City gives street crews cleanup power

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

FERRIDAY &8212; During their Tuesday meeting, aldermen voted to give the street department necessary funds &8212; although an exact amount was never given.

Aldermen voted to get the street department any equipment or manpower it needs to clean up the town, especially with regards to trash left by the sides of streets.

Street Supervisor Antonne Duncan said he actually isn&8217;t hurting for manpower but could use another specially equipped truck to handle the debris.

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&8220;The real problem is, Ferriday doesn&8217;t pay enough in taxes&8221; to pay for such workers and equipment, Duncan said.

Later, Sewer Department Supervisor Howard McKeel said he needs $25,808 to replace eight modules that have stopped working at the town&8217;s wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Gene Allen said the city has already signed agreements to use $25,000 it is getting from Rural Development to buy a backhoe. However, Allen said city officials will probably meet Thursday to discuss where to get funds for the wastewater plant.

Also during the meeting, the board voted to order that non-ranking officers of the police department leave their police vehicles at the department when their shifts end. Now officers are allowed to take their cars home at the end of their shifts.

During discussion of the motion, Allen said businesses and residents have asked to see the presence of more police cars in their areas. He also mentioned that officers having cars ready at a moment&8217;s notice would be a help in case of an emergency.

Also during Tuesday&8217;s meeting:

4Allen told the board he will appoint aldermen as commissioners over various city departments but hasn&8217;t done so yet because the town has been busy with tasks related to Hurricane Katrina.

4Allen told the board, in response to questions by aldermen Jerome Harris and Johnnie Brown, he will check today on the status of getting the town&8217;s mosquito spraying truck fixed.

4Allen said he will, at the request of aldermen, draft a letter asking Civil Defense Director Morris White to help draft an emergency plan, including an evacuation plan, for the town.

4Liz Brooking, a member of the Chamber of Commerce board and Downtown Revitalization Committee, said those groups are opposed to the rezoning of any land along First Street as residential.

Aldermen, in a recent special meeting, voted to temporarily rezone town-owned land on First Street as residential to allow Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers to be located there for evacuee housing.

But Allen said Tuesday he doubts such trailers will be placed on that land anyway.

Brooking said she believes a public hearing should have been held on such rezoning, even for temporary purposes, before it was done.

4Allen said he would write state Sen. Charles Jones, D-Monroe, to ask him the status of possibly getting Rural Development funds to repair dilapidated housing in the town.

4The board agreed to place on its November agenda a proposed ordinance mandating the police department rotate the order in which it calls wrecker services to tow vehicles.

Some aldermen pointed out the board had passed a motion earlier this year asking that such a rotation system be put in place.

But Town Attorney Derrick Carson said a motion doesn&8217;t make it so. Instead, he said, an ordinance needs to be passed to that effect.