The Ville Platte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Vidrine held their May meeting Tuesday night. The Council Room was full as citizens gathered to address different issues.
One of those issues was brought up by Ville Platte resident, Robert LaFleur, who spoke on the problem with individuals walking in the middle of the street at all hours of the night, loitering on street corners and children out late on the streets. He said that “Chataignier Street is the worst. Chataignier is so bad it’s a shame. They hang out on the corners for house and hours. It’s going to get worse and eventually, something is going to happen.” Business owners Keith Saucier and Lisa Crane also spoke about loitering. Their business is located on the same side of Main Street as The Bulldog. Crane firmly stated that “Something has to be done. I have video from my surveillance cameras showing people exposing themselves and urinating at my building, vomiting and throwing trash. There is broken glass in our parking lots and when the police do come and tell them not to loiter, as soon as the police leave, they come right back.” Crane stated it is not the patrons of the bar who are the problem. It is the individuals who cannot go into the bar and hang out in the parking lot and street.
Mayor Vidrine stated that the street and parking lot were a “trash can” after Easter break. She said “It’s just downright disgusting people urinating and vomiting and trashing the area. Then, they move down to the Exxon station after that and create noise problems with open trunks, loud music and disturbing the residents in that area as well.” The Mayor has asked Chief Neal Lartigue to do extra patrol in these areas and write tickets to anyone breaking the Loitering ordinance.
Councilman, Bryant Riggs, says he will introduce an ordinance at the June 13th meeting requiring all bar owners in Ville Platte to have private security at their business.
Residents affected by flooding in August and again last month were at the meeting to express concerns. Many questions were asked of the Mayor and Mayor Vidrine announced that as of the new budget year (July 1, 2017) they will begin using budget funds to tear out and replace incorrectly placed culverts with larger ones to ease drainage problems. She said this “is nothing new. This is a 40-year-old problem.” She said parts of Hickory Lane, Shady Acres, and Scenic Drive are going to be first and others will be decided on after city engineers can look at the area. The Mayor reminded everyone that you must call City Hall before you ever place any culverts on a property. There is a fine now for not doing so.
911 Director Liz Hill spoke to the audience and told how her father is diligent in cleaning his land, raking his yard, cleaning out the ditches and making sure the culverts are clear so water can drain. She said it’s “really important to take care of your property.”
The Mayor asked that all residents do just that.
Vidrine reminded everyone of the Grass ordinance on the books. Keep if cut or be fined. Letters are already going out and you will have ten (10) days from the date of the letter to get your grass cut; otherwise, the City will do it and tack the cost onto the property owner’s tax bill. Also she asked that you not blow leaves or grass into your ditches when you do cut.