Ferriday bans horses and other livestock

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, November 14, 2012

FERRIDAY — Horses have a place — in fields, pastures or even being ridden into the sunset. The one place they don’t belong, the Ferriday aldermen said Tuesday, is in the municipal limits.

The Ferriday Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to advertise locally that it’s against the law to stake, house or ride livestock inside the town. The ordinance banning livestock in town has been on the books for a number of years, but Alderwoman Gail Pryor said she wanted to make people aware of the law — which is a misdemeanor offense — in light of the recent increased horse riding.

Alderwoman Somer Lance said she has received several calls from people who almost hit horses with their vehicles during both daylight and dark hours.

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“It’s not against people riding horses, it’s that horses don’t have insurance,” Lance said. “If you hit a horse, you are liable for what happens to your vehicle.”

Mayor Gene Allen said he has to take some responsibility for an increase in horse riding within the town limits in recent months.

“I thought at one time that on a Saturday or a Sunday it would be a good thing, and I told some kids they could do it, but it got so far out of hand it won’t work,” Allen said. “We have started seeing it at 10 p.m.”

The aldermen also voted to send Ferriday Oil and Seed a notice to vacate the town-owned building it is currently using.

Allen said the town spent nearly $1 million improving the building, but in recent years the company has not used it for significant operations.

“They have not done any business out of it, they have not provided any employees,” he said. “Basically, we are providing them with a storage building.”

In other news:

-Allen presented the aldermen with three different quotes for health insurance plans for town employees. He asked the aldermen to come back at a later date with their recommendations for a health insurance plans

“We have not had insurance here for some time,” Allen said. “Our finances are not that great, but at the same time we have to provide some kind of health insurance. I want you to look at the finances and see what the town can pay and what you think the employees should pay.”

-The aldermen declared Dec. 15 to be a day for city-wide cleanup.

-The board declined a request from the Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District for supplemental funding for the year in addition to the funds the district receives through a parish-wide hotel-motel tax.

Alderman Elijah “Stepper” Banks made the motion to decline the request, stating that the town does not have the money to honor the request.

-Allen told the aldermen the town needs to have a discussion about the selling of town-owned land.

“We have lots people can build houses on,” he said. “We need to abandon them, advertise them and let people bid on them.”

-Town Attorney Myisha Davis told the board she is currently working on a revised lease for shoe company Neimaj, which is looking to locate a facility in Ferriday.

The previous administration had agreed to lease the former Kelly’s Kids building to the company, but the lease contract was never actually executed, Allen said.

-The board heard a presentation from Larry Walter with the building inspection permitting enforcement firm IBTS about the possibility of the town hiring IBTS for its permit inspections and flood plain needs at no cost to the town.

IBTS would be paid through the collection of permitting fees and fines, Walter said.

The board took the matter under advisement.