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Local News

July 22, 2013

Nederland Police preparing for move to temp location

NEDERLAND — Nederland Police Department is preparing for a move to a temporary location less than half a mile away while major renovations are made to the Boston Avenue location.

The home away from home is located at 1041 Nederland Ave., which is just behind Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and facing Twin City Highway.

Nederland Police Chief Darrell Bush and Assistant Chief Gary Porter toured their soon-to-be new home on Monday. Porter eyed the walls noting how fast the once empty 3,600 foot space had been turned into a police station.

“This is as good as we can ask for until we can get into the new building,” Bush said.

The move will begin early next week and be done in stages so as to keep any disruptions to a minimum. The police department will be in their temporary home until August 2014 while work is being done on the Homer E. Nagel Public Safety Complex project.

Bush and Porter walked through the Nederland Avenue location noting a waiting area/lobby in the front of the building. Beyond a door there are special areas designated for the court clerk and administrative assistants. Another area features four offices for detectives, offices for Bush and Porter, restrooms and a breakroom.

The police, as well as the fire department, will be temporarily displaced during renovation of the current city hall/police/fire departments.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said work to gut the Boston Avenue building will soon begin once the departments have moved out. A pre-construction conference is scheduled for Tuesday and will include Duque as well as police and fire chiefs and grant administration persons.

Moving of the fire department will be somewhat easier than the move of the police department, Duque said in that the NFD is moving to a parking lot adjacent to their current location.

Federal prisoner crews and possibly public works department personnel will be on hand to assist in the move. The current goal is for the completion of the new city hall, located at Atlanta Avenue and 12th Street, by late August.

Mid-County Dispatch, which covers the three Mid-County cities, will not be moved during the transition.

“All phone numbers (fire, police, city hall) will remain the same and 911 will remain operational,” Duque said. “There may be slight inconveniences as we stage the moving but this will be minimized as much as possible. Relocating two departments as large as the police and fire complex is a big task but we have been planning for this.”

Should an issue arise with the dispatch communications can be seamlessly switched over to Beaumont Police Department or Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Duque said the phone system will undergo an upgrade, paid for by the grant, some time next week.

Upcoming City Council meetings in August will be held at the Marion and Ed Hughes Library to facilitate the start of the Nagel Public Safety Complex project.

Another change related to the move is the location for municipal court.  During the first three to four weeks in August municipal court, which meets weekly, will be held at the Port Neches courtroom.

Last year Nederland Fire and Rescue learned they were a recipient of a $2.1 million Port Security Grant. The city’s portion of the grant is about $500,000. City leaders realized the only way to efficiently construct a new facility for the police/fire departments — which are currently housed in the same building as city hall, was to build a new city hall with separate funding and renovate the current facility with grant monies.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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