During 2017 there were three stories involving public facilities. A new fire station was begun. The voting machines were moved to a new warehouse. And repairs were made to the post office after an auto accident. From the Journal’s issue of March 31st comes the story of the groundbreaking at the new fire station.
Fire Chief Shane Felts is excited. Construction of the department’s new fire station is underway with workers on scene daily. On Wednesday, they held their official groundbreaking ceremony.
They actually held two groundbreakings to accommodate the schedules of firefighters, local officials and fire district board members. Felts says the new fire station will be large enough to park all of the department’s vehicles inside the large bay on the north side of the building. There are accommodations for firefighters on duty plus offices and kitchen on the south side of the building.
Special guest at the evening groundbreaking was Chief Bobby Hayes of DeSoto Fire District 9. Hayes loaned the plans for his station in DeSoto parish to Red River after Chief Felts saw and liked the design of Hayes’ station.
The new fire station is under construction on US 71 north of Coushatta at the intersection with US 371. Felts said the total price tag on the new station is $3,000,000.
That same issue, March 31st, featured the story on moving day at the new voting machine warehouse.
Thursday was moving day for the parish voting machines. All 32 machines were loaded up at the old warehouse on US 71 South and moved to the new warehouse beside Dairy Queen on US 71 North.
The machines were unloaded and rolled into the new, more spacious warehouse by Election Technician John Perkins and Toby Trichel. Perkins is employed by the Secretary of State and Trechel works for Trichel Enterprises, a bonded moving company.
The warehouse is maintained by the Louisiana Secretary of State, the agency overseeing elections in the state. Perkins said, “There are 32 voting machines in the warehouse. Eighteen machines are used on Election Day, with the rest of them are for back up. “
The Coushatta Post Office has been repaired. Back in mid-August a motorist failed to stop in the parking lot and drove through the east wall of the building. Damage was all structural and no mail or mailboxes were damaged. See the August 16th issue of The Journal for the original story.
There was a plywood patch in the wall for weeks. And then workers were rebuilding and repairing the wall.
Today there is little trace of the damage. The only giveaway would be the fresh mortar between the bricks, the brightly painted interior and an area of new floor tiles.