Cessac family not happy with Vermilion Parish Police Jury for breaking arch
Over the summer a police jury grab truck accidently knocked down a metal arch that had stood above a public road for more than 50 years. The Cessac family, who built the arch, wants the police jury to pay to put the arch back up. The police jury is hesitant because the arch is over a public road.
The road is Pleasant Road, the same road that leads to Palmetto Island State Park, south of Abbeville. The arch was located at the end of Pleasant Road, which is 1.5 miles west of the state park. The arch is also right over a cattle guard.
At this Monday night’s police jury meeting in the courthouse, members of the Cessac family are expected to be at the police jury meeting. They are confused as to why the police jury is not responsible for putting the arch back up over the road, since it knocked it down.
“They broke it, so they should fix it,” said Manetta Guidry, whose father put the arch above a cattle guard. “Why is that so difficult to understand?”
It’s not that simple.
Back in the late 1960s, the police jury black-topped the road, left the arch and cattle guard in place and turned it into a public road. There are at least seven homes past the arch.
The arch was attached to a cattle guard.
Police jury attorney Paul Moresi III said he could not find any record showing that once the road was taken over by the police jury, any paperwork showing the arch and cattle guard are still owned by the Cessac family. Because there is no public record of it, Moresi said it is his understanding the police jury owns the arch and the cattle guard because they are on the road right-of-way.
So, the police jury knocked down its own property, Moresi said.
Police juror Kevin Sagrera was contacted by Guidry because the arch sat on the side of the road for two months and nothing was getting done. Sagrera told the police jury about the accident and he felt the police jury should repair the arch.
“It means so much to the Cessac family,” Sagrera said. “This is about their family and culture.”
The police jury will decide if the cattle guard has to be removed along with the railings on the side of the cattle guard.
Moresi will recommend if the family wants the arch to be put back, it should be 16 feet high and far away from the road right-of-way as possible.
The jury has to decide who will pay to build a new arch and where to put it.