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|Trash talk at FPPJ meeting|
The Franklin Parish Police Jury talked trash at Thursday night's regular meeting — concerning problems with litter, vandalism and an idea for a parish-wide dumpster site.
Jurors passed two ordinances aimed at improving aesthetics and safety in Franklin Parish.
First passed was a measure that imposes a fine up to $1,000 with jail time for anyone caught tampering with or stealing road signs.
Missing road signs due to vandalism is a growing problem, said juror Harvey Guimbellot, and those who are caught will be dealt with harshly.
"We are going to take them to court when we catch them and make sure they get the maximum fine," he said. "We are going to have to catch someone and make an example out of them."
Missing or destroyed road signs, besides being unseemly to look at, create safety issues and have the potential to cause problems in emergency situations, said jurors.
Also passed was an ordinance stating "It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to throw or place, and to leave upon the surface of any public road or highway or ditch thereof any scrap iron, brush, trash or rubbish of any description on any of the cross ditches of said public roads or highways."
The ordinance also makes it a crime for "a person or persons to plant or sow any crop of any nature whatsoever in or on any part of a public road, road ditch or right-of-way belonging thereto."
The ordinance also makes it illegal for someone to drive vehicles that "have the tendency to cut, plow, dump trash or dirt, or in any otherwise drive or operate any vehicle in any manner on said public roads which dig into the said roads or which destroy the said roads or ditches or dump trash or rubbish thereon."
People who are found violating any provision would be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100 and not more than $200 and would be put in jail for five days.
Jail time would increase by 30 days if fines are not paid.
In other business, the Police Jury formed an exploratory committee to look into creating a parish-wide dump site to help residents dispose of unwanted debris.
A committee to look into the matter was formed after the idea was brought forth in the meeting by Stuart Roan, owner of Evergreen Landscape in Chase.
Roan said he has worked in other places that have set up dumpsters managed by municipalities that could be accessed by people who have things they need to dispose of for a small fee.
"I think it would be a nice thing to plan and I think it would put Franklin Parish in a leadership position in this area. Other parishes would come here to learn how we do it and its nice to be the leader," he said.