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Vernon McManus

Condemned properties claim council’s time

Dilapidated houses consumed the Eunice council’s time at their regular February meeting Tuesday.
Four properties were on the agenda and the Board voted to condemn 151 S. St. George. No owner showed up for the hearing.
Two other properties considered for condemnation received extra time from the Board.
Property at 310 N. Beulah St. was condemned, but the Board gave owner Roger Price, who was present, time to tear the structure down.
Vernon McManus, city attorney, said, “We probably do have to go ahead and order the condemnation since it was set for the show cause hearing.”
The order would save the city from beginning the process again.
Price said he is in the process of tearing down the structure.
Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot said, “He is a man of his word.”
Property at 100 Fruge St. was given a 30-day extension from a condemnation vote.
Owner James Price Jr. said he is renovating the property and noted the “house is not falling down.”
McManus said the condition of the house is not fit for human habitation.
Price agreed to come to March Board meeting.
Property at 521 Fred St. opened up another conversation about the dilapidated structures in the city.
The Fred Street property is adjudicated to St. Landry Parish Government and was before the Board for a vote to hold a show cause hearing in March for a condemnation.
McManus said he met with Parish President Bill Fontenot about the property and four others that have been condemned that are owned by the parish.
Properties are adjudicated to local government when taxes go unpaid and there are no bidders for the property at a tax sale.
The parish has the legal responsibility for the properties, McManus said.
The city asking the parish to demolish and remove the debris from the property, he said.
McManus said the parish president agreed the property is the parish’s responsibility, but action is up to the Parish Council.
McManus said that under state law the city has a right to demolish the structures, but legal questions remain about suing another government.
McManus questioned whether it would be worth the city’s legal expense to take action against the parish government.
Parish properties condemned by the Eunice Board include:
230 Olivia St., condemned Nov. 13, 2018;
230 S. Mallet St., condemned Nov. 13, 2018;
460 N. Mallet St., condemned Nov. 13, 2018; and
760 Carron St., condemned Sept. 11, 2018.
The property at 410 Perrotti St. is adjudicated to the city and was condemned at the Dec. 10, 2019, Board meeting.
Alderwoman Germaine Simpson said the structures become Board business after a process that includes notification of the owner.
The mayor said the city is planning to address multiple locations in an attempt to rid neighborhoods of dilapidated structures.
In other business at the meeting:
— The mayor said the city’s Mardi Gras celebration begins Wednesday with the Taster’s Choice fundraiser for the Eunice Community Health Center. The event is scheduled at 6 p.m. at LSUE. Live music for the Mardi Gras begins Feb 21 on 2nd Street.
— A resolution to approve the 2019 Municipal Water Pollution Prevention Audit was approved.
— A liquor license was approved for Ashley and Christopher Fuselier for Cajun Station, formerly the College Junction Mudbugs.
– An apron overlay at the Eunice Airport was approved.

Eunice Today

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Eunice, LA 70535
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