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Ponchatoula , Louisiana
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February 23, 2017     The Ponchatoula Times
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February 23, 2017
 

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Driving it down the court Daniel Bergeron of the Ross Downing Pon- chatoula Recreation Team drives down the court during an exhibition game at halftime of the SLU- Nicholls State basketball game. ( Photo Courtesy Rhino Ulery ) FROM PAGE ONE What I like most about this parish is that if you get bored, it's your own fault. And if you see something you want to change, change it. No one will stop you and some might even give you a hand, but you have to take charge. He had one small handsome son and three beauti- ful young daughters, and quickly discovered there was not an event on the annual Ponchatoula calendar that would allow a young girl to show up wearing a dress. Believe it or not, that was in large part the incentive for the publisher parents to found the Krewe of Erin with itsformal tea, and toasts by the queen to the city, and myriad other events requiring a girl to dress. The Times publisher moved his young family to Ponchatoula at a time when the economy was taking a downturn, thanks to the big slump in the oil industry. Pine Street's wonderful small shops, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, winked out of existence one by one. Ponchatoula became a ghost town. He shot his mouth off once too often and the busi- ness community retaliated by electing him president of the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, which by this time amounted to a handful of businesses. In response, he and those others, largely of his generation, created "America's Antique City - Ponchatoula, LA" with can- THE TIMES, FEBRUARY 23, 2017, PAGE 5 non fire and chutzpah. Then the state shut our river down, banned swim- ming, put UP signs, and skedaddled off to Baton Rouge leaving us here hot and dry. The publisher and a new cadre of confederates start- ed Citizens For A Clean Tangipahoa (CFACT), which cleaned up the river and forced the state to give the No Swimming signs to the members as souvenirs (Ole Pinchpenny the Publisher still carries his in his car trunk). Independence is nothing but raw potential for great- ness. Mayor Mannino will be recorded as a patient vi- sionary for first, righting City Hall's operation and lay- ing the groundwork for the real labor to begin. Say what you will about Mike Ragusa and his mayor- alty, Independence is now positioned for vast economic growth, with essentially two major commercial strips, one linked to the outer world via 1-55. What we need now are those bold entrepreneurs, the dreamers among us, who can take advantage of all that pregnant commercial real estate that is now at our dis- posal, the foundation of a robust retail economy based on the foundation Mayor Mannino is hopefully about to build on. The point is, here you can put wings to your dreams, fend off evil with the help of your friends, improve the living situation for your family, survive in business and contribute to your community. "Move Here!" TOWN OF INDEPENDENCE PUBLIC NOTICES CONTINUED PONCHATOULA AREA RECREATION DISTRICT [] FROM PAGE ONE 700 feet of eight-inch pipe. contract for the 24-hour, Tangipahoa Parish gov- five days per week opera- ernment would provide tion. the manpower for install- Dufresne said the ing the pipe. transfer would be by hose Also, two additional from trucks to barges. The pumps would be installed wastewater will be trans- for water removal. The ported to Texas for dispos- commission unanimously al in injection wells. approved the project. An Atlanta company is Dufresne said he also interested in storing lure- wants to contact Dr. Jim ber at the port. Richarson, LSU econo- The commission autho- mist, about updating the rized Dufresne to proceed port's master plan. The with the construction of master plan is essential a small wood dock at the in applying for federal port at a cost of $30,500. grants, he said. Paul Taussin Pile Driving Co. submitted A soil test may be need- the quote. ed for construction of the The dock would be used flood wall along the south- by emergency responders east shoreline at the port. such as state He said the test would Department of Wildlife determine the amount of & Fisheries and by law en- weight the ground in the forcement for their area could hold. marine operations. The commission agreed A quote of $12,375 was to contract with Eustis received for the removal Soil Testing Services not of vegetation on a three to exceed $5,000 for the and one-half acres tract test, should one be neces- between Interstate 55 sary. and U.S. 51 in front of the Dufresne said he is port. Parish government negotiating a fee for the has been asked to remove off-loading of municipal large trees from the site. wastewater from trucks A separate quote of onto closed barges at the $2,145 was received to re- port. The unnamed corn- move vegetation between pany is seeking a 10-year U.S. 51 and port property. Queens Essa o eAO The company moved ey and Henry J. Lavigne. its large stock of feed and Mr. Pusey died in 1936 grain into the new build- and in 1944 the company ing in December 1926. was owned by Henry J. Business was good and Lavigne and his brother the company purchased Charles W. Lavigne and in 1927, a piece of adja- Charles' wife Kate Lavi- cent land to the east be- gne. tween their building and As Charles W. Lavigne the Pusey Building so that was the town postmaster wagons and trucks could and Henry Lavigne ran access the side entrance to Lavigne's Department their building. Store (later remembered Wright and Anderson as Hotard and Goode's continued to operate their Department Store), Kate business in Ponchatoula Lavigne ably managed the until December 1944when business for some years. they closed their store. Besides selling feed and The brick building was seed items, the Farm- immediately occupied by ers and Merchants Grain the Farmers and Mer- Company also handled chants Grain Company, groceries, meats, cement, Incorporated. The Farm- paint, and farm tools. ers and Merchants Com- pany had been chartered in Ponchatoula in 1923 by well known local business- men Andrew J. "Cap" Pus- q85-386 -32 2 Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous Roger Navarra: A motion was made by Voting was as follows: Yeas: Jim Paine, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez. Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous to amend. Festival Alcohol: A motion was made by Jimmy Gregory, Voting was as follows: Yeas: Jim Paine, Jimmy Gregory, Larry Luke Suarez. Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous to amend. Festival Lease: A motion was made by Jimmy Gregory, Voting was as follows: Yeas: Jim Paine, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez. Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous to amend Financial Matter: A motion was made by Luke Suarez, ella. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Jim Paine, Jimmy Gregory, Luke Suarez. Nays: None Absent: None " -~ Abstained: None Motion to amend was unanimous. to amend. Jimmy Gregory and seconded by Jim Paine. Larry Cardaronella, Calvin Batiste, seconded by Jim Paine. Cardaronella, Calvin Batiste, seconded by Jim Paine. Larry CardaroneUa, Calvin Batiste, seconded by Larry Cardaron- Larry Cardaronella, Calvin Batiste, Mayor Mannino stated that on the matter of Roger Navarra who has been having issues with sewer lines. Upon investigation from the town workers and the plumber that Mr. Navarra hired, it was discovered that his 2nd bathroom was never tied into the town sewer system. A motion was made by Larry Cardaronella, seconded by Jim Paine to reimburse Roger Navarra $1180.00 for expenses incurred due to town error in not hooking up his sewer line. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Jim Paine, Jimmy Gregory, Larry Cardaronella, Calvin Batiste, Luke Suarez. Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous to reimburse Mr. Navarra. A motion was made by Jimmy Gregory and seconded by Jim Paine to allow Mayor Mannino to go sign the lease for allow the festival to lease.town property. The lease is the same as it was last year for the sum of $1.00. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Jim Gregory, Larry Cardaronella, Cal- vin Batiste. Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Motion was passed unanimously. A motion was made by Jimmy Gregory seconded by Jim Paine to give Mayor Mannino to sign the letter to the Alcohol and Tobacco which would give the festival board permission to sell alcohol at the Festival. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Jim Paine, Jimmy Gregory, Calvin Batiste, Luke Suarez, Larry Cardaronella Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting to approve signing of letter was unanimous. A motion was made to go into executive session by Luke Suarez, seconded by Jim Paine. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. A motion was made by Larry Cardaronella, seconded by Calvin Ba- tiste to go back into regular session. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. A motion was made regarding the personnel matter that was discussed to terminate employment of Parnell Baham as maintenance supervisor by Calvin Batiste, seconded by Luke Suarez. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. A motion was made by Jimmy Gregory, seconded by Jim Paine in regards to a Historical District to provide a principal payoff which is the principal only remaining due on the loan. Interest and Penalties will be not included in the payoff..Voting was as follows: Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. A motion was made by Larry Cardaronella, seconded by Jim Paine to use existing restricted funds to $278,095.00. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Luke Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. pay off MERS in the amount of Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, A motion was made by Larry CardaroneUa, seconded by Jim Paine to remove the application to the Bond Commission. Voting was as follows: Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. A motion was made by Larry Cardaronella, enter in tO a hold harmless between the MERS or MPERS. Voting was Yeas: Larry Cardaronella, Jimmy Gregory Nays: None Absent: None Abstained: None Voting was unanimous. seconded by Jim Paine to past employees, the town and as follows: Luke Suarez, Jim Paine, Calvin Batiste, Meeting adjourned. s/Angelo Mannino, Mayor s/Robin Dagro, Town Clerk PONCHATOULAAREA RECREATION DISTRICT #1 CHAIRMAN AND BOARD The PARD # 1 held a regular meeting on Thursday, January 19, 2017. Rocquin called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. and the roll was called. Present: Byers, Fletcher, Palmer, Absent: Kennedy Guest: Emie Drake, Brian Martin Rocquin Rocquin called for the board to convene in executive session for the purpose of consulting with legal counsel. FletcPer made the motion to convene in executive session. The motion passed and regular meeting adjourned at 6:32 p.m. The board reconvene in regular session at 645 p.m. Fletcher made a motion to accept advice of legal counsel, as discussed in executive session, for Rocquin to act on behalf of the board in the settlement agree- ment. Byers seconded the motion. All board members present were in favor and the motion passed. Ronnie Rocquin asked the board to allow Ernie Drake with Drake Drake & Beckler to discuss contract with Premier Fence Company, Inc. Due to several issues the board decided to no longer continue backstop work on baseball fields' services from Premier Fence, LLC. A letter from Drake will end contract for this project. Fletcher made a motion to pay Premier Fence for materials delivered to PARD. Byers seconded the mo- tion and all present were in favor. Rocquin thanked Drake for his time. After review of the December 15, 2016 regular meeting minutes, By- ers made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Fletcher seconded the motion. There being no discussion, all board members present were in favor the motion passed. After a review of the financial provided by Martin, Fletcher made mo- tion to accept the financial review report. Byers seconded the motion and all board members present were in favor and the motion passed. Brian Martin, representing the Ponchatoula High School Alumni Band, discussed preforming a concert at the annual Firework Show. The con- cert would consist of a traditional selection of American standards, with approximately 50 band members performing for 30-45 minutes. Band will perform inside the park before the firework show. Martin invited the board to attend the next PHS Alumni Band meeting scheduled for March 16, 2017. Rocquin suggested the Alumni Band meet at the Event BUilding, March 16 to allow board members to visit the group before the regu- lar scheduled PARD meeting to further discuss plans for the Firework Show. Stevens reported on the following: Rental of the board conference room. Fletcher suggested to offer a reduced rate and move meeting to the Events Building and limit the conference room to use of park activities and sports programs. Rental of softball complex for a tournament just prior to the opening of baseball season was left up to the park manager. Work on the Event Building is completed. Batting cage vandalized and activity captured on camera and reported to authorities. Additional se- curity fence to deter vandalism. The cost of the additional security fence would cost an estimate of $13,900. Fletcher made a motion to budget up to $15,000 for the fence project. Additional quotes will be obtained by Stevens. Martin reported on the sports program from report provided to her by the Athletic Coordinator. Ponchatoula Basketball Association games were canceled due to weather conditions. Make up games were sched- uled for week of January 16. Baseball/Softball registration January 16- March 5, 2017. Per the Dixie Youth Baseball Board of Directors the new cutoff date for 5 year olds is Sept. 1st. Due to the "League Age Transition" approved by the Dixie Youth Baseball Board of Directors there is no T-ball for 4 year old this year. A complete listing of all Age Charts for the 2017 through 2023 seasons are available to view on the Dixie Youth website at youth.dixie.org. Rocquin discussed proposals for 2017 Firework Show. Bid was ob- tained from Artesian and two more bids are forthcoming. Date for this year show is July 3, 2017. Byers made a motion to adjourn. Fletcher seconded the motion. There being no discussion, all board members present were in favor and the motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m Ronnie Rocquin, Chairman Charlotte Martin, Secretary D [] Times Internet Edition -- www.ponchatoula.com/ptimes E-Mail: editor@ponchatoula.com or timesofindependence@gmail.com