of time.

The council amended that ordinance to include businesses affected by any natural disaster, not just Hurricane Laura.

Richard Johnson, who works with economic development for the City of Alexandria, said during the meeting that since it has almost been seven weeks since Hurricane Laura, that there aren’t any businesses at this time that were affected by the storm that still needs to utilize the business development center.

In the new ordinance, it states that businesses needing office space at the development center will not be allowed to stay longer than 12 months.

This ordinance applies to affected businesses that have already been developed to help keep them running and continue operations. The council said that during the next meeting, they will talk about the start-up businesses that have been affected.

The Johnny Downs Renovation Project was another topic that wasn’t originally placed on the agenda for the meeting, but the council voted to see if it could be added to the meeting. This item needed unanimous consent from the council to be added to the agenda, but District 2 Councilman, Geber Porter voted against.

This topic that the council did not vote unanimously on pertained to the construction of the baseball and softball practice fields as part of the Johnny Downs Renovation Project. Since Porter voted “no”, the topic was delayed two weeks and will now appear on the next meeting’s agenda.

District 5 Councilman, Chuck Fowler said that the council not unanimously voting delayed a project that needs to get started as soon as possible.

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