Veteran's Affairs office will soon have new home

Published: Mar. 11, 2014 at 2:37 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tony Coleman and his coworkers at the Department of Louisiana Veteran's Affairs provided a tour of their service office on North Boulevard Monday.

"Well we have some problems you can see in the ceiling," said Coleman.

Mold and stains on ceiling tiles and watermarks on carpets tell the tale of a tired space in desperate need of repair. Conditions that Coleman says have prompted officials from his department to be in contact with East Baton Rouge Parish leaders for much of the last year requesting another spot and in fact paying a recent visit to a Metro Council meeting to do so.

"We like the location. We think the veterans like the location. It's just the fact we have pressures that we feel that are contributing to inability to as efficiently work the office as we'd like to," said Coleman.

Coleman adds the owner of the property told him and other workers he plans to serve them with a 30 day eviction notice. WAFB stopped by the owner's office but was told he was not available.

The possible eviction of the Veteran's Affairs Service Office from its current location adds a new wrinkle to the story however some parish leaders say Baton Rouge Government is still responsible for securing and funding office space for the department.

"I think this current situation escalates it and brings them closer to the top of being resolved," said Baton Rouge Metro Council Member Chauna Banks Daniel.

Daniel has voiced concern this matter has not been resolved within the last year and says the ultimate resolution will come from parish government.

"There are two people responsible, the landlord to get his business straight, the city to make the veterans and the office have what they need and they really need to do it expediently in my opinion," added Daniel.

A solution appears to be on the way. Baton Rouge Administrative Officer William Daniel told WAFB by phone Monday evening the Veteran's Affairs Service Office will be moved to the parish's Human Resources building on Florida Boulevard. Daniel adds the city has worked diligently to find Veteran's Affairs adequate office space. Coleman says that space is necessary to provide area veterans with the services they have earned.

"Yes we think we're at the point now where we are sufficiently under enough pressure by the veteran public at large where we really need to move, yes sir," said Daniel.

William Daniel says he fully expects the Veteran's Affairs service office to be moved into its new location within the next 30 days.

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