New fire station receives donations

Staff reports
Industry and local officials made donations last week for the new 5th Ward Burnside Fire Station 41. Shown from left to right: Bill Dawson, Pelican Point Homeowners Association; Fifth Ward Fire Chief Peter Roblin; Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez; Randy Gautreau, Acadian Builders; Ormet Vice President Tommy Temple; Tami Templet, Ormet Human Resources; Trafigura Plant Manager Brian Carnohan; Ascension Parish Councilman Kent Schexnaydre; James LeBlanc, Ascension Parish Fire District No. 1; Ormet Plant Manager Darrel Harriman and Eugene Witek, Fire Coordinator for Ascension Parish Fire District No. 1.

Local industry officials, along with local homeowner’s association officials and a parish councilman, presented donations last week for the new 5th Ward Burnside Fire Station 41.

Plant Manager Brian Carnohan with Trafigura's Impala Warehousing (U.S.) LLC, Ormet Corp. Vice President Tommy Temple and Plant Manager Darrel Harriman jointly presented a check worth $5,965. Bill Dawson with the Pelican Point Homeowner’s Association, presented their donation of $500 that was matched by Parish Councilman Kent Schexnaydre for a total of almost $7,000 collectively.

The 10,000 square-foot building on 1.32 acres is located at 5473 LA Hwy. 44 in Burnside just north of the LA 44/LA 22 intersection. It was purchased by the Parish of Ascension for $550,000 from Pelican Point Properties LLC and an additional $150,000 was included for renovations as a condition of the purchase for a total of $700,000.

“I think everyone involved did a great job,” Parish President Tommy Martinez said. “This is a strategic location that will serve several subdivisions and aid with the industry corridor.”

“Ormet is committed to being a good community neighbor, and this donation is one way we are living up to that commitment,” Temple said.

James LeBlanc, chairman of Ascension Parish’s Fire District No. 1, said Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) recommended to the district to add a fire station in that area to improve fire insurance ratings. Every five years, the PIAL grades fire departments on a basis of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. Fire insurance premiums for homeowners and business owners within the fire department’s coverage area are calculated by the ratings the PIAL assigns to the designated fire departments.

LeBlanc said Fire District No. 1 currently has a rating of Class 5.

“And that’s with 100 percent volunteers and no parish wide water system,” LeBlanc said. “Because of the hard work from (Councilman) Kent Schexnaydre, and (Parish President) Tommy Martinez , along with Bill Dawson and his crew and Peter (Roblin) and his crew, we’re finally able to make this happen. So with the addition of this station, this will help with our rating in the future.”

Randy Gautreau, with project contractor Acadian Builders, said the building was previously the golf maintenance shop for Pelican Point Country Club and included a mechanics shop with a lift. Gautreau said the renovations include several large office space areas, bathrooms and the large area for four bays.

Gautreau said the contributions that were made Thursday will pay for a 1,500 square foot concrete driveway in front of the fire station.

Fifth-Ward Fire Chief Peter Roblin said one engine, one tanker and an EMS support vehicle will be parked in the bays. With the amount of space available in the large bay area, future plans include storing two reserve pumper trucks.

Chief Roblin said his department will hold a Grand Opening for the station on Saturday, Sept. 17 at noon.