After a public hearing, the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday approved amending its foot traffic ordinance to give the mayor and council authority to authorize a walking curfew in the future should crime increase in the city.
Last month, the council suspended the walking curfew for adults after receiving advice from its attorneys and getting sued by the ACLU. The council meeting room was packed with residents in support of keeping the curfew ordinance on the books. The city announced that the curfew is still in effect for minors under the age of 17 where they are prohibited from walking the streets after 10:00 at night.
After the public hearing last (Tuesday) night, the council approved the following amendment: “if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the general public and when it is believed that a curfew would assist in the reducing of violence, drug abuse and crime, authorization is granted to the Mayor to call for a temporary curfew up to 30 days with an extension of 30 days with a vote of the council.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said she will monitor the crime rate in the city each month with the police chief.
In other business, the city council approved an amendment to the nuisance ordinance to toughen its laws dealing with abandoned property. The amendment adds fines to the penalty of being found guilty of not cleaning up abandoned property. The fine for a first offense is $500, second offense is $500 and third offense is $2000. City Attorney Eric LaFleur reminded the council that the fines cannot be suspended.
In other action the council:
--received news that the city will be receiving a $5000 grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful to purchase 12 trash receptacles to be placed in various neighborhoods;
--approved the hiring of two new police officers to the force: Keisha Evans and Kendall Williams;
--agreed to purchase three used trucks from the Federal Property Auction in Baton Rouge at a cost of $32,700;
--approved applying for a $800,000 water improvement grant from the Community Development Block Grant program and naming Landreneau and Associates as the engineering consultant;
--received news from Mayor Jennifer Vidrine that the city plans to crack down on the growing problem of residents stealing city water meters and water service.