BY vic couvillion
Special to The Advocate
March 01, 2013
LIVINGSTON — A concrete company operating on South Walker Road will not receive a requested variance to ordinances regarding hours of operation and allowable noise levels, Livingston Parish Council members decided Thursday night.
Ascension Ready Mix’s request for the variance died when no one on the council would make a motion to grant the variance.
Council President Marshall Harris asked repeatedly if a council member would make the motion, but when there was no response, he declared the issue concluded.
Under the existing ordinance, manufacturing plants cannot generate more than 55 decibels of noise and they must operate between the hours of 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Ascension Ready Mix has been operating under a six-month variance but the company had requested that it be extended for a year.
The council’s inaction came after a number of residents who live in the vicinity of the plant complained about problems being created by Ready Mix operations.
An attorney representing Ascension Ready Mix, Barbara Irwin, told the council that the 55-decibel sound level requirement was unrealistic. She said that starting a vehicle, running a hair dryer or even a refrigerator exceeds the 50-decibel level.
Irwin said that Ascension Ready Mix has tried to be a good corporate neighbor, and had installed sound barriers and a catchment system to recover dust. She said that the council should reconsider its ordinances if it wants to attract business to the parish.
Council Attorney Chris Moody told council members, “This is yet another classic example of why you should consider zoning and a land use plan. Under your present structure, anyone can put a plant anywhere they want and there’s not much you can do about it.”
Other business the council took up included:
ANIMAL CONTROL: Harris initiated a discussion about the parish’s control of animals, especially dogs deemed to be vicious.
He asked Desiree Green, who supervises the shelter, why vicious dogs have been returned to the community. She replied that under state law, the center can hold a dog for 10 days and after that time, if the dog does not have rabies, it can be released back to its owner.
NEW AUDITOR: During the Finance Committee meeting that preceded the regular meeting, the council voted unanimously to hire the Hannis T. Bourgeois accounting firm to conduct the parish’s audit for the next fiscal year. Bourgeois proposed a price of $85,900 to perform the audit.