The Ouachita Parish Police Jury accepted a some $1.7 million bid this week from a West Monroe contractor to build a new fire station on Whites Ferry Road in West Monroe.

The Police Jury signed off on the some $1.7 million bid from Mann’s Construction, of West Monroe, after reviewing bids for the project during its regular meeting Monday night. Mann’s Construction submitted the lowest conforming bid.

Ouachita Parish Fire Chief Patrick “Pat” Hemphill said a new fire station was needed on Whites Ferry Road because it was a growing area.

“A large percentage of our runs are in that area,” Hemphill said. “If we improve our response time in that area, it will help improve our response time everywhere else, too.”

Currently, the fire department is operating a temporary fire station at Whites Ferry Road. Hemphill said residents could be assured the mobile home office and RV barn were only temporary structures.

Construction of the new fire station would be completed by the end of the year, he said.

Bill Land, with Land 3 Architect, said bids were first opened on Dec. 19, 2019.

Police Juror Scotty Robinson asked Land to identify the project’s budget.

“Honestly, about $2 million,” Land said. “It’s a large station. It’s a three bay station. We were elated to have this bid come in at such a good price.”

The Police Jury approved the bid, though Police Jury Vice President Jack Clampit abstained from the vote.

Clampit told The Ouachita Citizen he abstained from the vote because of his former business partnership with Stephen Mann, who owns Mann’s Construction.

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