AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council unanimously voted Monday to deny a permit application for the construction of a salvage yard in the Uneedus area of the parish after a procession of residents denounced the proposal.
About 120 residents from the east central portion of the parish packed the council’s meeting room, applauding and cheering as each speaker denounced the proposed salvage yard.
Brian Schweda, who now operates a salvage yard in Belle Chasse, requested the permit at the council’s meeting two weeks ago to open the salvage yard at La. 40 and Mansfield Road.
Charles Moffett, who said he lives near the site of the proposed salvage yard, presented a lengthy video presentation to the council outlining his objections to the project, which included that it would be an eyesore, create excessive noise and release chemicals in junk cars that could cause pollution, and the yard could lead to a reduction in property values in the area.
Resident Fred Kophler questioned the impact that large trucks headed to the salvage yard would have on roads in the area, which he said are already being “torn up” by lumber, sand and gravel haulers.
After a lengthy discussion, Councilman Greg Varnado, who represents the area where the proposed salvage yard was to be located, said he was going to oppose it because residents in the area were against it and parish ordinances prohibiting the storage of dangerous and hazardous chemicals on private property could also be violated if the salvage yard were permitted to operate.
In other business the council:
WAKE ZONE ISSUE RESOLVED: The council reached an agreement on the controversial no-wake zone on the Tangipahoa River from U.S. 22 to the river’s mouth at Lake Pontchartrain.
The council agreed to suspend the enforcement of the no-wake zone through December. If there have been no complaints or safety violations filed by Jan. 1, the council agreed to pass an ordinance that would eliminate the no-wake zone.
Council Chairman Carlo Bruno praised the passage of the two measures and said an agreement was reached on the issue through the councilmen working together.
Bruno said that the six-month suspension of enforcement of no-wake zones on the river will give residents and camp owners time to see if they can “police themselves.”
“Safety was always our only concern … Let’s see if we can make this experiment work for the safety of all who use the river,” Bruno said.