VP City Council grants alcohol permit for Whistle Stop
A matter that was previously tabled on two separate occasions was resolved Tuesday as the Ville Platte City Council voted to approve an alcohol permit for The Whistle Stop 2 location on LaSalle Street.
According to attorney Anthony Dupre, who is representing the owner of the business Margo Fontenell, much of the confusion came from a box on the application form that was checked off in error. “There was an application dated August 8 that said Class A, but it was amended,” Dupre said. “The permit application dated August 21 is for a Class B permit, and that is the permit in play.”
A Class A permit allows for alcohol to be served on premises at a bar, a restaurant, or a distillery; while a Class B permit allows alcohol to be sold at a package liquor store and to be consumed off premises.
Dupre said the permit “is not for a bar in any measure or for a daiquiri shop where people will drive thru and get daiquiris.” He added, “It is for the same thing you would see at Country Cove. People will be able to walk in and buy goods. If they buy liquor, it must be consumed off premises.”
He continued, “I think it would be a benefit for the City of Ville Platte that is very concerned with blighted properties. The owners would fix this property. It would be nice looking, and it’s not going to be anything of ill repute on that premises.”
Fontenell informed the council that the store will be open six days a week from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. It will be closed on Sundays, and there will be private security on site. She also said, “We’re going to be selling crawfish. You can buy them and eat on the deck that was built, but there will absolutely be no open containers.”
“I would ask you to please be mindful of ARC that’s right next door across the street,” replied Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. “They are dear to the community. The least little thing that’s out of routine could disturb them, and that’s what we don’t want because anything that could disturb them as far as noise or crowds could be very detrimental to their health.”
Tommy McFarlain, on behalf of ARC, stated, “We were misinformed before last month’s meeting. We thought it was a bar, but we’re glad to find out it will be a package liquor store like it has been for a long time. I would ask; though, that they respect our parking because with parking comes trash.”
Upon recommendation of Councilman Bryant Riggs, Dupre stated that there will be no soliciting and no loitering signs.
Also approved during the meeting were liquor permits for Adham Salam at Mark’s Corner and Drive Thru located at the old Tobacco Tavern, for Lynwood Hebert at Hebert’s Boudin and Cracklins located at the old Country Cove, and for Kelli Buller at the Louisiana Cotton Festival. Another liquor permit was tabled during the meeting for Beant Singh at Cheap and Best located at the old Shop’s Grocery across from the old Cary’s Sporting Goods. The permit was tabled because of confirmation on certain paperwork.
The council then heard from Arthur Sampson about the city’s drainage problem. At the end of his four minutes, two city councilman agreed with Sampson about the issue.
“We have a serious problem here,” said Councilman Mike Perron. “When we were growing up, we didn’t have that problem. Today, there are a lot more homes built which stops the drainage. The canals have a problem, but we have a more serious problem with people setting their own culverts in the neighborhoods.”
Perron added, “Every time there is a flash flood, I take a ride and see when the coulees are full then the canal is full. It’s not just a problem here, it’s a problem further down too with the coulees.”
Councilman Bryant Riggs commented, “It’s a big issue. The more concrete you put around here, then the more it’s going to flood. Just ask Lafayette Parish. But, that’s not an excuse. We still need to clean that canal.”
No action was taken by the council on the drainage issue.
Later in the meeting, Mayor Vidrine reported that the driveway to McDonald’s is fixed. “The chief operating officer of McDonald’s called me and said he will come have coffee and see it for himself,” she said. “We want to thank McDonald’s for keeping their word, and we’re still working on the entrance to Popeye’s.”
The mayor also reported that 16 abandoned properties were cleared since last month’s meeting bringing the total to over 100. She went on to say that the worst of the remaining properties are owned by the Evangeline Parish Police Jury. “I was informed by the police jury that they are putting the properties that belong to them for sale,” reported Mayor Vidrine. “They have done a stipulation that if someone buys one of those properties then a condition is they have to tear down the house within 90 days or the sale will not be valid.”
In other business, the council voted to hire three patrol officers and one dispatcher for the Ville Platte Police Department.