OPELOUSAS — The introduction of an amended ordinance regulating trail rides on parish and state highways — the fourth in the past three years — was approved Wednesday by the St. Landry Parish Council.
A public hearing will be held at the council’s next monthly committee meeting, which will be held before the council votes on the issue at its November meeting.
The council approved an ordinance for trail rides earlier this year, but that ordinance, which limited the number of horses to 500 per event, was vetoed by Parish President Don Menard earlier in October.
The updated amendment provides the parish president with the authority to approve trail ride applications, increases the number of horses allowed per event to 1,000 and allows the council to act as an appellate board to resolve any disputes if an application is denied.
In other business, the council:
POLICE DEPARTMENT FUNDING: The council also voted to deny a request by the Sheriff’s Department to use the portion of Evangeline Downs Racino funds the department previously gave to the Opelousas Police Department.
According to a Finance and Administrative Committee report, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz requested a rededication of the funding if the Opelousas Police Department is not using the funds for vehicles and equipment.
Guidroz said the money would help with the costs of processing applications for trail rides.
However, OPD Chief Perry Gallow told the council that his department is using the racino money to purchase vehicles for the department.
A 2011 amended budget presented at the meeting shows OPD received $185,333 from racino funding.
VETERANS MEMOIRAL BOARD: The council approved a five-member board of control for a parish veterans’ memorial project, which began seven years ago
The board members are: Patricia Mason-Guillory, Eli Landry, Ira Tate Sr., Brach Myers and Harvey Darbonne.
The nonprofit memorial will be on donated property off La. 182 south of Opelousas and supported by donations.
FIRE DISTRICT TAXING DISTRICT: Also the council approved a taxing district for First Protection District 7 in the northern part of St. Landry.
Council member Ronald Buschel said the First District has an elected board approved by the council.
A proposition presented at Wednesday’s meeting included a 10-year, 10-mill property tax for operational expenses, maintaining facilities and equipment which is set for an April 21 election.