Solid waste discussed at council meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / February 9, 2000

CONVENT – Kevin Belanger of the South Central Planning and Development Commission introduced the South Central Louisiana Solid Waste District to the St. James Parish Council last week.The new district was formed in July 1999 by the Louisiana House of Representatives. The district can comprise Assumption, Lafourche, St.Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary and Terrebonne parishes,if the parishes desire to join as members. At least two parishes must chooseto join in order for the district to form, Belanger explained.

Belanger told the council what the responsibilities and requirements of the district are, saying its main purpose is to help manage solid waste, or trash.

The district will oversee every step of the disposal from recycling to collection to the creation of landfills.

The district’s board will be created with two representatives from each parish wishing to join. If a parish does join, the towns in the parish are notautomatically signed up. If the towns do decide to join, they are asked tosubmit their nomination for the board members.

The parishes can join freely before the first of July; after that date the existing member parishes must vote them in.

Belanger stressed the district regulations would be very considerate of each parish’s concerns. In order to pass a regulation, the board must voteunanimously.

Belanger said he wanted to assure the council the district is not going to overthrow current methods of waste disposal.

“We’re not trying to take business away from private contractors,” he said.

In another matter, the planning commission met and called to order with the Parish Council in order to discuss concerns over family subdivisions.

The subdivisions have caused problems in the past as families have divided up their lands and built on the different sections, the commission explained.

The problems lie in the fact that the parish is often requested to perform upkeep on roads, drainage ditches and other such areas. Often the rights ofway needed to reach or maintain these tasks have been fenced across or built upon by the land owners.

Belanger advised that in the future the commission specify that all upkeep on family subdivisions be the sole responsibility of the owners.

Also at the meeting, recreation supervisor Dennis Roussel updated the council on the activities of his department. He said the Lutcher Park fieldlights would be ready for the games in April, and he explained that although the St. James Night at the Jan 29 Kingfish game was canceled, the game hasbeen rescheduled for March 10. Tickets can be traded in for the later dateor refunded at the St. James Fitness Center in Lutcher.

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