BAKER — Anyone obstructing the city's drainage system would face fines under a proposed ordinance introduced at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
Offenders would receive a warning for the first violation, a $50 fine for the second and a $100 fine for the third.
The purpose of the fines is to ensure residents are taking care of their own drainage as much as possible before seeking funding from the state or federal government for larger projects, Councilwoman Glenda Bryant said.
“People are already telling each other about this, warning them not to blow leaves into the street,” Mayor Darnell Waites said.
He reminded residents that contractors who cut limbs from trees are required to haul debris away and it should not be placed in drainage ditches or left by the side of the road.
Although obstructing drainage has been illegal in Baker, there have been no fines attached to the law, which dates back to 1986.
The City Council voted in September to introduce an amendment adding the fines; however, since that time, the language was changed slightly, requiring a re-introduction, City Attorney Ken Fabre said.
The law prohibits the obstruction of water “over or on any street, gutter, ditch, drain, or on any property” owned by the city or the parish with any material including leaves, branches, sand or gravel. Constructing a driveway ramp that impedes the flow of water on a public street or right of way is also illegal.
Waites also introduced new city human resources director Amelia Georgetown, replacing former director Ashley Dewey, who left for another position.
Georgetown told the council she previously worked as the human resources director for Earl K. Long Hospital and later at LSU Health headquarters.
She retired from the LSU health system six months ago.
In other business, Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn announced the Police Department will sponsor the city’s first Treat Street for Halloween on Tuesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Baker City Park, 3325 Groom Road.
Off-duty police officers will decorate the trunks of their vehicles for the holiday and pass out candy to children. Other businesses and organizations are welcome to set up tents in designated areas throughout the park and may register by emailing email@example.com or calling (225) 226-8057.
A costume contest will be held.
Trick-or-treat throughout the city will be held at the same date and time.