July 8, 2014 Ville Platte City Council Mtg.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and the Ville Platte City Council held their monthly meeting last night at City Hall.
A public hearing was scheduled by Councilman Taranza Arvie of District “F” to discuss adopting an ordinance to require quarterly reports on the amounts spent on gift baskets that are given to special visitors to the community. This is the second public hearing he has been scheduled on the subject; however, Councilman Taranza was not in attendance for either one. The mayor spoke on the issue and had the following comments:
“These are gift baskets that we give to promote our area. These are not gifts given to council members…let’s make this clear. There are no gifts given to council members. The “City Baskets” contain local products and the information on them is always readily available. These baskets are a tremendous economic boom to our city and have become famous. They contain seasonings from our local businesses and when we purchase a seasoning, it is at cost. And the business donates seasonings as well. The baskets also contain a Ville Platte t-shirt (which is no cost to us). People from all over are calling to get products from these businesses now. Businesses have received calls from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and all over. It is as if we are one of the best kept secrets. The public had no idea that our area had so many seasoning companies. This is all to promote local business and our area.”
The mayor questioned why they need an ordinance for information that is already readily available. The council agreed and voted to leave things the way they are now.
The mayor also spoke on abandoned properties and wants to remind anyone who has abandoned dwellings to tear them down, and if you have property, please keep the grass cut. Over the past 3 years, they have torn down over 200 properties and still have a list of over 400 they continue to work on. They do not like sending out the letters and knowing that possible warrants will be issued, but these properties bring rats, snakes and other rodents to other landowners next to them. These dwellings are also being used for criminal activity.
“We want new businesses to come in and see a clean city.”
During council comments, it was reported that The Rendezvous Restaurant is still being torn down at this time and will continue to be cleaned up. “It is a slow process, but it is still being removed.” – Mayor Vidrine remarked.
The Sales Tax collection Comparison was reported to be UP 15.18%. The Mayor was happy to announce that and thanks everyone for continuing to shop locally.
The City Engineer Ronnie Landreneau reported the SMART METER program has been finished and they have performed two test runs on reading them. The Mayor reminds anyone who has a question about their bill to come to City Hall and they will be happy to go over it with you.
The Boys and Girls club is under complete renovation for what needs to be in conformity to the Fire Marshal’s rules. They are anticipating having it done by the end of next week. The state has issued the name Ville Platte Boys & Girls Club, Inc., and they are currently awaiting 501(c) status. They need to have $150,000 in the bank to be granted an official charter from The Boys & Girls Club of America and they are half way there! Donations are being taken.
There will be a book signing on July 18th for the authors of Evangeline Parish from 10-2 at City Hall.
New street signs will be going up starting with the 80 streets that currently have no street signs. The signs will be red and will have the city seal on them. More information will be forthcoming.
The meals for the elderly will begin on July 28th for those 60 years and older. It will be held at the MLK Southside Center. It will be open from 8:00 – 12:00 p.m. and lunch will be served at 10:30. There is no charge, but a $1.00 donation is welcomed. Please call 363-5161 for more information.
September 6th will be Louisiana Championship Wrestling at Ville Platte High School with special guest Big Name Wrestler Hacksaw Jim Dugan, along with others. Tickets will be on sale at City Hall a month before and will be $15.00 for ringside seats and $10.00 for regular seats. It’s all to benefit the Boys & Girls Club.
The Mayor wanted to thank everyone who came out for the 4th of July Celebration at the Pavilion. She said the movie and fireworks were a huge success. They sold out of EVERYTHING in the food stand and the event was great for our community.