DONALDSONVILLE — Councilmen asked City Attorney Chuck Long on Tuesday to draft a letter to Union Pacific asking for a response to a previous request to curb loud noise coming from a local rail yard switching station.
During the council’s regular meeting, Councilman Reginald Francis Sr., whose district includes the rail yard, said he thinks Union Pacific’s lack of a response to the petition and resolution is “a slap in the face.”
“It’s like we’re nothing to them,” he said. “They’re openly violating our noise ordinance, and it’s getting worse.”
Residents in the back of town area of the city, south of the railroad near St. Patrick Street, have complained about noise coming from the station, near Fifth Street, especially in the late-night hours.
In September, the council approved a resolution asking the railroad company to limit the noise to only daytime hours. Francis said he has seen no response by the company.
Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said he spoke with a Union Pacific representative recently and was told the resolution and petition were sent to the company’s attorneys.
“He said the attorneys had the letter and would respond by letter,” the mayor said.
As part of his motion, Francis asked that photos of the rail yard showing stacks of cross ties and overgrowth be included, as well as an audio disc containing recordings of the alleged noise coming from the area.
Long said the city should research exactly where the noise is coming from, either the switching yard or train tracks, to see if city noise ordinances apply. If not, he said, city officials can contact Ascension Parish or state officials for help.
RV PARK AGREEMENT: City Councilmen also requested the owner of a St. James Parish RV park looking to partner with the city for wastewater services to clarify the number of lots in the park.
The issue comes from a proposed intergovernmental agreement with St. James Parish pertaining to the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent.
Long said that while the proposed agreement calls for service to 100 trailer lots in the park, he recently saw a brochure that claimed the park had 250 lots.
“I researched the matter and found that the park is beginning a second phase,” Long said. “Seeing this, I thought it was inappropriate to sign the agreement as written.”
Long suggested the council table the issue and have the RV park owner attend a Committee of the Whole meeting, scheduled for Nov. 19, to clarify the situation.