The sign outside the Eunice Public Library may take on added meaning if a move by Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot continues to split the library at 2nd Street and Park Avenue off from the Opelousas Library. The issue is to come up at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting scheduled to begin with public hearings at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)
Eunice officials again looking at library split
The possibility of the Eunice library gaining its independence from the Opelousas library will be raised at Tuesday’s city Board meeting.
Mayor Scott Fontenot said, “I feel it time to split this library and we can maintain our own.”
Fontenot said he is asking Marion “Nootsie” Sattler, alderman at-large, to introduce an ordinance to take Eunice out of the Opelousas-Eunice Public Library.
Fontenot said the issue has been a priority for him.
“Currently, right now, the city of Eunice sends over $154,000 annually to fund the Opelousas-Eunice Public Library. I believe we can reduce expenses if would run our own here,” he said at Thursday’s agenda-setting meeting.
Fontenot said he has spoken to Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor about his intentions.
Budget issues have been raised with no success, Fontenot said. The library’s budget includes $34,700 for utilities and none of that money is spent in Eunice, he said.
There are 10 employees — eight full time and two part time — at Opelousas.
“In Opelousas, they have a janitor on staff at their library that’s paid out of the funds that we send over,” he said.
Eunice city government provides the janitorial service at the library at 2nd Street and Park Avenue.
“If Port Barre can run their own library, I believe the city of Eunice can also,” he said.
The Opelousas-Eunice library arrangement began in 1967, he said.
“This might have worked 50 years ago, but it is not working today,” Fontenot said.
Fontenot opened the library issue near the end of the Thursday meeting that included placing four ordinances on the Tuesday agenda.
They are: a 0.25 percent sales tax for public safety salary and benefits; amending the current budget; adopting a new budget; and abandoning an alley in the Gournay Memorial Addition.
Property at 511-A Pearl Street is named for possible demolition on the agenda. A show cause hearing is scheduled for the property that Bill Thompson, code enforcement officer, said has a broken door and three half open windows.
Another property, 150 Armide, is also to enter the process toward demolition, he said. The property has a camper in bad shape on it along with out buildings that need to be torn down, Thompson said.
Alderwoman Connie Thibodeaux said she will introduce an amendment to the city’s obnoxious weed ordinance lowering the height form 12 to 10 inches and revising notification to property owners.
Eunice Police Chief Randy Fontenot asked that three police vehicles be declared surplus by the Board. They are a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria with 105,000 miles; a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria with 114,000 miles; and a 2007 Chevrolet Impala with $160,000 miles.
The police chief said the department remains short-staff with eight officer and two jailer vacancies. There are three officers out on extended sick leave, he said.