St. James council rejects vote on stricter solicitation rules

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2008


Staff Reporter

CONVENT – The St. James Parish Council recently tabled a proposed ordinance that would impose stricter rules on public solicitation along major streets and thoroughfares in the parish, said Parish President Dale Hymel.

Hymel said that the council had requested more time to collect information on how the ordinance would be enforced before adopting it.

“We are still gathering information from surrounding parishes, who have similar ordinances,” said Hymel. “We want to make sure our enforcement is as fair and efficient as possible.”

Hymel said the proposal is designed to protect the safety of groups who “carry cans” in an effort to collect money. He said it is not designed to curtail those groups.

“We are just doing what we can to protect the wellbeing of our citizens,” said Hymel.

Hymel said the ordinance will limit the number of times groups can solicit per month, and set guidelines on how long they can collect. The ordinance will also put limits on the number of people soliciting money at any given time, and set age limits on participants.

In other action from the meeting, the council rejected all bids received regarding construction of new recreation buildings for District 5, because all of the bids came in over budget.

Hymel said the project calls for the construction of a multipurpose building that would include a gym, an auditorium, and a computer lab. Hymel said all bids came back over engineered and over designed. He said one bid came back almost $900,000 over the $1.4 million budget set up for the project. He said the parish would re-advertise for bids at the next meeting, scheduled for June 18.