Improvements made to Bastrop City Hall have translated into new patrol cars for the Bastrop Police Department.
Bastrop Mayor Arthur Jones said work to make City Hall compliant with contemporary standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) helped the city tap into federal funds to purchase and equip three new patrol cars.
The work began during the administration of former Mayor Betty-Alford Olive.
"When the building was constructed in the 1970s, it was compliant with standards in place then," Alford-Olive said. "To qualify for the grants used to get the patrol cars, several projects had to be completed to bring it into compliance with ADA standards that have been put in place since then."
With the city dealing with the loss of tax revenue following the closure of International Paper's Louisiana Mill, Alford-Olive said the city utilized its own employees to do as much of the work as possible. Christmas Realty/Bastrop Roofing was brought in as contractor on larger-scale parts of the project.
Alford-Olive's predecessor, Clarence Hawkins, serves as Louisiana director for the United States Department of Agriculture's Office of Rural Development, which provided partial funding to purchase the 2013 Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicles.
"We have different funding sources to serve the various needs of communities in rural Louisiana," Hawkins said. "These funds came from our community facilities program, and provided 40 percent of the funding for the cars."
Police Chief Downey Black said the cars were purchased under the contract price given to the state of Louisiana's Department of Administration.
"We utilized as much equipment as we could from the older units," Black said. "There were some things that had to be replaced that were specific for Fords and not the Chevrolets we purchased."
Ads Plus of Monroe produced the graphics used on the patrol cars with input from the police chief. Black used a variation of a script logo created by Arnett Muldrow for the city in 2007 through grant funds the city's Main Street program received from former First Lady Laura Bush's Preserve America program.
"We hope to have the third and final car in the next few days," Black said. "We're pleased with all the work that went in to helping make this possible."