Vidalia leaders want to ban saggy pants

Published 12:07am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

VIDALIA — Lots of mothers through the years have told their sons to pull up their pants before leaving the house.

The City of Vidalia moved Tuesday to do the same, with the board of aldermen voting to pre-file an amendment to the city’s indecent exposure ordinance that would ban sagging pants.

“I have received numerous complaints throughout town and along the riverfront of individuals who are walking with pants that are pulled lower than they should be,” Mayor Hyram Copeland said.

“I have had people call me and tell me it is embarrassing to them and others.”

“It is embarrassing to receive phone calls (like that) from people who do not live in Vidalia and from people who live in Vidalia.”

City Attorney Jack McLemore said he had already drafted the proposed amendment, and when Alderman Ricky Knapp asked if it was descriptive, McLemore said the amendment was broadly worded.

“It just says ‘saggy pants,’” McLemore said. “(Basically), it has to expose your underwear or behind.”

The amendment was based on a similar ordinance adopted by Mansfield, La., McLemore said.

“It has been adopted by seven different cities in Louisiana, and so far it has survived a constitutional challenge everywhere,” he said.

Violators of the ordinance will face a $150 fine.

The aldermen will have a public hearing about the adoption of the amendment at their next meeting.

In other news:

-The board voted to award the town’s waste disposal contract to Riverbend Environmental.

The city received two bids for services, from its current provider — Waste Management — and Riverbend.

The Waste Management proposal was for $24 a ton.

The Riverbend proposal was for $16.75 a ton for a two-year contract, $16 a ton for a five-year contract and $15 a ton for a 10-year contract.

-Copeland said that residents had expressed concerns to him that they would not be able to afford recycling bins to participate in Vidalia’s recycling program, but that he wanted the public to know that the bins would be provided free of charge.

The idea of assessing a $1 or $2 monthly fee for the bins had been previously discussed.

To sign up for the program, visit or contact Vidalia City Hall at (318) 336-5206.

Knapp said some recycling bins had been ordered for the pilot program.

“As soon as we get our eyes on the bins, we will figure out the first pickup date,” he said.