General Info

September 21, 2020, Regular Meeting

Present were Nettles Brown, Ralph Ingram, William Allen, K. David Zachary and Dan Simmons, Commissioners. Also, present were Travis Tyler, Executive Director of the Port, Laura Lyles, President of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, Ronnie Blewer, Terry Downs, insurance representative, and Mark A. Begnaud of McCoy Roberts & Begnaud, Ltd., legal counsel to the Commission.

Mr. Blewer was recognized as a guest. Mr. Brown made a request for public comment. No public comments were made.

A motion was made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Mr. Zachary, and duly carried to approve the minutes of the August 21, 2020, Commission meeting.

As part of the Director’s Activity Report, Mr. Tyler reported: 1) the Port moved approximately 300,000 tons through August 2020; 2) Madden has unloaded two trains so far in September; 3) ADA is running 24/7 and may be interested in additional loading space; 4) Terral has identified potential barge traffic in the future; and 5) a prospect is looking at a long term lease of the warehouse.

Also as part of the Director’s Activity Report, Mr. Tyler reported: 1) Project Milton continues to move forward. Representatives for Project Milton have a final meeting scheduled with potential investors in November; 2) Project Green representatives remain interested in the Port and expressed interested in additional acreage; 3) other projects are quiet at this time; 4) the presentation on the state of the Port is being reevaluated in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decision will be made in October.

After Commissioners reviewed the August 2020 Treasurer’s Reports, a motion was made by Mr. Simmons, seconded by Mr. Ingram and duly carried to accept the reports, copies of which were available for review. Although amounts were down slightly for August, the Port is still ahead for the year.

The settlement funds on the builder’s risk policy related to Dock 3 repairs was received, but is not reflected in the current Treasurer’s Report.

In Old Business, Mr. Tyler reported the following: 1) there is no new information regarding Capital Improvements; 2) related to the Dock 3 repairs, the Port is meeting with the construction litigation counsel this week and will meet with Infinity regarding the options for repairs of the dock; 3) related to the Northport expansion, Project Green may be interested in additional property; 4) the Port is moving forward with the suit against Matriculated Services related to eviction and collection of past due rent; and 5) Custom Commodities has expressed interest in a long-term lease.

In New Business: 1) a Notice of Intention pursuant to La.R.S. 33:4717.2 was given to consider a Resolution to Approve a Lease Agreement with Custom Commodities Logistics, Inc. at the Port’s meeting on October 19, 2020; 2) Terry Downs addressed the Commission with a proposal regarding various health insurance plans, some of which are less expensive than the current premium being paid to the Parish. A motion was made by Mr. Ingram, seconded by Mr. Simmons and unanimously passed approving the Port to change to private insurance on November 1, 2020. Also, in New Business, Laura Lyles addressed the Commission regarding the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce. She also discussed the Port becoming a non-voting member of the Natchitoches Community Alliance, which will change its name to the Natchitoches Economic Development Alliance. The Chamber will open dialogue regarding the Port’s participation.

A motion was made by Mr. Ingram, seconded by Mr. Simmons and duly carried that the meeting be adjourned.