Calcasieu Police Jury targeting blighted properties

Published 8:12 am Friday, August 19, 2022

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury started the process of getting hurricane damaged properties repaired or torn down at the Thursday’s meeting.

“After tonight’s vote, we will begin the process of sending out official notifications by way of certified mail,” said Wes Crain, parish planning and development director.

Crain said owners have already been given a courtesy notice. The 20 properties announced at the meeting are spread across various districts, East, South and Southwest Lake Charles; Moss Bluff, Carlyss; LeBleu Settlement; Bell City; Starks, North, Northeast and West Sulphur; and Westlake.

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These properties represent the tip of the iceberg considering the number of properties that will need to be dealt with. The public is invited to report blighted property concerns to the parish for investigation.

“So many of these properties are cost prohibitive to repair and bring up to code,” Crain said.

An official notice starts the clock ticking. It gives the property owner the opportunity to tear down, make safe, neaten or repair structures or hire a contractor to do so

“The cost of a demolition permit is $25,” Crain said, “and the parish is not in the demolition business. Nor do we want to be. It will cost more – the owner will receive our bill – if we have to clean up the property than it would for the homeowner to take care of it.”

Property owners can show cause as to why structures on the properties should not be condemned at the October 6 CPPJ Meeting or the first regular meeting thereafter.

Lemoine Disaster Recovery Services was approved after review of proposals from seven other companies to supply the parish with emergency mitigation such as cutting out sheetrock and tarping roofs – immediately – in the advent of a disaster.

Lemonie Company’s bid  was approved for the Rehabilitation of the Wastewater Treatment Facility Plant (Mallard Junction). Bid total was $2,310,845. (The Police Jury serves as the governing authority of the Sewerage District No. Eleven of Wards Three and Eight (Lake Charles area.)

Ordinances were adopted and approved – with conditions outlined at the planning and zoning meeting earlier in the week – to rezone 240 and 248 Jones Road in Ward One (Moss Bluff area) from mixed residential to multi-family for the development of 28 single units; 8049 Elliott Road in Ward 3 (South Lake Charles) will go from Agriculture to General Commercial for a farmer’s and vendor market, concrete garden yard ornaments and horticulture nursery; the single family residential zoning at 5700 Block of Highway 14 in Ward Three (Lake Charles) will go to General Commercial for a restaurant drive thru.

Guy Brame, District 8 put forth the motion to adopt a resolution of condolences to be forwarded to the late Anthony Claue “Buddy” Leach, Jr., family. Leach was a former State Representative and US. Congressman and a local businessman.

Brame and Roger Marcantel and Brian Abshire spoke briefly about Leach.

“There is one thing, you always knew where you stood with Buddy Leach,” Abshire said. He did not mince words, and I really appreciated that about him. He will be missed.”