DENHAM SPRINGS The City Council voted Monday to set the hours of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 for Halloween trick-or-treating in the city limits.
The council saw a conflict this year, with Halloween falling on a Friday. That same night is a regularly scheduled Denham Springs High School football game against Baker, the school's Homecoming game.
Mayor Jimmy Durbin said that due to of the festivities at Denham Springs High School that night, he felt the trick-or-treating should be moved to Thursday.
"I've always hated to change it," Councilman Robert Poole said of the trick-or-treating hours. "Halloween is Oct 31 and that's the day when everyone should be trick-or-treating."
Pool made a motion to keep the hours for Friday, seconded by Councilman Lori Lamm-Williams. However, the council chose to discuss the matter further.
Police Chief Jeff Wesley said while he would like to keep the designated hours on Friday, the problem is that his officers would be stretched thin to patrol neighborhoods during trick-or-treating while also monitoring the city for Homecoming celebrations.
"We'd like to keep it on 31st too, but it puts pressure on us having to watch football traffic and trick-or-treating," Wesley said. "If you decide to do it on the 31, we'll make do. But personally, I'd prefer it to be Thursday because of the safety standpoint with the football game."
Councilman Arthur Perkins Sr., who hold seniority over the other members of the council, said that in years past, the board has in fact moved the trick-or-treat hours whenever Halloween fallen on a football Friday and there's football
"It may have even been on Wednesday once," Perkins said.
Lamm-Williams brought up the issue that many Fridays are test days at the city's schools.
When the council came to a vote on the matter, all but Poole and Lamm-Williams voted against keeping the trick-or-treat hours on Friday. With that motion failing, Perkins moved that the council set the hours for Thursday. When the vote came around again, the only dissenting vote came from Poole.
In official reports, Building Official Chuck Vincent informed the council that the city did allow the permit for construction of a Chili's restaurant last Friday. Work on the site was set to begin this past Tuesday.
The council also voted to approve final payment to Professional Technical Software Solutions (PTS) for a mobile data terminal system for the police department.
"PTS has been working hard to complete the grant for a mobile data system for the police department," Durbin said. "The grant needs to be finished by Sept. 30."
Wesley informed the council that all but one aspect of the system is complete and ready to operate.
"The license plate check is an issue with the state, but it will be completed by mid day (Tuesday)," Wesley said. "Everything has been going well. We can run drivers' licenses and reports and all other things. For some reason, we didn't have permission from state for license plates. I was told that it was just an error and it will be corrected. As long as it's done by Sept. 30, we'll be ok."
In other matters, the board:
voted to approve sealed bids for six months of materials and supplies including dirt, sand gravel, limestone, concrete, fuel and piping and fire hydrants.
approved a request made by Labarre and Associates to pay $76,289.72 to Blount Contractors for work on the city's new Fire/Water Department building, located on Pete's Highway near Rushing Road.
moved to proceed with an application to the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) to obtain an extra point in the ranking process. This will help the city move up in the order of importance concerning a sewerage project in the Rodeo Drive/Eastover Estates area. The council also voted to pay a $35,000 administrative fee only if the city is approved by LCDBG.