Hammond budget to make way for police tools | News
Before solidifying Hammond’s 2022-23 budget, the city council heard and approved several tax resolutions at its Tuesday meeting.
Laura Hammett introduced an ordinance to pass the city’s 2022-2023 budget. Although the council did not vote on the ordinance, it set a budget work session for June 3 at 8 a.m. A public hearing to discuss the budget is set for Tuesday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m.
Six tax resolutions were passed on Tuesday, including several that bolster the Hammond Police Department.
Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron Jr. offered a resolution to purchase 10 Chevy Tahoes from Gerry Lane Chevrolet for $355,039.
Bergeron said the department was expected to place orders for the vehicles by May 19, and due to microchip issues, the dealership said it would not be able to reorder those vehicles until the fall. 2024.
Funds for vehicles come from the police department’s mileage tax, and it’s part of the department’s budget, Bergeron said.
The resolution passed with only Councilman Devon Wells voting against.
Charles Borchers IV, the city’s director of grants, introduced other police department resolutions.
The council passed a resolution to accept an $8,825 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program to purchase dash cameras for the Hammond Police Department.
The board approved a request for $16,030 to expand the police department’s Camp Blue through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Grant Program.
Borchers said the funds pay for officers’ overtime and supplies to put on the camp, which takes place every summer. He said the department was interested in hosting two camps each year with the grant funds.
The council approved a resolution to submit a request for an $8,000 grant to purchase new and replacement body armor for HPD officers. He also approved a cash consideration of $4,000 from the department.
Borcher said he comes before the board every year for body armor funds. He said the vests are good for five years, and while the department will need to replace some this year, he doesn’t plan to buy new equipment until 2024.
Jeffery Leuenberger of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission submitted an ordinance that would license a tattoo parlor on Roma Avenue in District 2 by granting an expanded conditional use recommended by the Zoning Commission.
The commission argued that using the suite for a tattoo parlor is a personal right, but the conditional use would expire if someone else buys or uses the suite.
Chris Perry, who plans to open the salon, said he has been paying rent on the space since February. He and his business partner Matthew Moore plan to exhibit local artwork like sculptures and oil paintings in their studio.
The council voted unanimously to approve the tattoo parlor on a condition of use.
Council approved an ordinance to transfer $246,000 from the sales tax fund to the Jackson Park project by amending the 2021-22 budget, an item presented by City Administrator Lacy Landrum.
Council has decided that Mayor Pete Panepinto can sign a $159,380 contract with Robinson’s Cleaning Services to provide janitorial services for all buildings in the town of Hammond, presented by Jana Soileau. The board approved the 12-month contract unanimously.
Council also voted to transfer $10,000 from the Recreation Programs Fund to the Fireworks Expenses Fund for the city’s 4th of July fireworks display.
Landrum, who introduced the resolution, said that with the after-school program not using recreation funds as planned, there is room in the budget to support fireworks, jump house and DJ for the holiday celebration.
Landrum said display typically costs between $12,000 and $15,000, but this year funds need to be transferred to support an $18,000 display bill.
Geaux Pyro of Covington will present the exhibit.
Landrum added that the city’s tax revenue is much higher than expected, with $581,000 in additional revenue for March. During the month, the city withdrew $2.7 million in tax revenue.