At Tuesday’s meeting of the Ville Platte City Council, Mayor Vidrine announced that street repairs for an initial 25 streets in Ville Platte will begin on or before March 31, 2022. Repairs for other roads will be announced at a later time.
Fire Chief Chris Soileau announced that there were no fatalities for November, but that December started off its first week with a fatal house fire in Chataignier. During the colder winter months, please remember to check on elderly relatives and make sure that your homes are equipped with working smoke alarms. If you or a loved one needs assistance of any kind, please contact your local fire department.
Dewey Guillory addressed the council on behalf of his neighborhood about an unauthorized commercial property at 228 Hickory Street. He alleges that an unnamed individual is going ahead with the creation of 2 new businesses: a wrecker and a used car dealership. Since renovations began, Mr. Guillory says that his property has decreased in value, damaging he and his neighbors financially. Councilwoman Williams says that authorization will not be given to the individual until he has a fence built around his businesses; however, Mr. Guillory asserts that though construction of such a fence has begun, it is inadequate. The council agrees that such a business should not be located in the middle of town, and assures residents that the issue has been turned over to their legal department to find a way to stop it.
The council also heard from Coach Sweetman in regards to population increase, new employment, and internet access. Over the past 30 years, Ville Platte has seen a steady decrease in population on-par with world trends. Mr. Sweetman says that “less residents equal less money.” To combat this, he suggests affordable apartment complexes targeting retirees and immigrants, and also recommends pushing tourism since there are dozens of empty buildings in town that could be turned into something great. He says that the first step is to get a 4G internet tower for more affordable and reliable internet. Mr. Sweetman lives in Ville Platte and wants to help the council better our community. Anyone who wishes to speak with him can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November and December have been good months for grant applications, with the city approved to apply for $400,000 from the state for park improvements. Ville Platte also received an NLC grant for a French-language mural on City Hall which will represent Ville Platte’s culture and history. The city plans to apply for an NLC water and drainage grant, but will first need to assess the amount needed for repairs and improvements. New street signs are coming to Ville Platte once the manufacturer receives their shipment of metal, and City Hall is still waiting on their new phone system.
17 November 2021
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Evangeline Parish School Board viewed a presentation on the benefits of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, better known as ESSER. The program was created to help close learning gaps created during the pandemic. It was designed to do the things that teachers do not have time to do in the classroom and assist them with progress and data reports.
ESSER employees track and monitor student growth while also helping with curriculum and lesson plans. They prepare materials for student acceleration and assist with testing and strategies so that teachers no longer have to do it all alone.
The program benefits not only teachers but also students by helping them meet learning milestones while also making the goals practical and realistic. In addition, they provide emotional support during challenging times. The board heard from many teachers, principals, and students who appreciate the support of these positions and hope to see them continue post-pandemic.
COVID-19 numbers have dropped in Evangeline Parish schools since Governor Edwards’ mask mandate ended, remaining consistent with reports from other districts. According to the board’s attorney, Mr. John Bolton, so long as they continue to enforce LDH quarantine guidelines, as they have continued to do, masks can remain optional.
Vice President Limoges proposed a new item to add to the agenda which would reaffirm masks as optional in the parish schools; however, since new motions require a unanimous vote, and the proposition was met with a downvote, the motion will be added to the next agenda for December 8th.
Next week, the demolition of the Bayou Chicot auditorium will begin.
Superintendent Lazard would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. All campuses and school board offices will be closed next week. They will reopen on Monday, November 29th.