Baton Rouge fire station sits in limbo after contractor bails - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Fire station sits in limbo after contractor bails

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A fire station still not fully built six months after it was supposed to open is causing an uproar in one Baton Rouge community. Neighbors said they feel unsafe and want construction to resume immediately.

The East Baton Rouge City-Parish Government agreed on a $1.5 million contract to build a new fire station at the corner of Choctaw Drive and North Acadian Throughway. According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney's Office, the city paid for the construction of the fire station, but the contractor bailed.

The city of Baton Rouge hired a Michigan company with a Baton Rouge office called Quadrants Inc. to build the new station. It has cost taxpayers $750,000 so far and according to the EBR  Parish Attorney's Office, Quadrants Inc. backed out of the project last December. It's now 171 days past its original opening date, according to DPW.

"It's really frustrating because anything can happen and we're not ready," said Eric Johnson, who manages a barber shop across the street.

"Response times are there," said Curt Monte with the Baton Rouge Fire Department. "Coverage hasn't changed and we're going to continue to provide them with class one service we've always had."

Monte added there are currently two fire stations in the area that provide service.

"We're just as anxious as the citizens are, if not more, to get it open," Monte explained.

Quadrants Inc. could not be questioned as to why it stopped work on the project. According to the Secretary of State's website, the company address is listed as 3390 Nicholson Drive. A condo is located near LSU's campus at that address. Several calls were made to the company, but no one answered the phone.

The parish attorney's office is working with an insurance company to get the project moving. Construction is expected to resume in the next month.

Copyright 2011 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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