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The Evangeline Parish Police Jury met Monday evening with a full house. Several Ville Platte City council members and Mayor Jennifer Vidrine addressed the police jury with issues of blighted properties and drainage. Regarding the issue of blighted properties, police jury secretary treasurer Donald Bergeron said they had budgeted $60,000 for the clean up of blighted properties and have successfully cleared two houses this past week. He said the process is to start with the worst houses that pose a public risk. Some of the houses are owned by the police jury, but some are privately owned. Mayor Vidrine said the city of Ville Platte is also in the process of tearing down blighted properties, and they have found that 53 of them belong to the police jury. She said the city is getting blamed for the properties that they cannot touch because they belong to the jury. Bergeron said, “At least 95% of these homes did not come to us in great shape.” The police jury and the City of Ville Platte came to an agreement that, going forward, the jury would report every quarter period on the number of blighted properties demolished, starting with the properties that post the greatest public risk. The next issue on the agenda was the subject of drainage, and the city council members remained to discuss drainage issues in the city of Ville Platte. Mayor Vidrine said the city needs help from the police jury to clean the city’s canals. She said they do not understand why the police jury cannot clean the canals, especially since the last elecetion saw an amendment pass that allows political subdivisions to loan equipment to one another. Police Jury president Ryan Leday Williams said he’s in favor of doing anything to help in his district. Councilman Bryant Riggs said the top two issues he hears from the public are blighted properties and drainage. Mayor Vidrine stressed that the city and the police jury can work together to get this issue solved. Jury members said part of the problem is that, with the machine they have, they would have to break the concrete in the canals, and it could affect some property owners’ fences. For a few moments the jury and the council members, and even audience members tried talking over one another. Jury president Williams banged his gavel when the cacaphony had reached its crescendo. Williams brought everyone back on topic and said another potential problem with helping the city with drainage is the wait time when it comes to equipment floating through the districts. He said he might not get the equipment for another several months in his district, and then he has projects on the line. Mayor Vidrine asked that the city canals be added to the wait list

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