BAKER — Owners of junked vehicles would have only seven days rather than the current 15 days to request a hearing with the city regarding their vehicles under a proposed ordinance introduced Tuesday by the Baker City Council.

If a vehicle is considered junk by state law, basically if it does not run, has no license plate and no inspection sticker, and if it is considered a nuisance, the city can inform the owner that the vehicle will be removed, Mayor Darnell Waites explained.

The proposed change would mean that once the city issues a citation to the vehicle owner or receives a response to a certified letter addressed to the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located, the vehicle owner has seven days to ask for an administrative hearing in front of the city attorney and other officials.

The proposed ordinance would also shorten the amount of time the vehicle owner has to repair or remove the vehicle after failing to request a hearing from 30 days to 15 days.

The city may extend, at its discretion, an extension of up to 15 days if the owner requests more time to remove or repair the vehicle, under the proposed ordinance.

A rash of recent complaints regarding junk vehicles and abandoned vehicles prompted the city to consider the change, Waites said after the meeting.

In other business, the council:

  • Heard from Waites that Baker utility customers will receive notice in their next bills that the city has finished replacing the nonfunctioning water meters. The first bills that reflect water usage for those customers who had broken meters might reflect up to three months of back usage. Customers should call the city if the billing of their previous usage causes a financial problem so officials can work out a payment plan for them.
  • Voted for Brenda G. Jackson to serve as city council president and Charles Vincent as vice president beginning July 1. Doris Alexander nominated Jackson and she, along with Vincent and Jackson, voted in favor of Jackson for president and for Vincent for vice president, with Pete Heine and Glenda Bryant voting against both nominees.
  • Appointed Angela Canady as city council clerk for another year.
  • Named a gazebo outside the Baker Heritage Museum in honor of retiring museum director Jean Byers.
  • Heard from Jackson that the Louisiana Rural Economic Development Summit will be held July 7-9 at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville.