The city won that award earlier this month. Now Abbeville is out to test itself on the state level. Judges will be in Abbeville Thursday for the state round of the Cleanest City Contest. The judges, Yvette Hebert, Mary Hazen and Barbara Coates, all of whom are from outside districts, will arrive in Abbeville around 12:25 p.m. They will take a two-hour tour with a checklist. Alma Ebel, the chairman of District III, which includes Abbeville, said she expects the judges to be impressed.
“Abbeville’s neighborhoods were so neat,” Ebel said of the district judging. “That was the first time I had been through and seen some of the houses.
“They are beautiful.”
It won’t be just houses and neighborhoods on the route. The judges’s travel through Abbeville, which will compete against Denham Springs and Eunice in Category G, will include the courthouse, a graveyard and a fire station.
“They also like to see a school,” Ebel said. “And if they have a hospital and a senior citizen center or a nursing home, they like to see that, too.”
There are certainly things the judges don’t want to see.
“They don’t want to see litter,” Ebel said. “They don’t want to see grass growing on the sidewalks or gutters. They don’t like to see vines growing on fences, unless it’s like a morning glory.”
Vacant lots should also be mowed, within reason for the city.
“The city can cut 10 feet from the street,” Ebel said. “They don’t hold it against the city after that.”
The effort toward a Cleanest City Award doesn’t fall simply on the shoulders of the city. The people who create the community can make all the difference.
“Anytime you can get citizens involved,” Ebel said, “that’s a plus, too.”
City officials, as well as those from Vermilion Parish, have put forth an tremendous effort during the entire process, according to Keep Abbeville Beautiful chairman Sandra Creswell.
“The Mayor (Mark Piazza), the Abbeville City Council, City workers and the Solid Waste department of the Vermilion Parish Police jury have been working hard to insure a clean city,” Creswell said. “Todd Travosos, who chaired the district effort, and Sheriff (Mike) Couvillon, who had prisoners help clean up, also deserve a special thanks.”
“We’re appreciative of everyone’s hard work.”