The Bastrop City Council, at their Thursday, December 13 meeting, discussed a special use permit for a therapeutic group home to be located at 1104 Riis.
Mr. Richard Winder of People United of Louisiana, LLC spoke at length about the home. It will be the second such home in the city. Its purpose will be to provide a home and therapeutic services to children who cannot live at their regular homes.
“It will be a homelike setting with beds and curtains and no bars on the windows and will offer psychotherapy, psychiatric, and psychological services,” explained Winder.
He explained they can house boys or girls, and children are referred to them by the courts. The children will go to school and be part of the community so they can learn to be upstanding citizens.
“We have an opportunity to help children,” said Winder.
Several council members had questions regarding the home.
Councilman Moore asked if the children would be alone at any time. Winder explained that by law there would need to be two direct care staff on the premises at all times so the children would never be alone.
Councilman Loche questioned whether Winder could guarantee there would be no problems, and Winder said while they would train staff to be vigilant, he could not guarantee that.
It was also questioned whether Winder had consulted any residents in the area where they want to build the home, and he said he personally had not.
Councilman Shaw asked that the discussion on the permit be tabled until the ramifications were fully understood.
Mayor Cotton asked that the City lawyers look over the laws for these homes.
The council voted to table the discussion until a later date.
The council also discussed an emergency alert system that has been put in place for the town.
The OnSolve CodeRED app is now in use by the city. The app can be downloaded on a phone, and any emergency alerts will go out immediately to those with the app.
“If we have a situation that is a police emergency and we want to warn people, the police or fire department can take their phone, cordon off an area and warn people in an instant,” explained Mayor Cotton.
Locals are encouraged to get the app and sign up. The app is available on the City of Bastrop website.
“Please help us spread the word, because we want to protect everybody in Bastrop,” said Mayor Cotton.
The build up of trash at the abandoned Ditto building was discussed as well. Local Ricky Anderson noted that people have been leaving their trash there and that he finds it unacceptable. They don't have a very effective way of cleaning it.
Mayor Cotton discussed taking a council member with him to DeSoto parish to observe their trash disposal system as he says it is one of the best he's seen. Councilman Green agreed to go wth him.
The council discussed a resolution to commend Joshua Morrison on his retirement as captain with the Bastrop Fire Department. He is battling cancer at this time.
“We at the Bastrop Fire Department just want to thank him for his service,” said Chief Thomas Crowder.
The resolution passed.
The council also discussed and passed a resolution to sell surplus city equipment and approved the renewal of liquor licenses.
The council discussed the purchase of a used fire truck as well. The Bastrop Fire Department have received a grant of $38,800 to put towards the truck. The truck is a 1999 model with a ladder, and the cost is $64,000. The city was asked to put forth the rest of the money for the purchase and made a motion to do so.