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Introducing the Avoyelles Justice Center

Photo Source: KALB
Photo Source: KALB(KALB)
Published: Jun. 26, 2019 at 9:55 PM CDT
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In November, there will be a request for a half-cent sales tax for Avoyelles Parish voters. The money will go towards the construction of a new Justice Center.

Back in August, we took a look at the Avoyelles Court House where longtime employees expressed concerns, describing it as a building made in the 1920s for the 1920s.

The solution to the problem was to build another building where all criminal and civil matters will be moved.

Architectural plans for the center were discussed at a board meeting on Wednesday evening at the Paragon Casino Resort.

The 40,000 square foot building will sit on a nine-acre site on Highway 1 with one entrance at Industrial Park that will intersect Longfellow Drive.

The new facility will include two courtrooms, 200 parking spaces, high-security features that will separate inmates from the public and staff, and more.

Without the $50,000 grant from the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe in August and a generous nine-acre property donation given by A.J. Roy III, this project would not have jump-started.

“I think that this is a community project, something to bring the community together,” Marshall Pierite Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe expressed. “I think this Justice Center will be an investment not only to our grandchildren but to future generations to come."

"It’s very important for the judiciary to have nice facilities,” Mr. Roy added. “That is where we pass judgment on people, and a building can inspire people or it can depress them, and that is from the judges down."

The half-cent sales tax would generate $2.2 million a year and will be reduced to a quarter-cent sales tax after the building is paid for, the cost of the center is estimated to be $9 million.

Along with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, the Paragon Casino Resort also contributed over $70,000 to local organizations during the meeting.

The following contributions were contributed at the event:

Avoyelles Parish Justice Center- $50,000

The District Attorney’s Office- $15,000

Children’s Advocacy Network- CASA- $5,000

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