The town of New Llano should be on its own water system in about a week, according to Pan Am Engineer Jim Verzwyvelt at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The project's completion will allow New Llano to regulate its own water instead of using the Leesville system. "I call this project 95-98 percent finished," Verzwyvelt said. "I know they have a lot of cleanup work to do. There's some work to be done."
At the previous council meeting, the board voted to notify one Carlous Pelt, owner of 12438 Lake Charles Highway, that the property will be condemned. Pelt was initially notified in September 2016 that he would have one year to make improvements to the structure and surrounding property, if he wanted to avoid it becoming condemned.
The house belongs to Pelt as well as his brothers and sisters, but no one has lived there for many years, said Town Clerk Donna Condon. It was their childhood home, and it is for sentimental reasons that they wish to keep the building.
The house is unsafe with wiring issues, roof leaks, and other structural concerns. Also, due to the fact that it is not occupied, the town regularly has issues with illegal drug activity and unauthorized use of the home as a hang out, said Condon.
The town sent Pelt a letter six months ago to remind him that he had six more months to work on bringing the house up to code. “They have done nothing to the home in a year,” Condon said.
Pelt, in attendance at the meeting, told the council members that he had been cleaning up on the inside and the grass was cut last year after they were notified about the state of the property.
Following a heated back-and-forth, council decided to allow Pelt 90 more days to remedy the problem. If he does not follow through, the building will be condemned, torn down, and a lien will be placed on the property, said Condon.
Two other properties in New Llano are going to be inspected, as they, too, may need to be brought up to code.
Also at the meeting, Phyllis Carper was presented with a Quilt of Valor to celebrate her time in military. Carper was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1950-1954. She was a first lieutenant and a nurse during her service.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation started in 2003 with the goal of providing hand-made quilts to wounded and injured Armed Service members and their families; anyone who has been touched by war. The group is made up of thousands of volunteers who make and present quilts to recipients.
When New Llano Mayor Freddie Boswell showed up at Carper’s door to inform her about the quilt, she asked, What are you running for or what are you selling? She said she is honored by the gift. "I will absolutely treasure this,” said Carper.
Condon said the town has given away 10 quilts to residents over the age of 70. Thus far, Carper has been the only female veteran to receive a Quilt of Valor.
These particular quilts were made by a parish chapter of the foundation, which Boswell’s wife and sister are involved in. They will continue to provide this service in the future, Condon said.