Board of Selectmen condemns properties

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
Iberville Relay for Life chairman Lauren Stein addressed the City of Plaquemine Board of Selectmen at their February meeting. From left, Lin Rivet, Timmy Martinez, Mickey Rivet, Lauren Stein, Mayor Mark “Tony” Gulotta, Ralph Stassi, Oscar Mellion, Jimmie Randle and Kristine Hebert. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE - The City of Plaquemine Board of Selectmen condemned several properties during its February regularly scheduled meeting recently.

Properties located at 58355 Long St. owned by Lester G. Wiggins and 57810 Desobry St. owned by Milton J. Lewis were condemned.

“It has got to a point where there is nothing I can do,” Lewis said.

Mayor Mark “Tony” Gulotta sought an emergency affidavit to have the property on Long St. boarded and secured.

Lewis’ property at 58349 Court St. was given 90 days to begin work of restoration.

“We just want to see some progress,” Gulotta said.

Virginia Parker said plans are underway to tear down a shed and work on the exterior to bring the building up to code.

“I want to see that house saved,” Selectman Oscar Mellion said. “The house needs to be fixed and can be fixed.”

The board also gave the property owners at 58240 W.W. Harleaux St. and 58244 W.W. Harleaux St. three days to clean the lot.

“I am not going to allow this within the city limits,” Gulotta said.

Also, property located at 59129 and 59135 W.W. Harleaux St. owned by Rickey Williams was discussed due to a dumpster for trash sitting on the vacant lot.

“I own it and I pay taxes,” Williams said. “That trash is going to stay there.”

Mellion said it is illegal to dump trash within the city limits without a permit.

“Our laws are clear,” Mellion said. “You are wrong and you can’t make yourself right.”

Gulotta suggested charging $1,000 to clean up the lot and sought an emergency affidavit.

“You can’t dump trash on that lot unless it is generated on that lot,” Gulotta said.

The board also heard about property located at 23045 La. 1 regarding re-subdivision. A Circle K convenience store is currently located and the owners wish to tear it down and build another convenience store on the lot.

“I think we need a new store there but we have to address the drainage,” Gulotta said. “It is a quality of life issue.”

Gulotta also spoke about the possibility of a quiet zone due to the large number of trains that pass through the city every day. It is estimated 20 trains pass each day and Gulotta seeks a $28,000 study to see which railroad crossings could possibly be closed.

“We have to prove that these trains are very disruptive,” Gulotta said. “This isn’t going to be easy. It is going to take years but we have to do it.”

Finally, the board heard from Iberville Relay for Life chairman Lauren Stein.

Stein is seeking involvement in the event to be held April 4 at COPAC from 6 p.m. - 6 a.m. to raise cancer awareness and asked board members to wear purple on Wednesdays to promote the cause.