ARNAUDVILLE – The future of a civic center and possible city-run RV park took center stage at last month’s Town Council meeting.
Mayor Kathy Richard announced that she is consulting with Mayor James Petitjean of Rayne, which has just added a 20,000-square foot, half-million-dollar pavilion to its civic center and RV park complex.
Richard said Petitjean has offered to come and meet with members of the town council about Rayne’s very successful experience attracting visitors to its complex.
“The RV crowd is a good crowd, and good people,” commented former Mayor Leo Quebedeaux, who was in the audience.
The sites currently under consideration are a location near the post office and another across from Melancon Funeral Home.
Councilman Todd Meche noted that the civic center and an RV Park are two separate issues and the decision on any site should be made accordingly.
Former Mayor Quebedeaux earlier took the floor to ask why the local city-owned park is not being considered for the location of the civic center. The mayor replied that the installation of required sewer lines would increase costs by $60,000. Richard also noted a good portion of the park property is very low-lying land and floods regularly.
The purchase of the any property comes with some restrictions, including that the town cannot pay above or below the appraised value of any property.
With more than one location under consideration, the mayor reminded the council that the process will take six to eight months.
In other business:
•The council agreed to hire Chaz Towe as a part-time police officer with a rank of fourth class and a salary of $8.17 per hour. Police Chief Richard Mizzi had recommended Towe be hired as at the rank of second class, noting that both Port Barre and Henderson have higher pay scales than Arnaudville, which makes hiring and keeping police officers a problem. But Councilman Meche recommended that the hire be done as a fourth class officer since Towe has no law enforcement experience, and that after a six-month probation period, he be moved to a second-class position.
•Upon the request of Mayor Kathy Richard, the council unanimously approved a resolution asking Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu’s office to establish Arnaudville as a Cultural District with boundaries that would include the Mini-Mart and Vincent Darby’s studio and gallery.
•Eugene Quebedeaux gave the report for the utility department which included 131 work orders and 94 LA One Call inquiries for the location of pipes and other utility lines.
•There was no report from the Parks and Recreation Department as there is currently no basketball taking place due to the damage on the elementary school gym from Hurricane Gustav.
•Police Chief Richard Mizzi gave the police report of 44 complaints, one citation and no arrests. Earlier Chief Mizzi commented on how quiet things had been in town since Harry’s Bar and Deli shut down.
•Mayor Kathy Richard reminded everyone that there is no court held in the month of December.