DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - $27,000 worth of city equipment is missing in Donaldsonville. A public works supervisor for the city says Monday, he found the lock to the front gate gone and several big items missing.
Mayor Leroy Sullivan Jr. says the theft must have happened over the weekend. He says workers tell him everything was in place on Friday, but when they reported back to the public works department several things were gone.
"A zero-turn John Deere lawnmower was missing along with five Echo weed eaters, an old air compressor and a trailer," Sullivan said.
The mayor says the John Deere lawnmower cost the city more than $11,000. He says right now the city can't afford to buy another one, without putting a strain on the budget.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating. Some who work for the Public Works Department say part of the problem is their tools are on display for everyone to see.
"We used to have an old warehouse to keep all the equipment in," the mayor said.
Two years ago, he says, the Public Works Department was located across from it's current location on Thibaut Drive. They kept everything inside an enclosed warehouse that was owned by the South Louisiana Fairground Association. Sullivan says the association sold that property to the parish and in turn, the Public Works Department had to move out. They relocated on the grounds of an old plantation. Most of the equipment was stored outside, behind a chain link fence.
"We are in the process of building a DPW building," said Sullivan. He says that will be paid for using grant money and the facility will be indoors, where the city's belongings can be stored out of the public view.
As for where the missing equipment could be, the mayor wants residents to keep an eye out for anyone who suddenly has new lawn care supplies.
"It'd be nice to get the equipment back."
While they are waiting for the new facility to be built, the mayor says he intends to get a security system with cameras installed at the current location of the Public Works Department.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office at 225-621-INFO (4636) or by texting 847411 to our anonymous tip line from any cellular device or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).