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|Monroe approves bond sale for treatment plant|
Improvements on tap for the city of Monroe's water treatment facility took a first step Tuesday when the Monroe City Council approved issuing some $20 million in bonds to finance the project.
No timetable has been set for the project to begin, which will include improvements to both capacity and water quality at the treatment plant.
Bill Boles of the Boles Law Firm is handling the bond sale for the city.
Acting at its regular meeting, the city council also unanimously approved a rollback in the city's property tax millage.
Councilman Jay Marx offered an amendment to roll back the millage rate from 10.7 to 10.65 mils.
The reduction will save taxpayers about $20,000 a year, according to Director of Administration David Barnes.
The city of Monroe grew slightly on Tuesday, with the unanimous approval of an ordinance annexing a 1.81 acre tract of land on Jackson Street just south of Monroe. The property is owned by southside real estate developer Wardell Coward.
Coward told the city council he plans to build as many as eight low-income homes on the property, once zoning officials approve subdividing the land.
Councilman Eddie Clark questioned Coward about those plans, cautioning the developer to ensure the new subdivision does not turn into "another Tanglewood."
"Ten years from now, we don't want it to turn into that kind of subdivision," Clark told Coward.
Coward said the development would be similar to new low-income subdivisions on DeSiard Street near the 18th Street overpass.
"We'll fix them up and not just put any old junk out there," Coward told Clark.
The city council also fielded continued complaints of racially motivated complaints leveled by some city employees against Public Works Director Tom Janway.
Monroe resident Gloria Walker lashed out at the council for what she called inaction for Janway's actions.
"I know you've been in court, but there is still business of the city that needs to get done," Walker told the council.
Walker appeared at the regular meeting two weeks ago to voice her support for a group of public works employees who claimed Janway used a large dog to intimidate them during a staff meeting.
"We have been violated," Walker said. "We are being violated."
Janway is white. The public works employees is question are black.
During the public participation period, Walker told the council she had been contacted by representatives of an unnamed federal agency regarding the incident.
Walker asked the council and the mayor to "handle this" and discipline Janway before the matter could proceed further.
"It needs to be addressed," Walker said. "It doesn't need to leave Monroe but it has left Monroe."