St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot, left, handed out a list of roads that have received road material since the first of the year. At right, is Janel Simien, of Joe W. Road, who aired her complaints at Wednesday’s meeting of the St. Landry Parish Council on Wednesday in Opelousas. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)
Residents air road, drainage complaints (Pdf)
Two rural residents east of Eunice complained about bad roads and flooding dur- ing a St. Landry Parish Council Public Works Committee.
Andrea Edwards, of Lois Lane, said she is often trapped by a flood- ed road.
“Apparently public works is not getting the memo because our ditch- es are full of trash and trees and brush. Our bayou is a dumping site,” she said
Parish President Bill Fontenot said the flooding problem is from the road’s ditches.
Edwards said, “Between August and this year the children have already missed almost, I would say seven to 10 days of work and school. If I don’t get to work, we don’t eat.”
Councilman Timmy Lejeune said he understands Russell Schexnayder, Public Works director, told residents the road would be elevated.
“I do know that these people do everything they possibly can to fulfil their obligations — going to work, make sure their children go to school to the point they had to rent hotel rooms because they couldn’t get out,” he said.
“I’m sorry, I can only apologize to you. I don’t know what I can do, but I know that I’m going to get with Mr. Fontenot,” he said.
Also complaining about road and flooding conditions was Janel Simien of Joe W. Road.
Simien said she and her family moved there
in 2011 and the road has deteriorated.
“The roads were more solid then. Now it is garbage,” she said.
Under the Home Rule Charter, only the parish president directors road crews.
Despite a 15-year, $66 million bond issue to fund the Smooth Ride Home Program road-paving, the parish’s rural roads often draw complaints about maintenance and flooding at Council meetings.
About 300 miles of roads have been paved.
Lejeune said roads are graded on a nine-month schedule.
“There is about once every nine months a grad- er goes down that road,” Lejuene said.
“I promise you there is not 500 pounds of rock from 190 to the bridge.
It is all dirt. It may be buried under the dirt,” he said of the rock.
Fontenot handed out a list of roads that received road material valued at about $237,000 since the first of the year and pledge the area east of Eunice would get material as soon as possible.
“Your road is not on that list yet, but it is com- ing,” he said.
Simien offered dirt from her property to help build the road up and Fontenot seemed to accept the offer.
Chet Lee of Aldes Road in the Plaisance area also asked for road assistance.
“My ditches are silted over, culverts plugged up,” he said.
“It is bad. It’s bad enough to where no one can own a car down the road. We have to drive a truck,” he said.