Alleyway dispute between French Truck Coffee owner, city-parish continues

    Aside from getting the city-parish to address a couple of potholes over the past seven months, French Truck Coffee owner Geoffrey Meeker says his quest to have the battered public alleyway behind his shop completely fixed continues.

    City-parish officials, however, say the municipality doesn’t overlay gravel alleys like the one in question.

    The dispute has been ongoing for about a year and was first reported by Daily Report in February. At that time, city-parish officials said some gravel would be laid down to address potholes.

    Since then, Meeker acknowledges the Department of Public Works has twice filled the potholes with gravel. But Meeker wants the alleyway paved and likens the fix to “putting a Band-Aid on a giant wound.”

    “I’m pretty sure the city has spent more money fixing it with the gravel method than if they had just ripped it up and asphalted it once and for all,” he says.

    Though he couldn’t provide exact figures, Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford says Meeker is probably correct on that assumption. However, Department of Public Works employees are bound by an ordinance that doesn’t allow them to lay down asphalt without Metro Council approval, he says.

    “We just can’t come out every two or three days,” says Raiford, noting the task is usually handled by maintenance division director Kyle Huffstickler, who declined to comment before obtaining more information about the ordinance from the Parish Attorney’s office.

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