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An amendment requiring that all business applications be approved by aldermen was introduced Tuesday night at Ridgecrest Town Council’s regular meeting.

The introduction met adamant opposition by attendees and Mayor Veller Ray Carroll promised to veto it next month if pushed through.

The amendment to Ordinance 54 which pertains to occupational licenses is designed to bring aldermen into the business approval process. Currently, Carroll is solely pegged to consider the applications.

Another aspect of the amendment is that it would require all business owners to renew their occupational licenses annually.

Jimmy Wilkinson, local business owner, voiced opposition to this part of the amendment.

“So, I am going to tie up $500,000 or $600,000 a year in your town, and I am going to rely on this board to approve this (occupational) license,” Wilkinson said. “If it was a new license for a new business I would understand. You have the power to remove or revoke a license at any time. I think (a business) will come across discrimination.”

The introduction was passed with a motion by Councilman Rita Boyler and a second by Darlene Humphries. Deborah Barrett voted against the introduction.

“To me, I feel like we are getting into the company’s business,” Barrett said.

After hearing Wilkinson, Carroll switched stances.

“We have already voted on (the introduction) but when it comes back before the board, I will veto it,” Carroll said. “I agree with Mr. Wilkinson.”

Meanwhile, an amendment was introduced limiting each town household in Ridgecrest to five dogs. This also was met with backlash from attendees.

If passed, the move would amend Ordinance No. 2 pertaining to dogs.

According to the amendment, all violators of the ordinance would be punished by a fine of “not less than $10 or more than $200, and/or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.”

If a dog owner has a litter of puppies resulting in more than five dogs, the owner would have until the puppies are 16 weeks to “once again adhere to the limited five dogs per ordinance.”

The initial ordinance amendment was done improperly due to the fact it was introduced and approved in the same meeting and not advertised in Ridgecrest’s official journal, the Concordia Sentinel.

“How are we going to go around knocking on doors counting dogs,” Carroll said. “I’m not going to get shot over a dog. I think there should be a grandfather clause (in this amendment). I think we need to put an addition on it that says what you got now; you can have them.”

In other business, aldermen introduced an amendment giving each alderperson “their regular salary plus $25 for each additional meeting held and attended within the month.”

The motion passed unanimously.

In another matter, aldermen discussed allowing mobile homes within Ridgecrest’s corporate limits to fill vacate lots. If approved in a future meeting, aldermen agreed homes should have tight stipulations regarding appearances.

“We have 10 or 12 lots that could be sold,” Carroll said. “I’m trying to bring revenue to Ridgecrest and clean it up.”

Additionally, Ridgecrest and Ferriday officials are working on finalizing a water purchasing contract.

“I’ve been working with Ferriday and Sen. (Glen) Womack on our water,” Carroll said. “I feel like we have reached an agreement but have not signed a contract. This will be to our benefit, and Ridgecrest will come out good.”

(1) comment

Msnatashak77

I'm sorry but I don't understand why it should matter how many dogs you have in your own home as long as they are taken care of and remain on their property.I could understand if the town of Ridgecrest owned the homes where the doggies live or even if the people that live in Ridgecrest were made known this before they moved in the neighborhood. For instance when they come pay to get their water on you give them a rundown on the rules and regulations you have to follow to be able to live there. Then it would be there decision to live there or find somewhere else. You shouldn't just throw this out there and make residents abide by it. What about the bonds they have with their animals. I know my dogs are family and in no way would I break up my family for your new rule. We have been together for years. Some people are emotionally dependent on the companionship and love of their dogs. I also know that Ridgecrest has alot of stray dogs already ,well just think about the stray dog issue your going to have if you do this. So I'm asking you not as a resident but as a human being to rethink this. As long as the animals are cared for,stay on their own property, and are leashed if owner takes them outside of their own property. If they don't have a gated yard request that they be leashed and chaperoned when they go out to potty. And if you don't have a gated yard they must live inside don't allow them to just chain them up outside because 90% of dogs living chained up outside aren't being properly cared for. It's okay to let them out on chain or cord for outside time but not okay for them to live like that in my opinion. Just get stricter on the dog situation as every town should so dogs aren't running around from house to house,arent attacking other animals or people,arent being a nuisance,and are being taken care of. If they cant be a responsible dog owner then they shouldn't have any dogs. I do know the Engineer family is on the brink of a mental and emotional breakdown because of someone in office telling them they have to get rid of their furbabies and their animals are family like mine. Madeline doesn't have children just as I can't have children and our babies are not just a pet. They are our babies,the only thing we have gotten to raise,care for,teach right from wrong,and our furbabies is what we have that love us unconditionally like most children do their moms. They are what God chose us to be momma's too and you can't go tell a mom that she has to give up five of her ten children because it's a rule in this town that we forgot to let you know about prior to your moving to the neighborhood,but we are going to start enforcing it starting today. No mam I would go to war with you,the town,whomever over relinquishing any member of my family because you say I have too many children. So to those of you who do govern the village of Ridgecrest please rethink this whole situation and even check the statistics or read a few articles on what this could do to the doggie and the owners physical,emotional,and mental health before creating catastrophe ,being the recipient of avoidable lawsuits,or jeopardizing any person or any dogs health.

And the trailer proposal is a good well thought one. Fill those lots up with residents. No sense in leaving them how they are. There are nice trailors and manufactured homes these days and I'm sure your village will be just as beautiful as ever. And I'm praying for the water issues to work out in the villages favor. I know the residents get cranky over this as residents have in ferriday,and Clayton. Just be patient and know that a change is in process. All our Parishes water systems are just old and wore out and in need of some overhauling but it can't happen as quick as we think it should. It's alot more to it than calling a plumber. Have Good day everyone,and in no way is this post meant to be rude,disrespect,or step on any toes. As a dog owner and lover I have to be a voice for those who can't speak for themselves.[smile]

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