Town passes racial profiling law

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The Ferriday Town Council on Tuesday night approved a policy against racial profiling by police.

Legislation passed during the last session of the Louisiana Legislature mandated that cities pass such policies by today. Last week, officers attended a class on racial profiling, said Police Chief Bobby Sheppard.

Earlier in the meeting, the council voted to take applications for a dogcatcher for the town.

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The town has had a dogcatcher in the past, but he did not have a high school diploma – a requirement to undergo the necessary euthanasia training.

&uot;Where I live, there are 12 dogs on the corner every day and every night,&uot; said Councilman Sammy Davis Jr. &uot;This is something we need to get started on.&uot;

The ideal candidate would be an existing town employee who could pick up stray dogs on weekends and other times he is off from his other town job.

In other business, council members voted to authorize Town Attorney Anna Brakenridge to rewrite the town’s ordinance regarding condemned housing and abandoned cars.

In addition to posting the locations of such structures and cars in the newspaper, Mayor Glen McGlothin is looking into the possibility of airing a videotape of the eyesores on a cable television station.

The council also discussed improvements to be made to Ferriday’s water plant. The improvements will cost the town more than $20,000.

But the Department of Health and Hospitals sent town officials a letter saying the improvements, which were actually due to be made in 1999, must be made before health officials visit the plant in 45 days.

Improvements will include installing of nine water sampling stations; placing new turbidity, or clarity, monitoring equipment and pH monitors in the plant; and cleaning up a pond at the plant.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the council also:

4Discussed an attorney general’s opinion that states that a mayor cannot adjust a customer’s water bill except in cases where a billing mistake is made.

But McGlothin said he will continue to give customers one bill adjustment a year for such things as severe water leaks. &uot;If someone has a $500 gas bill and her water line breaks in the winter, and she’s 80 years old and can’t pay it, I’m going to help her,&uot;&160;he said.

4Voted to take bids for a heating and cooling system for the Louisiana Delta Music Museum under advisement and to accept the lowest bid after the bids are reviewed by Brakenridge.

Bids had already been taken once, but specifications were changed to conform with requirements from the Fire Marshal’s Office.

The new bids included bids of $16,305 from Natchez Heating and Cooling, $14,240 from Ace Heating and Cooling, $11,642.11 from Myers Electric, $11,833 from Acme Air and $11,167 from Comfort Zone.

4Voted to approve the addition of low-income units to an apartment complex at Seventh Street and Louisiana Avenue pending permit approval and submission of plans for the project.

4Voted to sever negotiations with MORS, an industry that has expressed interest in leasing a building from Ferriday in the past. That was done after MORS officials did not return repeated calls from Brakenridge and town officials, McGlothin said.

Later in the meeting, McGlothin announced that the town is applying for a grant to help fund an anti-littering campaign.

In response to concerns by Councilman Jerome Harris, McGlothin also said the town plans to board up the Serio Building, which burned recently, and clean debris from the sidewalk in front of the building.