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       The Ville Platte City Council Tuesday, after much discussion, approved a request from the Evangeline Parish Recreation District Board to contribute $15,000 to pay half the salary of its new director for one year The city also agreed to pay the benefits for the new director who will be considered a city employee.

      The $1.3 million dollar recreational facility will be ready to begin its first season of operation this Spring . The board has no funds to hire a full time paid director. They are asking the city to pay half the salary while the police jury has been asked to pay the other half. The jury is currently looking  into the legality of the request.

      City Attorney Eric LaFleur said the board feels the district can become self- funding through the rental of the park for tournaments and special events.

        Arthur Sampson, a citizen, asked the city why the need for a another director since the city already  has directors for the North Side and South Parks. “Why do we need three park directors for a city the size of Ville Platte?”

       The council approved entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Recreation District to contribute $15,000 for one year toward the salary of the new director.

        In other business, Arthur Sampson complained that a city vehicle without any city marking is being used by the mayor for alleged “personal use.” Mayor Jennifer Vidrine explained that the vehicle in question is a city vehicle with city decals. The vehicle is only being used for “official out of town trips, meetings and conventions.”

      In other action the city:

--appointed Yves Wilson as new Street Commissioner replacing Cecil Green who is retiring;

--scheduled Feb. 25 at 11:00am to officially rename West Beech Street “Rev. E.D. Alfred Street”. Rev. Alfred was the first African American to register to vote in 1953.

--scheduled Feb.  27 at 11:00am for the renaming of Southside City Park to “Romeo Hargrove City Park” after the city’s first African American police chief;

--learned that city expenditures for January dropped by $21,465 over December expenditures;

--approved the donation of $500 for the Louisiana Folk Roots festival at Chicot State Park April 19-26;

--announced that there will be a city sponsored “City Wide Easter Egg Hunt” for children ages 1-12 Saturday March 30 at the Southside City Park;

--approved sponsoring weekly teen dances at the Northside City Park from 8-12 midnight beginning Saturday March 30 for teens age 13-18. Admission will be $5 per person;

--authorized the mayor to begin negotiating with the owner of the old Wal-Mart building to look at the city purchasing the building. The mayor is interested in using the building for a Boys and Girls Club, Skating Rink and to hold teen dances;

--called an election for May 4 for the renewal of a 4 mill property tax to help pay the salaries to firefighters and police officers;

--approved the installation of “No Dumping Signs” being provided by the Evangeline Parish Solid Waste Commission. Violators will be fined $500;

--heard Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announce that a film crew from CGI will be coming to Ville Platte to do a documentary about the city and its residents. Ville Platte is one of only 10 cities in the country that have been selected.

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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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