MONROE, LA (03/03/20) The Ouachita Parish Police Jury announced Monday night that they purchased 3 vacant buildings in downtown Monroe.
The new locations include the old Ouachita Parish School Board building on Bry Street, the Ouachita Parish Media Center on St. John Street and the Ouachita Parish Information Technology building on Jackson Street. Jurors say the new sites will allow the jury to expand.
“Government has changed so much in the last 70 to 80 years. This parish has grown so much in the last 70 and 80 years, that’s our need for more room” says Jack Clampit, member of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury District C.
They have already budgeted $1.2 million for the properties, as well as an additonal $450-475 for upgrades, so an additonal tax will not be needed. The jury will also save money on rent; they currently spend at least $80,000 dollars a year to rent their current office. Clampit also mentions they may not use all of the renovation budget, as minor repairs/upgrades are expected.
They say that not only will this location will help them to better serve, but it will also allow them to open the door to other offical entities.
“The office on Jackson Street that we’re looking at has got a drive-thru in it, that means that the Coroner’s office, which will go over there, can pull up in inclement weather, they’re going to be right there, it’ll be a fenced in area, it’s going to be a lot safer for them” he says.
Other departments, such as the parish Attorney and Secretary to name a few, will also move into the new buildings. This will allow officals to be closer to each other in a centralized complex, while remaining close to the courthouse.
“All our people are in a centralized location again. We don’t have to drive to see it, we can walk to see it, we’re a short walk from the courthouse” he says.
They don’t have a set time on when they’re going to be moving into their new space but Mr. Clampit says it will be a department-by-department move. They hope to be completely in by the end of the year.