Federal gov't provides grant for new Gonzales police station
Police in Gonzales will get a new police station, thanks to a $1 million grant from the federal government.
The city council is working with Ascension Parish Government to help fund the new facility. The total cost is $4 million. $3 million was set aside by the city, and the other $1 million is part of federal funds given to Ascension Parish Government. The parish granted the police department the $1 million through a community development block grant.
Detective Sgt. Steven Nethken said a new police department has been long awaited for.
"The department is growing. We're trying to be proactive and meet the needs of the community, and we've vastly outgrown this building," said Nethken.
The present building holds more than 50 years of tradition, but with cracked walls, a sinking foundation and wires draping across the halls, officers said anything is a step up.
"We do need a good place to write our reports. Just a new setup, in general, would be great," said Officer Troy Berkholz.
The new police station will be built less than a mile away from the current one off Cornerview Road at the site of the old city pool. At 16,000 square feet, it's four times the size of the current police station.
Nethken said there are a lot of provisions for things in the new facility that he and other officers are makeshift doing. For example, processing of those arrested takes place in an old holding cell, and the jail that used to be shared with the parish is now used for storage.
The project will now move on to bids. The bid process will be completed by the start of the year. Once construction is underway, it will take about 11 months to complete.