The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday called a public hearing and special meeting to adopt a new fiscal year budget on June 30. The hearing is set to begin at 9:45am with a special meeting to adopt the new budget at 10:00am at City Hall. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reported that the city is ending the year with a surplus of $1.4 million dollars thanks to a $1.2 million grant. The budget will also include four million dollars of grant funds for the city’s continuing water renovation project. Capitol Outlay Recreational projects will include improvements at the Martin Luther King Southside Center, Northside City Park and the Hope Park.
Gervis Lafleur set the record straight following allegations about work being done at his property. LaFleur’s driveway was damaged by the contractor working on the city water project in 2010. It was all agreed that the city would pay for the damage to the driveway . Lafleur paid the contractor to complete work on the rest of his driveway that was not damaged. He showed the mayor and council evidence that he paid for that part of the work. Lafleur said Councilman Taranza Arvie was spreading rumors that the city was paying the entire project which was not true.
“Councilman Arvie has insulted my integrity causing an embarrassing situation,” said Lafleur.
Arvie commented that he felt that the city was being charged too much for the project.
Arthur Sampson complained to the city council that the mayor’s recent appointment of a new Section 8 Director was illegal. He stated that the city council had no voice or decision in the selection of the program director. Sampson was referring to the recent appointment of Toamassina Wallace by Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. City Attorney Eric LaFleur said the appointment followed the law. Sampson plans to file a complaint with state officials.
Sampson also asked the mayor and council to do more to help low income residents who are struggling to pay their utility bills.
In other action the city council:
–presented a plaque of appreciation to city employee Schmelling Thomas who is retiring after 31 years of service;
–heard from 9-1-1 Director Liz Hill report that the Emergency 9-1-1 board has called for the renewal of the one mill property tax on the election ballot on Nov. 6 for another ten year term. Hill announced that her board has recently purchased land at the Industrial Park for the construction of a new communications facilty;
–received news that thanks to State Senator Eric Lafleur and Repr. Bernard LeBas the city will be receiving L-Gap state funds to purchase a police car and crime cameras to be installed in high crime areas;
–is meeting with Cox Cable and Charter Cable officials to invite them to extend their cable service to Ville Platte;
–heard from Pam McGee that 40 abandoned properties have been cleaned up in the past three months;
–approved liquor permits for the Rendezvous Cajun Restaurant, formerly Jungle Dinner Club, on West Main and S&R Foods inc, formerly Country Cove Chevron on Tate Cove road;
–approved as substantially complete, phase one of the water renovation project in the city according to city engineer Ronnie Landreneau.