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Compromise reached on March for Life in Ville Platte

Ville Platte City Council Meeting January 12, 2021 The Ville Platte City Council, Tuesday, received news that a compromise was reached between Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and Fr. Mitchel Guidry, pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints on the annual Walk for Life. Each year, local and area Christians participate in the annual Walk for Life to stand up for the unborn. The walk begins at Our Lady Queen of All Saints and ends at Sacred Heart Church. Fr. Guidry announced that Police Chief Neal Lartigue gave approval for the march. However, the mayor turned down the march because of concerns over Covid-19 and for the safety of those in the walk. Fr. Guidry said a compromise was reached by moving the walk entirely on the Sacred Heart Church grounds on Sunday January 24. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine said her decision against the march had nothing to do with religion or politics but strictly on the health and safety of the walkers. She told Fr. Guidry that she will participate at the new march site. Fr. Guidry said “We are pro life in Ville Platte and we believe in the dignity of human life. The mayor and I just sat down and talked and came to an agreement.” The city council was advised by Mayor Vidrine that the following streets are scheduled for improvements: St. Marie, McArthur, Edward Notto, Demoruelle, Dr. Carver, , Martin Luther King, Northeast Railroad,, Southeast Railroad, Jack Milller, Demoncheveaux, Fuselier, Reed, East Washington, West Desoto, Magnolia and Hickory Streets. The road work includes new construction, rebuilding, patching and overlay using grant money and local funds. Mayor Jennifer Vidrine announced that Dirk Deville was appointed as the new City Chief Administrative Officer. Deville served local residents as Tax Assessor and State Representative. The Mayor reported that the city has received 75 applicants for a new city payroll clerk and 22 applicants for a city accountant. For the first time ever, the city council witnessed the pinning of a new fire fighter. Daniel Andrus was sworn in as a new full time paid firefighter, Daniel Andrus who just completed fire fighter training. He was given his firefighter pin by his mother. The city council also approved hiring a new firefighter, Dennis Scott from Eunice. Fire Chief Chris Soileau reported that the number of fire calls dropped by 30 over the same time a year ago from 252 calls compared to 280 a year ago. Also, the council approved a quote to purchase a new back hoe for the street department at a cost of $99,136. Also, the council appointed two new patrol officers: Josh Estes and Zack Kelly and Ashley Smith as a part timer jailer for the police department. Police Chief Neal Lartigue reported that for the year 2020, there were 3745 police calls, 1788 misdemeanor arrests and 172 felony arrests, 250 citations and police worked 329 traffic accidents. The council voted to apply for $50,000 in a state grant to fund a new welcome entrance to the city including lighting and a fountain.

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