Ground is broken for new parish jail at Industrial Park
Mar 27, 2023
By News Staff on Thursday, March 23, 2023
By: TONY MARKS
Several elected officials, law enforcement personnel, and other community members from around Evangeline Parish gathered at the Industrial Park on Tuesday, March 21, for a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for the new parish jail.
“This is really a big event for Evangeline Parish,” said Sheriff Charles Guillory.
The new 200-bed facility will house males, females, and juveniles.
It was previously reported an agreement was struck last May between the sheriff and the Evangeline Parish Police Jury. As part of the agreement, the Evangeline Parish Law Enforcement District, which was created in order for Sheriff Guillory to pass his one-cent sales tax, will handle the principal financing with the police jury setting certain terms. The district will then bond the amount for construction, and the length of the bond will be between 30 and 40 years, at which time, an option will be in place for the district to lease the facility back to the parish.
While the jail is being constructed, the jury will pay a maximum amount of $300 thousand a year for the housing of out of parish prisoners. Once construction is complete, that annual amount will go toward normal costs the police jury is required to pay for a parish prison.
Alex Deshotels, architect for the project, gave a timeline of the construction. Permitting will begin in about a month, he said during the ceremony. It will take a month after that before general contractors can be selected. The bidding process will then take about three months, and the actual construction will take between 14 and 16 months, weather permitting.
“Hopefully,” Deshotels said, “in another 18 months, we can have a ribbon cutting.”
State Representative Rhonda Butler remarked during the ceremony, “I know we needed this. I’ve visited our jail many times. The conditions were not liveable, and it was time for us to do this and grow and get our jail here.”
She then said, “I’m glad to see us do this together and come together as a parish and get behind our sheriff.”
Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine remarked, “This has been a long time coming. It was a lot of work to negotiate and make sure the parish was doing the right thing.”
He later commented, “We do want to celebrate the fact this is a tax burden that has been on the people for a long time. It’s finally coming to an end. We want to thank the sheriff for working with us diligently for several months. We came to a good agreement and look forward to the new jail being constructed.”