Town could apply for USDA loan for new fire department building

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Money could be available for construction or renovation of a new building to house the Ferriday Fire Department, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said. The town could apply for a loan from the USDA’s community facility program to help with such a project.

Through that program, the town could get a loan at 5 percent interest and pay it off over 20 years or perhaps even longer, said Doyle Robinson, a USDA rural development specialist based in Monroe. The town might also qualify for grant funds of up to $30,000, also from the community facility program.

&uot;Through that program, funds are available for any facility that is deemed necessary for the sustenance of a community,&uot; Robinson said. &uot;We accept applications year-round.&uot;

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The fire department needs a new home because the Tennessee Avenue building that currently serves as its headquarters is more than 50 years old and showing signs of age, said Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin.

Also, town officials have said that locating the department in a station closer to the center of town would help improve the town’s fire rating.

&uot;A new building is definitely needed,&uot; McGlothin said.

The possibility of constructing a new building was discussed at the Ferriday Town Council’s September meeting. Another option McGlothin mentioned at Monday’s Ferriday Chamber of Commerce meeting would be relocated the fire station to part of a Louisiana Avenue building the Pasternack family donated to the town last month. The Pasternack Building would need some renovation, but estimates of what that work would cost have not yet been solicited.

&uot;I’ve still got to ask council members what they think of (the latter) idea, but it seems like a good use of that building to me,&uot; McGlothin said.

The rest of the Pasternack Building, which extends from Louisiana Avenue to Texas Avenue, could still be used for a mini-mall, he added.

He said it is unlikely that any of the property will be used for apartments.

The town plans to apply for both USDA funds and a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant for the fire station project but has not applied to either source yet.

&uot;We’ve got to wait until we spend a (LCDBG) sewer grant before we can apply for another LCDBG grant,&uot; McGlothin said. That sewer project should be completed by the end of the year, according to contractors working on that project.

Robinson said he last talked with town officials in early September about the possibility of applying for USDA funds for the fire station project.