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Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023

Krewes to Cruise Again


Also, making noise over decibels

Mardi Gras is on.”

That’s the message from Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux after working with the Krewe of Centaur and the Krewe of Gemini to reach an agreement on logistics for the annual Mardi Gras parades in the city.

“With the cooperation of both of the krewes and a tremendous amount of work by the Shreveport Police Department, Visit Shreveport-Bossier, some help form the lieutenant governor as backup and just some give and take between us and the krewes, we have an agreement with them,” Arceneaux said.

According to the agreement, the parades will be at 2:45 p.m. on Feb. 3 and 10 and will follow the traditional route. The agreement also outlines some expectations for how the parades will proceed.

“There are some parameters for performance, maximum distances between units, a maximum time period, with a time by which they must be completed, and there are stipulated penalties in the contract if they do not perform in accordance to those standards,” the mayor said.

He added that most of the stipulations included in the agreement already were part of a city ordinance. The contract between the city and the krewes makes it easier to enforce the ordinance.

“Most of the standards that are in the contract are things that were already in the ordinance,” he said. “But what happened is that, without individual penalties, we would have had to shut the parade down, which, of course, we would never want to do. Or say your performance was bad, so you can’t have a parade next year, which we didn’t want to do. Or, you had to ignore the violations of the ordinance, which we also didn’t want to do.

“So we came up with an intermediate thing by using the contract. That’s how those things will be enforced. Our expectation is the parades will go on, everything will be wonderful, and there won’t be any fines or penalties, and we’ll all shake hands and say this is a great day.”

Arceneaux said he was glad the agreement could be reached.

“I have terrific appreciation for the krewes of Gemini and Centaur,” he said. “Particularly Centaur. Centaur was particularly helpful in working through the issues we had. I praise Centaur’s leadership for being willing to have a open dialog so we could get the problems resolved.”

Back to the drawing board The Shreveport City Council is working on a new version of a noise ordinance after it upheld Arceneaux’s veto of a noise ordinance the council approved Oct. 10.

The Shreveport City Council voted to place a city-wide 85-decibel noise limit until 1:59 a.m. for restaurants and bars. An amendment by Councilman Alan Jackson increased decibel levels to 85 decibels until 2 a.m. and 80 decibels until 7 a.m. from the 70- and 60-decibel limits initially proposed.

Arceneaux vetoed Ordinance 110 of 2023 and its companion Ordinance 111 of 2023 because, in his opinion, they did not improve the situation. He said in a news release that the goal “was to curtail excessive noise from amplified sound.”

“The standards passed by the City Council permit such loud amplified sound as to make matters worse rather than better,” the release said.

Arceneaux said Jackson has presented a new version of a noise ordinance to the city council.

“Hopefully, we will have some negotiations and discussions on decibel levels,” Arceneaux said. “They’re really are just two subsections of the ordinance that we have disagreement about. Hopefully, we can resolve those differences of opinion and come up with some consensus numbers to put into those two sections and put the noise ordinance into effect.”

The mayor said he hopes a new ordinance will bring some clarity to the issue.

“Currently, there is a noise ordinance,” he said. “It is being enforced. It is enforceable. It is a little more subjective. One of the reasons we are trying to go to the new noise ordinance is to take some of the subjectivity out of it, in terms of a residence that is affected by one of the regulated companies, if the sound its plainly audible is the standard.”

Arceneaux said he is encouraged by the process.

“I am cautiously optimistic we will have a new noise ordinance in about three weeks that will have some consensus behind it,” he said.


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