NEWS FROM THE CHAMBER

 

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Courthouse Annex under Construction in Ringgold
By: Mary K. Hamner

Framework is up on what promises to be an impressive new structure that will house the Courthouse Annex in Ringgold, Louisiana. The Annex will be occupied by the sheriff’s substation, satellite offices of the clerk of court and tax assessor, as well as the parish health unit. A large meeting room, central to the building, will accommodate community gatherings and will serve as the centralized voting precinct for Ringgold.

The new building replaces parish government offices that had been located in the southern part of Bienville Parish as early as the 1980s. “ Sheriff Arvis Whitman first used Ringgold ‘s Town Hall for a sub station,” Rodney Warren, Bienville Parish Police Jury Secretary Treasurer said. “ In time, the sheriff’s substation was moved to a long abandoned Ringgold School building that had been built in the 1950s. The tax assessor and the clerk of court and the health unit had satellite offices there as well.”

“ The Bienville Parish Police Jury began addressing the problems relating to the old office buildings as early as 2008,” Warren continued. “ The Ringgold building was in bad repair and had been plagued with plumbing and roofing problems for years. The same was true of the main courthouse located in Arcadia that was built in the 1950s. In addition to the ongoing deterioration of both buildings, they were running out of room. Veterans Affairs office is housed in a closet and there is no place for the District Attorney’s office.”

Voters approved a 3.5-mill, 20-year property tax to pay for the $8 million courthouse and the annex. Approximately $1.6 million will be required for construction of the Ringgold Annex building with an estimated completion date of August 19, 2011. Bids for the main two-story courthouse building to be located on the north side of Interstate 20 in Arcadia will be let in February. This courthouse construction should take 16 to 18 months to complete.

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Construction of Main Bienville Parish Courthouse Begins In Arcadia
By: Mary K. Hamner

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on April 13, 2011 for the new Bienville Parish Courthouse building located at 200 Gap Farms Road in Arcadia, Louisiana. The Police Jury earlier had accepted the low bid of $10,063,000 from Lincoln Builders, one of 12 bids submitted to the Jury on March 9.

The Main building will contain 50,723 square feet, more than double the size of the old courthouse that has 24,422 square feet. It will include larger offices on the first floor for the Police Jury, Sheriff, (both criminal and civil tax offices). The second floor will house jury offices, the courtroom and related offices, and district attorney offices.

Voters approved a 3.5 mill, 20-year property tax to pay for the $8 million main courthouse in Arcadia and Courthouse Annex in Ringgold, Louisiana. Approximately $1.6 million will be required for construction of the Ringgold Annex building with an estimated completion date of August 19, 2011. Estimated time for the completion of the Main Courthouse in Arcadia is 16 to 18 months.