St. Charles trash pickup rates going up

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 25, 1999

HAHNVILLE – A marathon meeting capped the four-year tenure of the St.

Charles Parish Council Monday, as the new council is due to take office Jan. 10 and hold its first full meeting on Jan. 11.”It’s been a hell of a ride,” Curtis Johnson Sr. commented.Meanwhile, the current council polished off as much remaining business as possible, including a rate hike for trash collection, from $9.26 to $11.43per month, effective Feb. 1.Stanford Caillouet of New Sarpy urged the council to table the matter for the incoming council. Cletus Martin of Luling also pointed out seniorcitizens with little trash pay as much as large families.

Regardless, the fee was increased by a 7-2 vote, with Dickie Duhe and Bill Sirmon voting against the rate hike.

Parish President Chris Tregre pointed out the solid waste fund is projected to have a $146,000 deficit because the fee had not been increased earlier, but it has been repeatedly postponed by the council.

The meeting opened with an hour-long tribute to those office-holders leaving, including Tregre, Duhe, Sirmon, Johnson, Brian Champagne and Ellis Alexander.

Each was presented with a plaque and spoke briefly, thanking the public, council staff and their families.

Back to business, the council failed to approve an 11-cent recycling collection fee because, by that time, Johnson and Alexander had left the meeting early, leaving seven members. The vote was 5-2 in favor, withChampagne and Duhe voting against the rate hike, but six votes are necessary to raise a parish fee.

Caillouet also addressed the council and almost apologized for his regular harangues against them at virtually every meeting. He said people bringthese matters to his attention.

Caillouet has been forcibly evicted at times from the meetings for discourteous and annoying behavior. “I’m just fighting to have a betterparish,” he said.

In other business, the council paid tribute to the late Wanda “Sue” Bosco, who worked for 29th Judicial District Attorney Harry Morel’s office for more than 20 years.

Also, the council declared Dec. 20-24 as St. Charles Toy & Gift Fund week,in support of Richard Keller’s efforts.

The council approved a new formula for funding the parish’s volunteer fire departments. As it continues to stand, each department receives a monthlybase amount of $2,500 from sales tax revenues and the remainder on a percentage basis.

Those percentages are based on a structure count, where each fire protection district is responsible for a set amount of structures. The morestructures, the more funding.

The highest amounts go to Luling VFD (29.52 percent), East Side VFD(23.07 percent), St. Rose VFD (16.71 percent) and Norco Area VFD (10.19percent).

The remaining percentages are as follows: Hahnville VFD (5.88 percent),Paradis VFD (4.79 percent), Allemands VFD (4.68 percent), Bayou GaucheVFD (3.69 percent) and Killona VFD (1.47 percent). No percentage changesfrom the old formula changed by more than 1 percent, Richard Bordner, president of the St. Charles Firemen’s Association, said.In other action, the council also: Accepted donation of a parcel of land from Frank and Gloria Gagliano for the use of the new St. Rose library branch. Approved a $2 million line of credit for St. Charles Parish Hospital, thelargest ever, according to administrator Fred Martinez. It was approved ina 5-1 vote, with Dee Abadie voting against it.

Approved a letter of no objection, after the fact, to Willowridge Estates Phases IV and V, approximately 213 lots.

Earlier, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asserted the area fell intowetlands designation and residents already in place faced the possibility of being forced out.

However, as Coastal Zone Management coordinator Earl Matherne pointed out, the subdivision had already met all legal requirements in 1995 and 1996, prior to the change in wetlands designation in August 1997.

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