EPPJ proposes ordinance on going around barricades

In the wake of two separate incidents that resulted in damage claims being filed against the Evangeline Parish Police Jury, the jurors discussed the danger of going around road barricades at its meeting Monday night.
One of the incidents occurred when a driver was travelling down Natchitoches Road and drove into a dirt pile. Public Works Director Chester Granger reported that there was “clear signage that has met and exceeded the Department of Transportation’s standards.”
Secretary-Treasurer Donald Bergeron told the jury, “It’s not a requirement from DOTD that we put barricades. One of the reasons is because people move barricades. People also go around barricades, and people steal barricades. It does create a very dangerous situation. These barricades are put out to protect the public.”
Juror Bryan Vidrine proposed an ordinance to make it illegal to go around barricades especially during high water because “it causes more damage for home owners.” He also proposed imposing “some pretty stiff fines” for going around the barricades.
“All they got to do is catch about five or six of them, then the word will pass around,” chimed in juror Lamar Johnson.
Bergeron advised the jury that he will “research and see if such an ordinance has already been adopted.”
Renee Brown, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, addressed the executive committee before the regular meeting began and requested the approval of a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the police jury and the Evangeline Parish Tourism Commission.
“We’re in the process of having brand new tourist brochures done that highlight all the points, sights, and sounds of our beautiful parish,” she told the committee. “We are asking if you would be willing to compensate us because we also have people in the office to guide and direct people as they come to town and assist them with activities and information on places to visit as well as businesses to utilize within the parish.”
Brown then told the committee the benefits that the recent Grand Hoorah had on local tourism. “Because of the big Grand Hoorah that we have going on, we have someone who’s been participating over the past years who is now interested in looking at a business in our town,” she said. “We are currently putting him in connection with people here, and he is looking at property in town right now. I’m so excited that we are possibly seeing where tourism fosters economic development.”
She continued, “We have a lot of great plans for both our city and our parish, and these funds would help us to continue to move in that right direction.”
On motion of juror Lamar Johnson, the committee tabled the motion until the regular meeting, at which time the police jury voted to accept the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement that would give the tourism commission $650.00 per month over a 12 month period not to exceed $7,800.00.
In other business, the jury:
• accepted the resignation of Gene Welch and appointed Michael Johnson as replacement on the Ward Four Water District Board.
• accepted the resignation of Danny Miller and appointed Felix Morein to the Te Mamou Water Board.
• approved beer and wine permit for the Dollar General Store on Chataignier Road.
• discussed adjudicated property, International Building Code requirements, and Ville Platte Health Unit repairs.
• hired temporary help for drainage work.

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