D'ville's mayor says 'Tear it down'

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
An abandoned house and vehicle in Donaldsonville that the council will make a move to tear down starting January 8, 2013.

Donaldsonville's Mayor Leroy Sullivan and city councilmen are fed up with seeing burned houses still standing, unused vehicles and other "eyesores" around the city. Their solution now is to tear it down.

At the city's Committee of the Whole meeting, Sullivan brought to the counsel two days worth of pictures showing blighted and/or dilapidated property around the city and he said "enough is enough."

Sullivan said many of the owners of the properties have been asked before to clean it or rid of it, but as of yet it hasn't been done. On Jan. 8 the council will begin voting on which properties to be torn down first. It was discussed that each councilman of the five districts in Donaldsonville will start with the worst five properties in his district.

"This is just overwhelming," Chuck Long said, the city's attorney. "The community can't survive like this."

Long told the council that it has to hold property owners to the standard and tell them it will be demolished. The property owners get 30 days either fix it or tear it down his or herself. Five days after the 30-day grace period, the city has the right to come in and tear it down.

Councilman Reginald Francis of district 3, said he already has four of his five worst sent in now and that his cleaning will begin first of the other councilmen. Long said if the council could all get its five done in 2013 that it would be "historical."

Sullivan chimed in and said that's what we want.

"We want to make history in 2013," Sullivan said, about tearing down or removing 25 blighted and or dilapidated properties in the city.

"We want to let people know that we are serious about this," Francis said, who has the district with the most dilapidated properties.

An important thing the council wanted to make sure the property owners understood is just because the city would do it five days after the 30-day grace period doesn't mean it will be free.

Raymond Aucoin, councilman of district 2, said, "You don't want us to do it, because it's going to cost some money. It would be a lot cheaper to do it yourself."

Some of the city's elected officials admitted that their family members would ask if the city is "getting serious yet?" The answer is yes.

Francis' district will begin Jan. 8.

"It's terrible," Francis said.

Sullivan concluded saying that during election time one of the main things heard from the community was about the cleanup of the community.