Brown sparks council to demolish old Wishing Well building

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

Donaldsonville District 4 Councilman Rev. Charles Brown, Sr. ignited a hot topic at the city council’s Feb. 10 meeting at City Hall. Brown asked to amend the agenda to discuss where the where the city is on the abandoned properties project. Per his request, the agenda was amended. The outcome of the discussion revealed a lot of similar feelings about the lack of success the city has had in getting rid of the blighted properties in the community.

But nonetheless, the council voted unanimously, 4-0 with the absence of Raymond Aucoin, to begin the demolition process on the Wishing Well building on Lessard Street.

“It’s been brought to my attention for quite a while,” Brown told the council and mayor before the vote. “Of course we don’t have finances to do what we need to do, but we have an individual who’s buying property and trying to rent property and there’s a building hovering over his building to where he can’t work on his own. The building has been up for demolishment for several years now and what does a person do with that?”

“We bring it up and talk about cleaning up our city but here a man is can’t do work on property he bought because of the blight. I think it’s unfair,” Brown said. “We need to try to find a way to do something about the blighted property. We made a promise and we started out on fire but it seems the fire has gone out.”

Mayor Leroy Sullivan told Brown and the council the building could be taken down within 30 days upon following the proper procedure.

“The city can do it. We have some we can do ourselves,” Mayor Sullivan said. “We just have to come to that point to where we just do it.”

Councilman Emile Spano chimed in and told the council the city has been fighting “this kind of stuff for almost eight years or longer – since I’ve been on board.”

“The system we have doesn’t work. We’re spending our wheels and spending money for nothing,” Spano said. “It doesn’t make sense what we’re doing.”

Spano said he still has records of names from when he began his term and nothing has been done.

“All we have is talk,” Spano said. “We’re continuously spending money and sending letters, and still doing nothing about it."

“I don’t know what to tell people anymore. We just aren’t doing our jobs,” Spano said.

Brown said the city needs to change how it is doing things because if it “doesn’t work why are we are we going to keep it in place.”

Mayor Sullivan said the procedure would begin and then it would “get to the point to where people come in and a push is made but the city gets too compassionate.”