Arthur Sampson Jr., a local resident, proposed to the City Council Tuesday that April 23rd be declared as "Stop the Violence Day"; A day to honor the life of Kathy Weston.
Sunday, April 23, 2017, 46-year-old Kathy Weston was killed in the crossfire of a shoot-out, while leaving a store in Ville Platte. This case is still unsolved. The city of Ville Platte will have a presentation ready for the Weston family on April 23rd, following the Stop the Violence March, set to take place at 6:00 pm, with march beginning at Martin Luther King Park.
Council member, Bryant Riggs (District F) stated his concern about Kathy’s killer still walking the streets today. “They killed once, they can kill again. It could be one of us in this room.” Said Riggs. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine reminded the public that any information about this case can be reported to the Ville Platte Police Department at (337) 363-1313. A $1,000 reward for information is being offered.
The Council also heard from abandoned property owner, Monica Ardoin. Ardoin’s property at 325 South Soileau street has been condemned by the city. Like the rest of the abandoned property owners who’ve received a letter, Ardoin has 30 days to demolish the home and clean the property.
Ardoin expressed frustration over the situation, stating that she has always paid her taxes, and has kept her property as clean as possible, but due to her property being a popular place for illegal activities, and little police surveillance, she is forced to pay for the demolition of the home she inherited from her grandmother.
Mayor Vidrine stated that they are “more aggressive now than ever” on the issue of abandoned properties. Mayor Vidrine reported that 50 homes have been demolished so far, and on April 16th, five more homes will be added to that list.
The Council also received an update from City Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau, on the city’s water line project. Landreneau states that Phase 3 of the project is coming to a close, and that what’s left of Phase 3 is an estimated 2 months of cutting and fixing streets.
The final phase of the project, Phase 4, is anticipated to begin mid-summer. Phase 4 will include Main Street and Lasalle. Landreneau stated that they expect to be “inconveniencing the public for some time on Mainstreet and Lasalle”.
In other business:
-Mayor Vidrine reported that the City of Ville Platte spent $62,343.92 less in March than in February.
-Fire Chief, Chris Harrison, reported for the month of March a total of 19 calls. Of these calls, 6 were structural fires. One vehicular fatality.
-Chief of Police, Neil Lartigue, reported for the month of March a total of 654 complaint calls, 575 of which required a written report. There were 77 arrests, 22 of which were felony arrests. 42 vehicular accidents. No fatalities.
-Council adopted a resolution to make April Fair Housing Month.
-Council approved the appointment of Desmond Thomas, and the reappointment of Tommy Jones and Shonda Jack to the Recreational Board.