Blight, traffic ordinances on PJ agenda
The Acadia Parish Police Jury will consider amending the parish “blighted property” ordinance to include all unincorporated areas.
An ordinance also is expected to be introduced to make it illegal to obstruct parish roads.
The jury will meet in regular session beginning at 5:30 p.m. today in the third-floor meeting room in the parish courthouse.
The meeting is open to the general public.
Currently, the parish ordinance dealing with blighted property addresses only property in a “recognized subdivision.”
The proposed amendment changes the wording of the ordinance to include all unincorporated areas:
“It shall be unlawful for the owner of any occupied or unoccupied lot whether located in a recognized subdivision outside the municipalities in Acadia Parish, or in any other unincorporated area to permit and allow to remain upon said lot or lots a derelict building, dwelling or other structure.”
In introducing the amendment to the Legislative Committee, Glen Howie, parish attorney, explained, “The property that comes immediately to mind is the building on Highway 90 coming into Crowley from the west.”
But Police Jury President David Savoy urged caution.
“If we go at this (amended ordinance) full force, we’ll go broke,” he said. “There are people waiting in the wings for us to pass this.”
Savoy asked Howie if the jury would be required to enforce the amendment if complaints are received, to which the attorney replied, “No, you’re not required to take any action.”
The committee sent the legislation to the full jury to consider.
Another ordinance to be considered will be one dealing with obstruction of traffic on parish roads.
Howie explained that the parish currently has no such ordinance. He said the proposal is “based on state statute dealing with obstruction of state highways.”
Under the new law, anyone who “willfully” obstructs “the free, convenient and normal use of any parish road” will be guilty of a misdemeanor and “shall” be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days or both.
Howie acknowledged that utility companies that leave equipment on parish roadways overnight would be in violation of the ordinance.
The Legislative Committee also recommended approval of a couple of elections in November, one the renewal of a 2.12-mill ad valorem tax to support the Cooperative Extension Office and Rice Arena and one to authorize an additional $25 parcel fee for Acadia Parish Fire Protection District No. 10 (Church Point).
The committee also forwarded to the full jury a detailed policy for body-worn cameras for parish Animal Control Officers.
Howie explained that the policy was drawn primarily from that of the Crowley Police Department.
All of that will be considered by the full jury tonight.
Other committee recommendations to be considered include:
• The Finance Committee recommended an amendment to the parish budget to provide $225,000 in matching funds for repairs to the courthouse elevator. Two-thirds of the funding for the repairs are expected to come from state Capital Outlay grant funding.
The committee also recommended accepting bids for material and services throughout the parish.
• The Mosquito Control Committee recommended adoption of a new contract with Mosquito Control Services at the end of its current contract later this month.
The police jury will also consider:
• authorizing the president to sign the renewal contract between the Office of Public Health – Bureau of Nutrition Services – WIC Program and the Acadia Parish Police Jury; and
• accepting the qualifications of Hunt, Guillot, & Associates (HGA), Quality Engineering Surveying, LLC (QES), and Providence Engineering for Hazard Mitigation Engineering Services for Flood Mitigation in Acadia Parish.