MINDEN, La. - Another Minden City Council meeting Wednesday came with more raised voices.
The meeting, which was held as an informal workshop, began with addressing the city’s high electric bills and the possibility of putting up solar panels to save customers money.
It’s low maintenance and can last about 30 years, but the city needs to look for the money to fund it first.
After that discussion, things quickly took a turn.
The discussion centered over naming a field at the recreational center after council member Pam Bloxom's late husband, T.C. Bloxom, who was a longtime police and fire chief in Minden.
She donated $40,000 for fencing at the field and requested it be named in her husband's honor.
Some council members during Monday night’s regular council meeting said they were opposed to the move because it happened without their knowledge — and did not follow a city ordinance.
Another issue resurfacing during the workshop was a vote Monday by three council members to deny two grant requests.
Councilman Herbert Taylor was one who did not vote for a $12,000 grant to overlay a runway at the airport. That vote left some people upset because they felt the city was turning its back on free money.
A pilot and Taylor got into a heated argument that prompted Mayor Terry Gardner and Police Chief Steve Cropper to get up from their chairs and stand near the men. Gardner reached out to touch Taylor’s shoulder as if to calm him, but Taylor told the mayor not to touch him.
Several people in the room hurriedly left during the exchange.
Their actions came about an hour after the booster club president apologized to all members for not following the ordinance on getting the donated rec center fence installed and the signage added. He went around the table and shook the council members’ hands and pledged to work together. The audience applauded.
"We’re trying to move our city forward, we just have various hiccups, but we're going to work on this. I'm hoping we come back from Christmas and everyone is in a better mood and we can grow,” said Gardner after the workshop.
But funding is not out of the picture just yet.
Gardner said the airport manager spoke to the FAA to bring back the airport grant so the city can vote on it again.
Another grant that will get a second look is for new water lines to increase water pressure for more than 100 residents in a Minden neighborhood.