City Council Moves  Forward On Property Condemnations

The Winnfield City Council acted at its May 9 meeting on its longstanding policy of property condemnation by setting a 60-day timeframe for four property owners to take action on sites while tabling action on a fifth as that situation is reviewed.

The first, Timothy Blakely, spoke on his own behalf, explaining that they had purchased two adjacent properties with the intent of tearing down one to provide additional land space for the second.  However, he said he is a disabled veteran and his wife is also disabled so the work progress is slow as they are doing it themselves.  Their home is on Allen Street and the demolition project is adjacent on South St. John Street.  The council agreed to another 60 days.

Attorney Jonathan McDow represented the next three cases, those being properties of Julius Camp, David D. and Kathy M. Brown and Reba Teresa Thomas Miller.  He gave a report for each and presented paperwork to city attorney Herman Castete.  The city attorney gave a brief summary of the process to council members, showing the start-to-finish time from condemnation to clearance is not as quick as might seem expected.  The council also allowed 60 more days on these.

McDow also reported on the fifth property, that belonging to Constance Meadore.  He said the property owner had not yet replied to his inquiries.  Members voted to table action while the matter is reviewed.

In other business, the council agreed to dissolve the city’s contract with Chad Parker and to further review a proposal from Institute for Building Technology & Safety (IBTS) as a provider of building and electrical service inspections.  Speaking for IBTS, Joseph Migues told the council that Parker had cited too few inspection orders to continue his service.

Migues said he was in Natchitoches one day when a Winnfield call came in and he completed that inspection the same day.  Similarly, he’d conducted 17 or 18 inspections in a timely fashion.  The company conducts a full range of inspection services, including new construction, renovation and code inspections.

The council also approved Ordinance 2 of 2023 which takes into the city limits the property of the Winnfield Animal Clinic on Hwy 167 north.  The target is to bring in all properties on both sides of the highway up to the Hwy 156 (Calvin Road) intersection.  This will allow the city access to available grant funds for sewer line extensions for those properties.

Winnfield City Council took action at a short meeting May 9 with three of five members.  From left are Teresa Phillips (Dist. 5). Mayor Gerald Hamms. Ada Hall (Dist. 2), Erikia Breda (District 1), city clerk Katina Smith and city attorney Herman Castete.  Absent were Chiquita Caldwell (Dist. 3) and Matt Miller (Distr. 4).