by KAREN LAGRANGE COX
At tonight’s Broussard City Council meeting, there was standing room only in the council chambers.
The Council’s determination of the Emergency Access Only Gate on Deer Meadow Boulevard was on the agenda. Some residents of Deer Meadow Village and Paige Place subdivisions were present at the meeting. Many voiced their concerns about keeping or removing the gate on Deer Meadow Boulevard, which is just north of Wyatt Lane.
Some residents from Deer Meadow wanted the gate to stay, while others from Paige Place wanted the gate removed. Some who want the gate removed cited concerns about emergency responders taking longer to get to a residence in Paige Place during an emergency due to responders having to open the gate, which slows down response time. Sometimes it takes longer for the responders to find their way through the area to get to homes in Paige Place because they cannot open the gate.
Some of the residents in attendance who live on Deer Meadow Boulevard want the gate to stay to help keep traffic from using their road as a thoroughfare and to prevent speeders from using their road.
Paige Place Phase 3 does have two entrances/exits; however, one exit is through Deer Meadow Boulevard, where the gate is located, and they have to navigate through the neighborhood to get around it.
April Theriot, who lives in Phrase 3 of Paige Place, expressed her concern the gate could delay emergency response for her daughter, who has epilepsy. Martin Sampson, a cardiac nurse who lives in Paige Place Phrase 3 also wants the gate removed.
Pamela Richard, who lives in Deer Meadow, spoke before the council, saying she wanted to keep the gate operational. She also voiced her concern about the residents affected by this were not given notice about notice of the agenda item regarding the gate for tonight’s meeting. She stated she found out about the item being on the agenda the day the Council meeting agenda came out. Richard questions whether the desire for the gate to be removed is a safety or convenience and is concerned about speeders on Deer Meadow Boulevard.
Paul Dupre, a veteran, told the council his only exercise is walking. Dupre must walk on the roadside because Deer Meadow Boulevard does not have sidewalks. He is fearful of speeders and increased traffic if the gate is removed.
Some residents who spoke during the meeting questioned why the gate is an issue now; the gate was approved by the City Council in 2015. Residents also said the gate was not maintained and connected to electricity that would have allowed for automatic opening. The gate must be manually unlocked, which will slow emergency response.
During the Council discussion, District 3 Council Member Jesse Regan said, “Two wrongs don’t make it right,” referring to the 2015 council vote for the gate. Regan, who has been on the council since 2019, advised the road where the gate is located is a public road that should not have a gate on it. He also stated that either way the council votes on the gate, some will not be happy with the vote.
Alderman-at-large Jeff Delahoussaye, who has also been on the council since 2019, echoed Regan’s sentiments. He added that the gate could be removed, and a traffic monitor study could be performed. To help curb speeding, it was suggested by Delahoussaye for Broussard Police to have larger presence in Deer Meadow. He also stated that after the gate is removed, a traffic study could be done to see if speeding is a problem and additional measures like stop signs to slow traffic passing through. He said even sidewalks could be considered.
The council voted unanimously for the gate to be removed.
In other matters of tonight’s council meeting:
The ordinance for Adoption to amend 2022/2023 Operating Budget of Revenues and Expenditures to increase authorized expenditures by $225,000 for Lake Talon Road Water Wells was approved unanimously by the council.
UPDATE June 4, 2023: As noted in Broussard City Council Minutes from April 25, 2023, the water site will be metered. According to Joy Rabalais, an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Broussard, the company to utilize the water wells on Lake Talon Road is SafeSource Direct.
Queyen Tan Le, owner of the property located at 219 Leon Street was slated for condemnation as it is in disrepair. Le requested that the council allow him time to fix the property as he is seeking an investor to purchase the property. Council agreed to give Le thirty days to provide a contact with an investor or to show he has bank financing to fix the property. Le has five days to board the property to prevent unauthorized access. The council voted to condemn the property and then suspend the condemnation for thirty days. If Le completes does not keep his promises to move forward in repairing the property, then the property will automatically be demolished.