SORRENTO — Jason R. Adams, sworn in Tuesday as Sorrento’s newest councilman, pledged to help fix the bad reputation Sorrento has developed during the past year while coping with a rotating cast of elected officials and heated council meetings.
“You know as well as I do the town seems to take a black eye every other month,” in news reports, Adams said after the council meeting. “I’m excited to be on board to make sure that stops.”
Adams replaces Councilman Charles Day, a Sorrento resident originally from Florida, who was appointed in January to take over former Councilman Lionel Melancon, Jr.’s seat.
Melancon, who was elected in April 2009 to one of the Town Council’s five at-large seats, resigned in January after problems with the town’s dilapidated sewer system and unpaid legal fees led to several loud arguments and heated meetings.
Adams will serve out the rest of Melancon’s term, ending July 1, Town Clerk Paige Robert said.
Adams is no stranger to the Town Council. He served as councilman for several months in 2010 and served as interim mayor for two months last year.
He ran unopposed in the town’s upcoming Nov. 6 special election to fill Day’s council seat.
Other business taken up by the council included:
WEIGHT LIMITS: The council unanimously voted to ask Town Attorney Karl Scott to draw up documents creating an ordinance amendment to allow dump trucks and construction vehicles heavier than the town’s 5-ton weight limit to drive on town streets.
Contractors seeking to work on the $500,000 federally funded project to clear sludge from the town’s sewer ponds sought the weight waiver, according to Martha Collins, Ascension Parish grants officer.
COMMUNITY CENTER: Council members decided to think about adding town funds to the construction of a community center being funded by a separate $500,000 federally funded hurricane recovery grant.
Preliminary costs of the community center have been coming in higher than expected and Collins asked the Town Council to scale back the center’s plans or have the town add funds to the project.
Collins also asked the council to rethink the idea of accepting donations for portions of the community center’s construction due to potential conflicts with contractors and bid laws.
The Town Council then agreed to have the town attorney draw up documents detailing exactly how donations for the center’s construction could be accepted.