Here’s why the rent is tripling for Opelousas fire station

OPELOUSAS, la. (KLFY) —

The downtown Opelousas fire station, as well as the volunteer fire organization that owns the property the building sits on (Hope, Hook and Ladder) are part of the foundation that built the Opelousas fire department. So, it came as a surprise to many when the price of rent for the building suddenly skyrocketed this month. But upon further investigation, that price increase is for a good cause.

In recent months, Hope Hook and Ladder approached the city of Opelousas to inform the monthly rent price for the station would increase from $600 to $2000.

Bryan Chavis (Opelousas Fire Chief): “They pretty much was stating that the $600 a month that they had been receiving for the past 20 or 30 years at this point being that the cost of repairs, the cost of maintenance, the cost of insurance had gone up. They pretty much said that the reason for the increase.”

With rising costs, more than half of the money made from the rent would pay for insurance alone, leaving no room for funding renovations and repairs to the station.

Bryan Chavis: “The building is very old, the roof currently is leaking on the museum side of the building, the plumbing is very old, the building itself is in need of repair.”

With the station needed to maintain the city’s fire rating, it also preserves a piece of the city’s history by representing the fire department’s growth, and the legacy built by hope hook and ladder.

Bryan Chavis: “Hope hook and ladder is the volunteer fire department fire company that started basically Opelousas fire department and contributed to St. Landry Parish Fire District 3. The key to all of this the whole area is hope hook and ladder. So that’s kind of why we wanted to make sure that that building, and that station stayed in service for the fire department within the city of Opelousas.

Chavis says another meeting is planned with Hope, Hook and Ladder later this month to discuss the repairs and also the possibility of the price of rent dropping in the future.

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