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Ponchatoula city council sets budget hearings

by Connor Raborn reporter@hammondstar.com

The public hearing for Ponchatoula's past year and coming year budgets has been set for June 11.

Ponchatoula City Council introduced two ordinances and an amendment regarding the budgets at the monthly city meeting Monday night. The June meeting will be when the budget discussions take place.

The three items that will be up for hearing are an amendment to the ordinance that adopted the budget for fiscal year July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018; an ordinance to adopt the budget for fiscal year July 1, 2018, to June 20, 2019; and an ordinance levying a tax on city properties for 2018.

Prior to the budget talk, Mayor Robert Zabbia reminded those present that financial statements are available through the finance manager's office.

Council members unanimously approved Zabbia to apply and sign documents for a federal grant from Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program. Zabbia said he plans to apply for a combination of funds totaling $384,000 that would be used in a survey of the sewer system.

Some citizens reported last week instances of brown water, which results from manganese in the system. Council member Jeff Daniels broached the subject Tuesday, saying that he wants to find out if engineers Chuck Spangler and Bill Travis, who fixed the problems with a well in Bedico, can similarly help Ponchatoula with the well on U.S. Highway 51 Business.

"I would like to ask them and have some findings next meeting," Daniels said.

Zabbia told Daniels he will contact Spangler and Travis and have information for him by the June meeting if not before.

The council also approved a temporary alcohol permit for Memorial Park for the Strawberry Festival Board's Farmer's Banquet to take place June 7.