The Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday voted to study a proposal by Ville Platte resident Jim Demourelle to grant him a license for a “Game Fowl Harvest “facility to be located in Tate Cove. A standing room only group of supporters were at the jury meeting.
Demourelle told jurors that he has been in the cock fighting business for more than fifty years and felt the state law to outlaw cock fighting was illegal.
He said the economic impact to the state amounts to one billion dollars since cock fighting was banned by state officials. Demourlle announced that such a facility in Evangeline could have tremendous economic impact in Evangeline Parish. He estimated 1000-1500 people would travel to this parish. It would be an economic boon to this parish.
He reported that cock fighting has been around since Biblical times and yet, not one holy book has ever condemned the sport. Abraham Lincoln was called “Honest Abe” because he was an honest referee for cock fights.
Demourelle said the ban on cock fighting is unconstitutional and is ready to challenge the law. He said cock fighting is a victimless crime.
Police jury legal advisor Greg Vidrine advised he jury that the law clearly states, no matter what you name or all it, cock fighting is illegal in Louisiana.
In other business, the police jury narrowly approved a request by the Evangeline Parish Recreation District Board for the police jury to fund a ne time $6-8,000 in gravel and limestone for parking and cut grass in the undeveloped areas of the facility. Recreation Board member Nick LeBas made the request. The vote was 5-4 with all non Ward One voters voting the request. Those voting no included Eric LaFleur, Lamar Johnson, Ryan Ardoin and Kenny Burgess.
Some jurors were concerned that by approving this request would open the doors for other recreation districts and non profit groups to come forward and ask for financial assistance. Juror Eric Soileau said some of his constituents are saying that since the parish has money for a recreational district, they should have additional money for roads.
Police juror Kenny Burgess said “Voters in that recreational district turned down a tax to fund the park and now you’re asking the rest of this parish to spend its general fund money . If we do it for you, we’ll have to do it for every ball park in the parish.”
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine told the jury “This park is for everyone in the parish not just Ville Platte. Unlike most parks, the Evangeline Parish Recreational District facility was built without a tax.”