Residents take back streets

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2002


LAPLACE – Residents in subdivisions in St. John the Baptist Parish are tired of trash, tired of abandoned automobiles, uncut grass and litter in the streets.

This week residents in the Cambridge/Colony subdivision are taking back their streets, with a little help from the parish officials.

At the Sept. 9 meeting of the Cambridge/Colony Homeowner’s and Concerned Citizens Association, Parish President Nickie Monica, Sheriff Wayne Jones, Parish Council members Melissa Faucheux, Duaine Duffy and Steve Lee, and representatives from the Planning and Zoning Department pledged support to the Cambridge/Colony Homeowner’s cleanup project.

The local dignitaries congratulated the newly reorganized residents’ association on its progress in the community, offering food donations, garbage pickup and workers for the first major cleanup project.

The new association of homeowners and residents in Cambridge/Colony is planning a multi-part volunteer cleanup project set to begin this week. The project officially kicked off Tuesday with the cleaning of the median on Cambridge Drive.

The Sheriff’s Office sent inmates to assist with the cleanup.

“The residents of Cambridge and Colony addressed a number of matters at the last meeting – abandoned cars, loitering late at night,” Jones said. “The Sheriff’s Office is working to address those problems.

“We have already adopted this road as one of the roads in the parish that we mow. Today, we brought an additional drum for trash and we are out trimming trees.”

The community clean-up project, known as “Operation Clean-Up,” will continue through Saturday. On Saturday morning, residents will be divided into groups and will walk through Cambridge/Colony, cleaning up trash left in the neighborhood.

The event will start at 7 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. Refreshments will be provided at noon for participants, parish officials and police.

Monica told residents at the meeting that two trucks and four divers would pick up bulk trash during Saturday’s cleanup. Monica also pledged four trash dumpsters and a donation of jambalaya for participants.

“Being back in the community for only two years, I have been hearing things (about public officials) I would not want to repeat, but I was very impressed at the turnout at the meeting,” Organization President Linda Dumas said. “I saw that the officials do care. But they are not going to care if you (the community) do not care. We can not complain about what we will not commit to.”

Resident involvement in the community is improving. About 70 residents met at the Arcuri Center last week for the second homeowners and citizens meeting. All seats were filled during the meeting.

Some residents stood in the lobby to hear public officials comment on the status of the neighborhood. But organization members said there work will go on until they have 100 percent participation.

“We want this to be a fire-burner,” said the Rev. John Brown. “We want this to spread throughout our neighborhood, in every area of LaPlace, in every subdivision in the River Parishes.”