Former Donaldsonville Fire Chief Chuck Montero receives a ceremonial shovel and statue from the city's groundbreaking for the new fire station. Shown with Montero, from left, are: Councilman Lauthaught Delaney, Assistant Fire Chief Travis Cedotal, Councilman Charles Brown, Councilman Raymond Aucoin, Mayor Leroy Sullivan, Councilman Reginald Francis, Fire Chief James MacDonald, and Councilman Brent Landry. Photo by Michael Tortorich.
The Donaldsonville City Council honored former Fire Chief Chuck Montero Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
Montero was unable to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking, held earlier in August, for the new fire station being built at Marchand and Church Street in Donaldsonville.
Donaldsonville officials dug into the earth along Marchand Drive on August 2, 2018 to mark the beginning of construction on the new fire station. The longtime project, funded by a voter-renewed property tax millage, is expected to take about 10 months to complete.
Retired since March, 1, 2017, Montero said he has served the department in some capacity since the early 1980s. He had been the fire chief of the city since January 2006. Fire Chief James MacDonald added that Montero still helps the department on calls.
The Mayor and Council honored Montero with a statue and ceremonial shovel from the groundbreaking.
During the ceremony, MacDonald said the department has outgrown the current facility. Some of the department's equipment must be stored away from the site due to lack of space.
The new building will be 9,500 square feet, better to serve the City of Donaldsonville and all areas outside of the city limits on the Ascension Parish west side of the Mississippi River.
The fire department employs three full-time firefighters, and benefits from the services of more than 20 volunteers.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, city officials and firefighters honored former Fire Chief August Bradford with a special service award. Bradford, along with former chiefs, the late Kirk Landry, and Montero, were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.
On August 2, 2018, Donaldsonville officials and dignitaries broke ground on the new fire station at the corner of Marchand and Church. Photo by Michael Tortorich.
BACK TO SCHOOL PROGRAM SUCCESSFUL: In another matter during the meeting, Volunteer Director Robyn Penn Delaney gave a report on the recent Back To School Refresher Program held at the Lemann Memorial Center.
Delaney said 125 students were present on the highest attendance night.
She thanked the more than 40 volunteers who donated their time and services, as well as the local media's coverage, including broadcaster Lionel Franklin of KKAY, journalist Greg Fischer of The Donaldsonville Chief and Gonzales Weekly Citizen, Darlene Denstorff of The Advocate's Ascension section, and City of Donaldsonville website/social media manager Michael Tortorich.
"It was exciting to see the kids involved," Mayor Leroy Sullivan said, thanking Delaney for her efforts.
"We had some people step up big time with donations," Delaney said. "We really appreciate it."
Ascension Parish Schools supplied flyers, copies, and materials for the program.
As in past years, Delaney kept records of all spending on the program, and came in nearly $700 under the total budget of $7,150.
Councilman Brent Landry made a motion to continue the program for the next school year. Councilman Charles Brown seconded the motion. The Council voted to approve the program for next summer.
For photos from the groundbreaking, see: https://www.facebook.com/pg/DonaldsonvilleLA/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2307606185946922.
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