Jul 142016
 
The current NOPD Fourth District building in Federal City. (via Facebook)

The current NOPD Fourth District building in Federal City. (via Facebook)

The next area of New Orleans slated for a new police station is Algiers, where city officials hope to move officers out of the Federal City complex along the river to a more central location, based on a $7 million budget request made Wednesday.

Stephanie Landry, who leads the budget division of the New Orleans Police Department, appeared before the city planning staff Wednesday morning to describe the project. The NOPD has leased the Fourth District station on Sanctuary Drive since 2012, but is responsible for all repairs to it, and is spending increasing amounts of money repairing water-intrusion and other issues on a building the city does not even own, she said.

“We’re experiencing problems with the leased building,” Landry said. “The lease says we handle all the repairs.”

The city has acquired two parcels on Wall Boulevard between Horace and Flanders streets (next to the Magellan Canal) that would house both the new police station and a new fire station, Landry said. Earlier plans were to build one facility for both entities, but newer designs call for separate, side-by-side buildings, she said.

City planners questioned whether a new building was the best use of the city’s money, or if the former Fourth District station on Richland Road could be renovated for less than $7 million. The city has been unable to sell that property, and renovating it might be a “more immediate” option, Landry acknowledged.

The NOPD’s budget request for the new station in Algiers comes in two parts — $620,000 for design in 2017, and $6.8 million for construction in 2018.

The department also made a number of smaller requests:

  • $1 million for repairs to the upper level of the main headquarters parking garage,
  • $787,500 for remediation of damage to the exterior concrete fins on the garage,
  • $1 million to relocate the support services building away from the Lafitte Greenway,
  • $3.15 million for renovations to the upper floors of the headquarters building, which has not had any major work in 60 years, Landry said,
  • $1.15 million for a new roof on the Special Operations Division by Walmart off Tchoupitoulas, and
  • $120,000 for the evidence storage area in the headquarters garage,

Landry also mentioned that the department needs a new firing range at a cost of more than $4 million, but city planners suggested that not enough information has been gathered for that to form a full request. Better, they said, would be for the NOPD to request a study to estimate the costs and benefits of building a new facility as part of its academy.

All city departments are submitting capital-projects requests in a series of hearings this summer. Once the presentations are complete, the City Planning Commission will evaluate them and make recommendations to the full City Council for inclusion in next year’s budget.

Prior to any work on the Algiers station, however, the city is proceeding with plans to move the Second District out of its old building on Magazine Street to a new location in Gert Town. That project no longer appears in the capital projects budget because it has been fully funded, Landry said.

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