The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, heard from C.P.A. Vic Slaven give a detailed report on his audit findings on the city’s financial records for the fiscal year that ended June 30,2012. Most of the adverse opinions dealt with the Section 8 housing program. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine replied that the city has hired a new Section 8 director and is attempting to follow all recommendations of the audit findings.
The council authorized Attorney Charles Tate to apply for federal grants for city neighborhood revitalization when funds become available. Tate told the council that there are at least 320 homes in “sub standard “ condition that need to be repaired or replaced.
Electrical contractor Paul Adams urged the city to crack down on unlicensed contractors doing electrical work in the city. He was told that some air conditioner installers who are not licensed in the city are doing electrical work in the city.
Evangeline Parish NAACP President Arthur Sampson advised the city council that there is an ordinance passed by the council when the Southside Civic Center was first constructed that there will never be rental fees charged to use the facility. Recently the city approved raising the rental rates at both the north side and south side civic centers. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said their legal advisor could not locate any such ordinance.
In other action the city council:
--received news that the city spent $8900 less in December than it did in November;
--named Councilman C.J. Dardeau as new Mayor Tem. Dardeau has been serving on the city council for the past 37 years;
--approved sponsoring the annual summer feeding program at Ville Platte High next summer. Rev. Allen Freeman announced that over 500 young people were fed last year;
--approved a 2 percent pay increase for city employees including part timers and fire fighters;
--voted to move its next monthly meeting to Feb 5 due to the Mardi Gras holiday;
--voted to rename a section of West Beech street, from Dr. Carver to David Street, Rev. E.D. Alfred Street after the long time pastor of Disciple Baptist Church. Rev. Alfred was the first African American in Evangeline Parish to register to vote in 1953. Also the South Side City park will be re-named the Chief Romeo Hargrove Park after the first African American police chief in Ville Plate. Special ceremonies will be held in February;
--approved a liquor permit for the Swamp Pop Reunion 8 dance on Feb. 11;
--received news that the city will be offering free income tax assistance at city hall beginning February 2