Nov. 3, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana’s Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit has awarded $2,644,990 in disaster recovery funding for the construction of a new governmental administration building in Assumption Parish, allowing parish officials to access federal Community Development Block Grant funds needed to implement the project.
The money will be used to demolish the current 4,000 square-foot facility and replace it with a 10,560 square-foot state-of-the-art complex that will house Assumption Parish and Village of Napoleonville governmental offices, as well as the parish Police Jury chambers.
OCD-DRU Executive Director Pat Forbes said, “After Hurricane Gustav, insufficiencies in Assumption Parish’s existing administration building hampered their ability to restore basic services. This delay slowed the parish’s economic recovery, which is critical to the overall recovery. This new complex will help the parish return to normal governmental operations in the shortest time possible after emergency situations.”
Assumption Parish Police Jury President Martin Triche said, “This building is greatly needed and will be a valuable asset to Assumption Parish. Having this facility will allow us to meet the needs of our constituency, particularly in the aftermath of future storms.”
The parish’s current 60-year-old governmental building has out-dated telecommunications and electrical systems that cannot keep pace with modern technology. Without contemporary systems, the parish is challenged in providing regular, non-disaster administrative services, and is completely overwhelmed during and after emergencies.
In addition, the village government currently operates out of a 2,025 square-foot former post office building, which lacks the electrical and mechanical systems needed to support modern telecommunications and computer technology.
The design of the consolidated governmental complex includes hardening to reduce damage from future events and incorporates the capacity to connect to large emergency generators that support government functions during a disaster. It provides sufficient space for an emergency operations command center, as well as space for community activities during normal times.
During construction, the parish will temporarily consolidate its offices in the adjacent parish courthouse, and the Napoleonville government will continue to operate at its current location.
The funding is part of more than $1 billion in disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant money received by the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for damages inflicted by Gustav and Ike.
In total, the OCD-DRU has allocated $26,879,387 in Gustav-Ike disaster recovery funding to Assumption Parish.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.