Documenter: Carl M. Ambrose Jr.
Agency holding meeting: Calcasieu Parish Police Jury
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2023, 5:30 pm
Location: Lake Charles, La. Police Jury Chambers
Thirteen buildings were up for demolition.
The crowd was sparse for the meeting, waiting for the conclusion of an earlier meeting in the Police Jury chambers. However, a few conversations and greetings were exchanged that concluded as the meeting was to begin.
Newly elected President Chris Landry called the meeting to order.
Mr. Mike Smith gave the Invocation and the Pledge.
Roll call was conducted with those present: Mr. Abshire, Mr. Andrepont, Mr. Bares, Mr.Bartie, Mr. Burleigh, Mr. Guillory, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Marcantel, Mr. Richard, Mr. Smith, Mr. Stelly, and Mr. Tramonte all present.
Mr. Landry recognized Mr. Bares’s Birthday, and Mr. Bares thanked everyone and said: “Like my grandfather used to say, ‘I started with nothing, and I still got most of that…’”
Planning and Development
The jury approved the renewal of three liquor permits.
The minutes of the December 15, 2022, Police Jury Regular Meeting were approved, as was the report from the General Insurance Committee from January 19, 2023.
The jury also formally proclaimed and adopted resolutions for:
- The levying of the renewal taxes voted for in the elections of November 2022.
- To maintain and operate the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit, the Juvenile Detention Center, and Juvenile Probation Office
- To pay the cost of expenses, equipment, and supplies for the construction of hard surfing and improving roads.
Engineering and public works
The CPPJ entered into a cooperative agreement with the city of Westlake for improvements at John Stine Road at the intersection of Sampson St.
Other policy decisions
- The jury approved the payment of all current invoices.
- Approved proposals from the Parish Purchasing Agent for an Automatic Meter Reading System for Waterworks, Herbicide, and Weed Control.
- The jury passed a resolution acknowledging the Sulphur Library Hurricane Repairs as substantially complete.
Public hearings for demolitions
At 5:45, the public hearing was held, with 13 buildings up for demolition. There were two people to speak to and to ask for more time.
The properties with no speakers were ordered, condemned, and demolished in 30 days by individual motions. (The condemnation and demolition process is detailed in an article by Attorney Brent Hawkins, which can be found here.)
The first speaker was Zahid Raza from Houston, who owns a commercial building in Starks, La. He told the jury that he had plans to repair the commercial building and needed 60 days to start initial work. Mr. Marcantel noted that the building had been destroyed and nothing had been done since Hurricane Rita, that they had “let it go for too long,” and that it needed to be demolished. The request was denied, and the motion to demolish the building passed.
The second person to address the jury concerning a property was Mr. Michael Vincent, who told the jury that the trailer was his daughter’s and that they had done substantial repairs to the structure and spent “about $20,00 already.” He stated that it was closed in, the windows replaced, and they needed about another month to complete. A motion to condemn was on the floor, and Mr. Tramonte asked for guidance from Mr. Crane. Mr. Crane informed the jury they didn’t have a permit for this. He then informed Mr. Tramonte and Mr. Vincent that any repairs to a manufactured home must be approved and inspected by the state fire marshal. Mr. Tramonte stated, “I don’t want someone to lose 20 grand because they didn’t know something.”
He was told he could make a motion for deferral. Mr. Crane, after a question from Mr. Stelly, explained that any modification to the structure required the fire marshal’s involvement and that his office needed to verify what was going on there; a permit was required that a permit. After a bit of discussion, Mr. Vincent was given 30 days to get a permit to meet with planning and development. Mr. Landry joked: “We’ve all learned that in a mobile home that needs repair, you can change the light bulb, but anything else, call Mr. Cranes’ office or the state fire marshal.”
The meeting was adjourned.
You can find the meeting agenda here: https://granicus_production_attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/calcasieuparishla/6507f9c938984ff41d97622b05e52a1d0.pdf