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Gautreaux provides update on fire department activity

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Donaldsonville Fire Department responded to two structure fires last month, Interim Fire Chief Adam Gautreaux reported during the first City Council meeting of 2020.

Addressing the Council Tuesday, Jan. 14, Gautreaux said an abandoned house at 804 Catalpa Street was fully involved, and deemed a total loss. A total of 13 members responded to the fire.

In a separate incident, firefighters responded to a kitchen fire at 3038 Hwy. 1 South. Gautreaux said nine members worked that fire, which took longer to extinguish due to the structure’s multiple roofs.

Following up on his report to the Council in December, Gautreaux said he conducted further research on training.

He said the department can receive full credit, and potentially raise the fire rating, by leasing two acres of open area. It would have to be "usable grounds," he quoted from the research.

Gautreaux has looked into leasing the parking lot of the Graugnard Inc. warehouse, located along Hwy. 1 South.

The site was the former Walmart store, prior to the company's move to Marchand Drive.

Gautreaux said with some work, the department can improve its rating to a three.

In another matter concerning the department, he reported the recent moving of trucks from the old fire station.

Notably, the 1929 truck - which he said was the first one ever bought by the city - was towed by Tortorich Towing and Wrecker Service. The 1960 truck, America LaFrance, was driven to the new location.

Additionally, Gautreaux said four volunteers have come forward over recent months. Two are possibly going to be certified, he added.

"The new station is pulling people in," Gautreaux concluded.

In another note during the report, Mayor Leroy Sullivan said he will attend a meeting with state DOTD officials and State Rep. Ken Brass where he expects to discuss the installation of a traffic signal control at the Marchand Drive entrance of the new fire station.

City officials have expressed concern over the possibility of first responders being stalled by traffic while responding to emergencies.

In other business:

-- The City Council voted to keep intact its two current chairmen.

Councilman Raymond Aucoin will retain his position as chairman, while Lauthaught Delaney Sr. will continue to serve as vice-chairman.

Both councilmen thanked their peers for the unanimous vote.

"I appreciate the vote of confidence. Let's have another great year," Aucoin said.

-- The Council approved entering into an intergovernmental agreement with a planned women's conference to be held at the Lemann Center.

The event is slated for March 21 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Councilmen also voted in favor of an agreement with the Biddy Basketball Association to hold three youth tournaments in the venue.

The tournaments are planned for Feb. 7-9, Feb. 14-16, and Feb. 28-Mar. 1.

-- The Council agreed to move its Committee of the Whole meeting a day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

City officials plan to discuss their lists of roads needing improvement in the upcoming year.