City Council sets penalties for "no knock" ordinance
By Crystal Nix
Members of the DeQuincy City Council unanimously approved moving forward with a no-knock ordinance in the community. During the April 13 regular council meeting, the council adopted the first ordinance governing peddlers, solicitors and canvassers, that I have named the “no-knock” policy. As part of the ordinance, door to door salesman, peddlers and solicitors will be required to register with the city, purchase a $500 permit (per person, not per business) and then abide by no-knock stickers displayed on residents’ homes. Stickers will be available in the future at city hall. Violators could receive a $1000 fine and, after three violations, can be permanently disbarred from doing business in the city.
Rolling vendors, vendors that set up in a stationary tent or stand and do not knock on doors, will be charged a permit fee of $250 a year. Vendors selling handmade arts and crafts or agriculture products will be charged $50 a year. However, vendors selling at a city sponsored event such as a farmer’s market, can continue to sell with no fee. All peddler permits will be suspended during Railroad Days Festival.
The council also approved an ordinance to sell 12 acres located near the Industrial Air Port to Deep South.
Mayor Henagan recommended the council look into establishing an ordinance that would require persons erecting a billboard in city limits to bring it before the council for approval. The council would take into consideration the location and size of the billboard.
Mayor Henagan thanked the City Crew, City Police and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s office for all of their hard work during Railroad Festival. Council Person Denise Maddox asked that the city consider creating one way roads on Main St. and College St next year during the festival. She noted that the parking on both sides of the road made a hazardous condition for two way traffic.
The council will proceed to the next step concerning the condemning the property on Seymour Pullman Lane. The parish inspector deemed the outside of the building at 88.9 and deteriorated, but was unable to inspect the interior. Council member Mark Peloquin expressed his concern that although it may be an eyesore, it may not be a danger to the community, and would like to look at the building personally to make an assessment. A letter will be sent to the owner with notification of a public hearing concerning the condemnation of the property.
North Perkins St. will soon be open. The bridge project is almost complete. The Mayor and Maintenance Supervisor Eddy Dahlquist inspected the project, and asked for a few adjustments in the work.
Mayor Henagan received notice from KCS Railroad that the final phase of area rail repair will begin April 21 and last until around the end of May. Approximately 20 miles of cross ties and rail will be replaced between Starks and DeQuincy over the next several weeks. The railroad crossing at Frazier St. is scheduled for repair, and will possibly be closed for a few days.
City Hall and City Court are now able to receive payments via credit cards. An online payment system will soon be available.
Mayor Henagan expressed concern over Senate Bill 194, which would allow for one person to be in a railroad engine cab. He feels it creates unsafe conditions, especially in an emergency. Regulations now mandate at least two persons to be in the cab.