LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — Members of the Livingston Parish Council discussed a number of possible safety ordinances for Tiki Tubing in a virtual meeting.
The Sept. 21 Livingston Ordinance Committee Meeting discussed implementing safety protocols such as posting signage along the tubing route, requiring tubers to watch safety videos, or requiring life vests.
Councilman District 2 Garry Talbert suggested that tubers watch an educational safety video before the trip to gain an understanding of typical river hazards.
Lisa Hilliard, the wife of drowning victim Keith Hilliard, asked the council about Tiki Tubing’s classification as a business. She questioned whether it is considered a waterpark or a tubing company and suggested council members look into legislation.
“I would urge you councilmen to look into the state legislature for waterparks in Louisiana,” said Hilliard. “And is this business following those policies and procedures and those guidelines?”
Hilliard agrees with signs posted along the tubing route marking the river’s depth. Additionally, she believes that Tiki Tubing should have safety guides from beginning to end.
Another idea to ensure river safety Hilliard brought to the meeting was dredging the river. She questions the council on the last time the river was dredged or cleaned.
Councilman District 3 Maurice Keen responded by answering that he believes the last time was in the 1950s and cites that the river cannot be dredged or cleaned since it has been deemed a scenic river by the state.
Kim Hilliard-Bangura, Keith’s twin sister, was present in the council meeting and agreed with some of the ideas such as a safety video and signage along the river, but doesn’t believe that will be enough to keep people safe.
“Everything that has been offered tonight is soft,” said Hilliard-Bangura. “This is nothing hard that should make Tiki Tubing have to stop and gasp and think hard. Not at all. I do agree with all of the things that’s been offered tonight.”
Councilmembers agreed that work needs to continue.
“We don’t have to address everything at once,” said Councilman District 7 Tracy Girlinghouse. “We can build on this. We can pass some ordinances, if we try to get it perfect the first time it could take forever but we can put some things in place relatively quickly and then work toward what we could do. “
Watch the full meeting below: