Orleans Levee District police to move into substation at Lake Vista Community Center
The Orleans Levee District will be at the Lake Vista Community Center for about a year in a renovated building, before moving into a built station for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.
A former doctor’s office is being renovated under the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority, in order for the Orleans Levee District to temporarily house the building. Their headquarters, located on 6910 Franklin Avenue will eventually be demolished. Then officers will transfer to the suite in the Lake Vista Community Center and possibly use the building for reserve units or as a back up station.
Derek Boese, chief administration officer for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, said the public can expect Levee District officers to be moved into the community center the end of Sept.
“Our longtime intent is to station our reserve Orleans officer out at the Lake Vista Community Center,” Boese said.
Boese said the substation will give officers a better presence in the neighborhood and improved access to the community.
Wilma Heaton, chairwoman of the Non-Flood Authority board, said that work on relocating the Orleans Levee District started around a month ago.
“When I was doing all the due diligence to get a new police station, I found out how deplorable their conditions were,” Heaton said. “They had been put in a temporary station, and we owe it to the men and women putting their lives on the line to at least give them a good working condition.
Heaton spoke with Joe Hassinger, president of the east bank levee authority, who asked Heaton if she knew a place where officers could be housed, while they wait for the station at Elysian Fields and Lakeshore Drive to be built.
“We have a community to serve in the meantime and police offers to house, so we have to make it work,” Heaton said.
Heaton said she would like the Orleans Levee District officer’s reserves, which total 20 now, to remain at the station in the community center when the police move out. She said she anticipates police being stationed at Elysian Fields and Lakeshore Drive in a year from now because 10 months are included in the construction contract for the building, including rain days.
At the next east bank levee authority board meeting this Thursday, Sept. 21, the board will decide whether to agree to allow the Lake Vista Community Center suit to become a substation, which the Non-Flood Authority has already agreed to. The east bank levee authority will also decide whether to accept the lowest bid offered for constructing the next police station, which will be a 9,000 ft² building.