Livingston Parish president drafting ordinance to set ground rules for Tiki Tubing

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - At the Livingston Parish Council meeting on Thursday, August 26, Parish President Layton Ricks informed the council that he will draft an ordinance to set up some guidelines and laws for the Tiki Tubing business in Denham Springs to follow.

“How many deaths in your term President Ricks? How many accidents, how many injuries? Way too many,” said Lisa Hilliard.

This comes after two people have died just this Summer while tubing.

And on one weekend, more than a dozen people were rescued.

“We were brought into this beautiful painted picture, of a fun filled day for the family. That’s not what we got,” said Hilliard, whose husband died a few months back while tubing along the Amite.

Hilliard is begging Livingston Parish council members to do something.

After her husband, Keith, died in June while tubing along the Amite River.

“We didn’t get the opportunity to get the history and the dangers of the river. So now, I hear people talking about the storm and the sandbags, but my husband is not here. So, who fills my sandbags for me?” said Hilliard.

President Ricks says right now, there’s not much he can do to regulate the tiki tubing business in Denham Springs.

“When I say that my hands are tied, the reason that my hands are tied, is that I don’t legally have an ordinance in place. Because we’ve never passed an ordinance, that allows me to go up there and address this until we get something in place,” said Layton Ricks.

But now he’s looking to put an ordinance in place, to set some ground rules. To keep everyone safe while they are on the water.

“We’re not looking to shut anybody down. People come from miles around, because they enjoy boating and fishing and skiing on our waterways. But when it comes to tubing, there are some things that we need to look at. And one of things that was mentioned today was education, and I think that’s a really good idea. But my biggest thing is life vests. Let’s make sure that we’re telling them that they have to wear life vests,” said Ricks.

He believes the tiki tubing business should tell tubers about the dangers in the Amite River.

And if the river levels get too high, it may not be safe to get in the water that day.

But the biggest question, is how can the parish enforce these rules, if the council does end up passing something?

“Who’s going to monitor? Should we have deputies on the waterways, should we have some sort of camera system, and if we do who’s going to pay for that? So, those are the things that I just want them to look at, that I think from a safety standpoint, might could help,” said Ricks.

Nothing was voted on at the meeting Thursday.

The Parish President is hopeful to come up with a plan to present to the council possibly at their next meeting.

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