Thomas McFarlain, representing the Evangeline ARC and the special needs clients they serve, addressed the Ville Platte City Council Tuesday to request that the city stop a new bar called “The Whistle Bar” from opening across the street from their location at the corner of Lasalle and North-West Railroad Avenue.
“You are all aware of the day program and educational activities operating in the old Deville Lumber Company building for the last 20 odd years.” stated McFarlain. “There are 55 governmentally disabled men and women from Ville Platte, Mamou, and throughout the parish area that attend our program every day. They are instructed in various activities, such that they may improve their ability to participate in society and integrate into the society. In addition, there is a home for 6 disabled men on the property. These men reside there, just as we live in our homes, but need structure and normalcy of community living to provide progress in their lives as productive citizens of Ville Platte. Further, there is a respite program across the street that is used by 8 disabled individuals primarily on weekends. Their parents or guardians send them there as a get away from their homes, or other necessary absences from their homes for medical reasons or family emergencies. There they are transported to various events in or around Ville Platte and nearby cities to attend social activities. These developmentally disabled men and women that live on the property attend the day programs, and temporarily house disabled individuals that are referred to the Evangeline ARC by the state of Louisiana. These individuals need structured environments. A strict routine for their daily lives to progress as citizen’s. Changes or disruptions in their lives is detrimental to their health, aggravate their disabilities, and generally bring disruption to their lives.”
McFarlain then requested that the city reject Whistle Bar’s application. Mayor Vidrine offered to show fairness to Whistle Bar’s owners by inviting them to the next City Council meeting to explain the type of establishment they’d be opening.
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced during her monthly report that the council received an honorable mention at the LMA conference, recognizing Ville Platte for being the only city in the state to keep its citizens informed via automated phone calls from the mayor. Mayor Vidrine also announced that 6 more abandoned properties have been cleared, and plans are underway to enforce citations for land owners who don’t maintain their properties.
Council member Bryant Riggs announced to the council his plans to fix up Ville Platte Northside Park, by giving up a year’s salary, and seeking out grants and coordinating fundraisers for the project. “We have to have something for everybody, not just the kids, but also for the disabled, A.D.D, senior citizens, children of all ages, and adults of all ages. that’s what I vision.” stated Riggs.
Alex “Sonny” Chapman addressed the council regarding improvement plans for the entrances and exits of Tate Cove Road businesses, in particular McDonalds and Popeyes. Chapman stated that the driveways not being flush with the road poses safety issues, and is an inconvenience to drivers. According to Mayor Vidrine, McDonalds has agreed to make the needed fixes, but Popeyes parking lot entrance belongs to Stage, and further steps need to be taken.
Ville Platte Police Chief Neil Lartigue announced the hiring of Darius Thomas as a part time jailor. During his monthly report, Lartigue stated that for the month of July the Ville Platte Police Department responded to a total of 504 calls for assistance, 490 of which required assistance. Also reported were 17 citations, 69 arrests (26 felony arrests) and 26 motor vehicle accidents. There were no fatalities to report.