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    The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday approved increasing the rental fees for the Ville Platte Civic Center, Martin Luther King Center and the Grand Pavillion.

     City Clerk Shountilez Williams reported that a committee researched neighboring cities to compare their fees and charges. She announced that a majority of the communities contacted were charging more than the fees the city of Ville Platte is currently charging.  Among the cities contacted were Opelousas, Crowley and Thibodeaux. It has been a number of years since Ville Platte adjusted their rental fees.

      Effective December 12, all new bookings will be as follows: the Civic Center will go from $300 to $500 while the MLK Center will go from $175 to $300. The  new Grand Pavillion, which had no rental fee, will be charging $200 for its usage. Those people who had already booked either facility for next year will be “grandfathered” in at the old rate.

    In other business, Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said expenditures for the month of November amounted to $213,981, no savings from the previous month. The mayor explained that the city had additional one time expenses such repair work at the fire station and converting police and fire radios over to a new frequency.

    The council approved scheduling a public hearing on January 8 to get public comment on a proposed new redistricting plan for the city’s six council districts in time for the next municipal elections.

      In other action:

--the council approved hiring Keith Serie and James Scott as new full time police officers;

--approved renewing the sponsorship of the Evangeline Council on Aging’s Transportation program for another year;

--received a report from Fire Chief Ted Demourelle that the department responded to 28 fire alarms in November  of which 10 were structure fires; Police Chief Neal Lartigue reported that his department responded to 554 calls in November, made 82 arrests and worked 57 traffic accidents;

--the mayor thanked all the city workers who worked long hours to decorate the city hall, park and streets for the holidays;

--announced that the new city ball park is complete on Lithcote road.

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The Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum operated by the City of Ville Platte is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos, records, Wall of Fame and hear the music. Admission charge is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located on Northwest Railroad Avenue.

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