The Ville Platte City Council met Tuesday for their regular meeting of the month. The VPHS French Class led the Pledge of Allegiance.
CPA Vic Slaven presented the audit report ending June 30, 2018. The General Fund balance finished the year with total assets of $3,754,000. Liabilities were $216,000 and a fund balance of $3,530,768; that number just above the $782,536 is fund balance unassigned, which means it's the fund balance used to spend at the discretion of the council. The rest of it is restricted for specific purposes according to state statutes and laws. The city will have $782,000 to open up next fiscal year to spend. Current assets are $23,574,000. He went on to say there is no surplus to use at the city's discretion going forward in the utility funds.
In other business, Todd Morein addressed the council, saying he wants to provide another internet service to the area. Mayor Vidrine said a public meeting will be held at a later date so that citizens can voice their concerns. She also said that the council will determine a fair price for Mr. Morein's company to pay for use of the towers around the parish.
In other business, the council approved the hiring of a new full-time police officer, Justin Jack of Ville Platte. Mr. Jack will be hired upon completion of requirements. Chief Lartigue also reported that the police department made 56 arrests, which included 16 felony arrests, and responded to 27 motor vehicle accidents in the month of November.
Fire Chief Harrison reported that during the month of November, the fire department responded to 2 structure fires, 2 grass fires, 4 medical, 2 alarm activations, 5 service calls. There were no fatalities.
The council approved a 2% pay increase for the fire department. Mayor Vidrine announced a $6,074.43 decrease in spending for the month of November compared to October.
Councilman Jerry Joseph was named Mayor Pro Tempore; he replaced councilman Mike Perron, whose term is finished for Mayor Pro Tem.
Mayor Vidrine concluded the meeting by announcing the retirement of councilmen C.J. Dardeau and Rev. Freddie Jack. Dardeau, who served as councilman for 41 ½ years, is one of the longest-serving councilmen in the state of Louisiana. Rev. Jack served for 20 years. Mayor Vidrine issued a proclamation and thanked them for their service. Rev. Jack said, "I've had the privilege to serve under 4 different mayors, and every year was a good year, even with the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, I can't say anything bad. It's been quite an adventure. Now the season has come for me to move on to bigger and greater things. [...] I have plenty on the fire." Dardeau said, "I enjoyed serving with the city council and the mayor. I'd also like to thank the people of district 8 for voting for me for 41 years. I'm thankful to them for doing that." Mike Perron added, "Freddie, I want to thank you for always having my back." Perron said when he had his heart attack, Rev. Jack came to the hospital and prayed for him and he respects him. Perron added that he and Dardeau go back to his sixteenth birthday when Perron worked for Dardeau. Perron said, "He taught him me everything I know. He taught me how to be public servant, how to work with the people, how to run a business, how to be a butcher [...] everything that I am today I owe to this man right here." Mayor Vidrine added, "Don't be stranger! Y'all can still come and visit!" She then announced that new councilmen, mayor, and chief will be sworn in on January 8, 2019 at 4:00 PM.