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Livingston Parish officials unanimously vote to pass new river safety ordinance

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DENHAM SPRINGS - In a unanimous vote, the Livingston Parish Council passed a new ordinance for river safety rules, after two deaths and several rescues this summer on the Amite River. Most of them involving Tiki Tubing.

"I'd like to say that the ordinance was unanimous in the passing," said Garry Talbert, District 4 Councilman.

Changes in the ordinance include new signage along the waterways to help emergency services pinpoint certain areas on the river.

"The first responders that are going to be utilized and that have been utilized in the past for problems, look forward to being able to not have to search the river," Talbert said. "They're going to have signage that identifies a particular area."

Business owners will also be required to provide life jackets. However, customers are not required to wear them.

"We did not go so far as to step on individual liberties as to whether you had to wear that life jacket," Talbert said. "But it is imperative that the operator provide that life jacket."

Lisa Hilliard, the wife of Keith Hilliard, who drowned during a Tiki Tubing trip over Fathers' Day weekend, is glad to see things moving so quickly.

"This is a great starting point, and I'm so happy and so pleased and thankful that you guys have done this," said Hilliard.

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