Tangipahoa council intends to close landing

The Tangipahoa Parish Council voted unanimously Monday to introduce and set for public hearing an ordinance that would close to the public Carpenter’s Landing on the Tangipahoa River.

The landing, located east of Hammond off Old Covington Highway, was a heavily used entry point for canoeists, fishermen, bathers and others. However, the concrete boat ramp has eroded over the past several years and the parish has not maintained the site on a regular basis.

Attorney Charles M. Hughes, Jr., who represents the landowners who asked the council to abandon the dedication of the road leading to the landing, said the road belongs to three landowners. The council agreed and said the property owners had allowed the parish to maintain the road leading to the landing.

Hughes said that the area now attracts drug users, litterers and others who pose a threat to residents. He said the Sheriff’s Office has been called to the site numerous times to quell problems.

Dale Rieth, one of the landowners, said unruly groups have burned down three old buildings in the area. “There have been shootings, fires, and huge piles of garbage and trash left behind, and the place is now dangerous,” she said.

Councilman Carlo Bruno reminded the landowners that if the parish abandons the road, the decision will be irrevocable and that without it, there may be problems selling the land at a later date.

Hughes said the landowners have agreed to allow each other access to the road. If the council gives its final approval to the road closure at its April 9 meeting, he said, the road will be fenced off at its intersection with Old Covington Highway and public access to the landing will end.

Other items discussed during Monday’s meeting included:

PEDDLERS REGULATED: The council unanimously approved an ordinance that requires “peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants and transient vendors of merchandise” to obtain a license from the parish Permit Office and pay sales taxes on any goods sold. It also restricts the activities of door-to-door salesmen and prohibits them from entering private property without permission.

SUPPORT FOR RECREATION DISTRICT: The council unanimously approved a request from the Hammond Area Recreation District to be included in the Parish Revenue Pool Sharing Fund, money the state returns to some local entities to offset property tax money lost due to homestead exemption. If the district is successful, it would receive about $86,429 annually from the pool.