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Chataignier council adds a part-time officer; discusses dog issue

A second part-time officer, Billy Ortego, was hired as the Chataignier Village Council met Monday.
Village Police Chief Clint Brasseaux msde the recommendation to hire Ortego at $300.00 per month.
“He is a resident of Chataignier, a veteran, and he’s been a police officer for close to 15 or 20 years,” Chief Brasseaux said. “Just him being right here in town and his knowledge would be a great asset to the community.”
The council also voted to move the other part-time officer, Kaleb Aymond, to hourly instead of salary. The move means Aymond would be paid $10.00 per hour not to exceed 30 hours per month.
Earlier in the meeting, Gail McDavid, the village administrator and a police officer for the village, reported he issued a second warning to a resident of the village for violating the leash ordinance.
A resident in the audience, then, thanked McDavid for issuing the warning “because the dog has been eating my chickens.”
As the public comments section of the meeting continued, other residents complained about loose pit bulls in the village.
Mayor Justin Darbonne commented, “We need to find the owners so we can see about getting the dogs out of town.”
“We know the owner of one of them,” said Chief Brasseaux. “Nobody wants to claim the other one, but somebody is feeding it.”
On a separate issue, the council then voted to introduce an ordinance authorizing the sale of village property on the corner of Church St. and 1st St. The total size of the property is 27.72 acres which was donated to the village in 1999. The property has since been subdivided into lots of varying sizes and prices. The prices range from $3,000.00 to $8,000.00.
A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is set for Monday, September 16, at 6:15 p.m., before the next council meeting.
The council also voted to turn those people with outstanding traffic fines over to a collection agency. According to Mayor Darbonne, other villages in the parish such as Pine Prairie and Turkey Creek have already done so.
Village Clerk Laken Fontenot said on the issue, “Our system dates back to 2014 or 2016, but we have around $30,000.00 in court citations that we have not collected.”
“I think we need to implement it because it’s a free service to us,” said Councilwoman Carolyn “Tu” Arvie, “and, plus, I’m tired of paying high insurance. I’ve been driving 45 years with no ticket and no wreck. I’m paying for someone with a suspended license who owes us for back tickets. We need the revenue.
In other business, the council heard from Evangeline Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Renee Brown and President Peter Strawitz.

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