Accolade-minded St. James Council closes 2012

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

By David Vitrano

VACHERIE – The St. James Parish Council mostly reserved it last meeting for accolades for both community members and parish employees.
First up was the 9- and 10-year-old Vacherie Ram youth football team, winners of the youth football league Super Bowl. Both players and coaches were awarded certificates of achievement by Councilman Ken Brass, his fellow councilmen and Parish President Timmy Roussel.
Coach Lionel Harry, who was not the head coach of the winning team but who has been involved with the program for 36 years, said, “They really did a great job this year.”
He noted that the main reason for his involvement in the program, however, has little to do with winning championships and everything to do with keeping area youth off the streets and out of trouble.
Said Harry, “It makes me feel that I’m doing something worthwhile.”
Also honored were several parish government employees who served from 20 up to 40 years.
Additionally, the council heard from Judge Jude Gravois, who heads up the parish’s beautification program, Keep St. James Beautiful.
“We had a very productive year,” said Gravois. “We have a very passionate group.”
He said the group focuses on three main areas — anti-litter campaigns, recycling and beautification — and touted some of the group’s accomplishments over the past year, especially in the area of recycling.
The parish saw the return of recycling in 2012, and there are five bins available to drop off recyclables throughout the parish.
“It seems like they get full pretty fast,” said Gravois.
He added that Keep St. James Beautiful is pushing for the eventual return of curbside recycling to St. James Parish.
On the side of business matters, the council approved the donation of a F-250 pickup to the North Vacherie Volunteer Fire Department. Although the fire department provided the funds to buy the vehicle, the parish purchased this truck under its fleet account, saving the fire department approximately $8,000.
Lastly, the council gave its OK to the reappointment of Florian Oubre to the St. James Parish Housing Authority Board.
The St. James Parish Council will hold its first meeting of 2013 today at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse in Convent.