Jury to purchase Hollier Drug Store
Space has been a issue for some time for the different department housed in the Vermilion Parish Courthouse in Abbeville, but the jury took steps Wednesday night to alleviate some of the problem.
A few months ago an ad-hoc courthouse committee was formed to address the space issue for the Clerk of Court, Judges, Assessor, Criminal Investigations Department of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office (VPSO), the Office of Emergency Protection, 911 operations and the administrative offices of the jury.
At that time it was decided to look for alternate locations for some of these groups.
Hollier Drug Store stands adjacent to another parish-owned building, the annex of the VPSO on State Street across from the courthouse.
The structure was immediately available, has 2400 square feet and appraised for $93,000.
While the space is needed, some reservations from the Downtown Historical District Board which falls under the Abbeville Main Street program were addressed with Police Jury President Gerald Butaud.
“Our concern,” Main Street Board Member Rachel Cherry stated, “is that a part of our mission with the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation is to both develop economic development while maintaining the architectural integrity and historic value of our city’s buildings within the downtown historic district.”
“We don’t intend to change the exterior of the building,” Butaud stated.
The building is not specifically listed on the National Register of Historic Places; however, the entire downtown historic district of Abbeville is listed.
The only restriction that organization enforces that may affect the jury is that if the building is changed, then federal monies cannot be used.
The Main Street Board has more stringent regulations; however, that will have to be discussed with the jury.
“It is our hope that the parish will work with us for the preservation of this landmark building,” Cherry stated.
The Downtown Historic District guidelines enables Certified Local Government communities to be eligible for technical assistance and grants for preservation of their architectural and cultural heritage for future generations.
“A large part of the identity of Abbeville lies in the downtown area. We want to not only preserve it, but also to enhance it,” Cherry concluded.
The jury has not yet determined who will occupy the building. This will be discussed at the next ad-hoc courthouse committee meeting.
The approval to purchase the building will not be ratified until Monday at the regular meeting of the Vermilion Parish Police Jury at 6 p.m. at the Vermilion Parish Courthouse in Abbeville.