Ceremonial groundbreaking marks construction of new Donaldsonville fire station

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Officials and firefighters break ground on the new Donaldsonville fire station on August 2, 2018. Photo by Michael Tortorich.

City of Donaldsonville officials dug into the earth along Marchand Drive on August 2, 2018 to mark the beginning of construction on a new fire station.

The longtime project, funded by a voter-renewed property tax millage, is expected to take about 10 months to complete.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan said the site, near the intersection of Marchand Drive and Church Street, willl be a central location within the city.

"I want to thank the citizens of Donaldsonville for having enough confidence in myself and the elected officials to go out and vote to renew a tax so we could build the fire station," Sullivan told the crowd.

Sullivan also praised the city's firefighters for their services.

"I can tell you that our firefighters are very professional, caring, and they do a wonderful job," he said.

The current station, along Bayou Lafourche, dates back to the 1960s. Over the years, there have been some growing pains for the department.

Fire Chief James MacDonald said the department has outgrown the current facility. Some of the department's equipment must be stored away from the site due to lack of space.

The new building will be 9,500 square feet, better to serve the City of Donaldsonville and all areas outside of the city limits on the Ascension Parish west side of the Mississippi River.

The fire department employs three full-time firefighters, and benefits from the services of more than 20 volunteers.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, city officials and firefighters honored former Fire Chief August Bradford with a special service award. Bradford, along with former chiefs, the late Kirk Landry, and Chuck Montero, were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

"This project has been in the works for a long time," MacDonald said. "I've been here 24 years, and I've been hearing about the new fire station all of these years."

The station will include enough bays to park the department's trucks, and will have enough bedrooms for firefighters to relax between calls.

For more photos from the groundbreaking, see: https://www.facebook.com/pg/DonaldsonvilleLA/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2307606185946922.

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