Mamou council secures antenna for Internet access for rural areas

At its December meeting Wednesday night, the Mamou Town Council acted upon matters that were tabled during last month’s meeting. The matters dealt with the leasing of space on top of the water tower for an antenna and with the hiring of part time police officers.
With regard to the antenna, Acadiana Wireless, LLC, expressed plans on renting the tower space to provide Internet access to rural customers. Mayor Rickey Fontenot stated, “Last month we talked about that, and we wanted to change something from this term to that term.”
The changes made dealt with the length of the contract. There was no clause in the original contract that would allow the town to get out of the contract before the 10-year period elapses. Town attorney Peter Savoy and owner of Acadiana Wireless, LLC, Andrew Taylor worked out an agreement to add such a clause in the contract.
When asked if the town is receiving any monies from the lease by councilman Charles Reed, Mayor Fontenot replied, “No, what we’re receiving are services for nothing that are for the city and the police department.”
Councilwoman Leisa Deshotel added, “It will be a savings of $500.00 or more a month for the town of what we’re paying now.”
It was discussed at last month’s meeting that Acadiana Wireless, LLC, would provide the town with Internet service instead of cash payments. The company normally pays $1.00 per foot of any tower. In the contract, there is also no liability to the town.
The council voted to allow the mayor to execute the contract with Acadiana Wireless, LLC.
With regard to the hiring of part time police officers, the council voted to accept the recommendations of Chief Brent Zackery to hire Jonathan Lee at $7.61 per hour. The Council then went into executive session to discuss the chief’s recommendations of hiring Roderick Pitkin, which the council voted on doing upon coming out of the executive session. Pitkin, like Lee, would be paid at $7.61 per hour.
According to Chief Zackery, the need for two part time officers arose “because two officers are going to the police academy.”
The council also voted to adopt new policies and procedures for its financial operations. “The state auditor is making us have it in writing now,” Mayor Fontenot said. “Everything that we do here has to be in writing. A lot of these things are only to protect the public’s money. It’s nothing that we weren’t doing, it just wasn’t written down.”
In other business, the council:
• voted to adopt proposed Ordinance 01-2017 to amend the Year 2017 Budget to those amounts listed as “Amended to 12/31/17 Projected Actual Result at Year End” on the 2018 Budget document.
• voted to adopt proposed Ordinance 02-2017 to adopt a Year 2018 Budget of anticipated revenues and expenditures.
• and continued to let Randy Young sit on the Mamou Fire Protection District Number 1 Board.

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