Editor and Contributing Writer
Featured Photograph: Wayne Ardoin (Photograph by Freddie Herpin)
One St. Landry Parish Council member is asking parish government officials to investigate why trash stuffed inside apartment complex dumpsters is apparently continuing to spread onto nearby residential properties.
Home owners living adjacent to apartment buildings across from the former Wildlife and Fisheries building on La. 182 south of Opelousas and others located in another set of apartments in the Linwood East subdivision are complaining that overfilling in commercial dumpsters has sometimes infiltrated their yards, says council member Wayne Ardoin.
One owner of the apartments allegedly became irate Ardoin told Finance Committee members when asked by home owners to regulate the garbage from apartment dumpsters that they said had begun trashing their residences. “When one person asked this landlord about the situation with items that were falling into his yard, the landowner became abusive (with the home owner). I’m just trying to get some help for these people who have to pick up trash that is going into their yards,” Ardoin told Committee members Wednesday night.
Committee member Nancy Carriere agreed with Ardoin that excess trash sometimes becomes an issue at apartment complexes, especially when tenants leave while leaving behind the contents of their apartments. “When these tenants move out and leave stuff at the street or the side of the road, someone has to be responsible. I also think that in these situations it’s up to the landlords to become a little more responsible,” Carriere said.
Ardoin asked parish code enforcement director Richard Lewis to assist with identifying apartment complex dumpsters that have become problematic because of trash. “I would like for (Lewis) to speak with some of these landlords and explain to them the problem that people are having. These people clean up their yards and they deserve better,” Ardoin said.
At one apartment complex that Ardoin did not identify, he said there have been two vehicles – a truck and a Buick – which have been parked on the premises and need to be moved.
Council Attorney Garrett Duplechain said the parish has what he called a “junk ordinance,” which has both civil and criminal remedies for excess littering in yards. Fines associated with the ordinance could reach as high as $500 for each offense, Duplechain said.