During his comments following city business during the most recent Leesville City Council meeting, Mayor Rick Allen announced that the future of the soap box derby is bright.

The city was encouraged by the turnout this year, and the organization running the event will donate a pair of derby cars to give everyone a chance to ride.

“You get to see these kids down there who have never had the chance to race anything before,” Allen said. “You are racing these wind-powered, basically, derby cars down historic 3rd Street with people cheering. There is nothing better than seeing one of those kids throwing their arms up when they’ve won one of those races.

“The derby car organization would have died a long time ago if it wasn’t for Harry McCloud. He wanted to see kids race these derby cars, and he kept it alive for years on his own. Now, he’s gotten up on age, but he was still at the derby at Saturday.”

The average cost of the soap box derby kit is around $700, and the new cars could offer a chance for doubles.

“Mr. McCloud talked about building a two-person car that would allow someone to drive and a special needs child to ride,” Allen said. “How awesome would that be for a kid to race in a car like that that couldn’t before?”

CLEANING UP 

The Leesville Council passed an ordinance that makes contractors working on city projects responsible for the damage they may cause to private property.

Ordinance 15 of 2019 must pay a $5,000 bond and have repairs done to the property in a reasonable time. 

UNSAFE HOMES

City employees have checked in on homes needing repairs and saw problems that go beyond normal maintenance. 

The City Council passed Ordicance 16 of 2019 which allows the City to determine if a home is uninhabitable. If so, it can be ordered to be demolished. 

Director of Planning Grant Bush referenced Section 108.1.3 of the International Property Maintenance Code 2003 which states: “A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever the code official finds that such structure is: unsafe; unlawful; or, due to the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is unsanitary or vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by the Property Maintenance Code; or whenever the code official finds that the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public.”