LIVINGSTON – Completion on a building to house the Livingston Parish Assessor’s Office could come within two to three months, according to Assessor Jeff Taylor.
Work on the Delmas L. Taylor Governmental Annex has shifted from construction to shrubbery and landscaping on the outsides, while ongoing interior work includes painting and construction of the cabinetry.
Taylor will likely receive keys to the building by late April or early May, but the relocation from the facility on 29940 Magnolia Street will not begin before a test run on the computer system.
“We will run a complete series through on computer before we move in, including the 'open book' period, tax notice period, and millage recount,” he said. “We also want to make sure the phone system, voice recordings and cameras systems work without a glitch before we move in.”
The move will likely occur in late June or early July, Taylor said.
The 26 employees in Taylor’s office will work in a building that occupies 8,000 square feet of the $2.4 million, 15,000 square-foot facility. The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and Livingston Parish Clerk of Court’s Office will also use the building for secured storage of records.
The storage areas will occupy a total of 5,000 square feet. The remaining space will accommodate “growth” for the assessor’s office, likely for the mapping services, Taylor said.
The assessor's office will pay two-thirds of the cost for the roof and generator for the building. The sheriff's office and clerk of court's office will pick up the remaining one-third share, while the three entities and the district judges will divide the costs for the parking lot, Taylor said.
Taylor had been saving money for several years to build a new facility. The office operates on $2.4 million through millages.
Plans for the move went into high gear in June 2017 when a burglar – Randon Blake Williams of Independence – broke through a window, stole cameras, a check book and a $40,000 Chevrolet Silverado that was assigned to Taylor for official business.
The break-in was not the only concern for Taylor. Property disputes and disgruntled customers have put employee safety at jeopardy in recent years, particularly with limited security.
One customer toted a baseball bat during a visit to the office in an issue over a family land dispute, he said.
The counters measure approximately 4 feet high with no security windows – something Taylor and his predecessors never considered a problem.
The new facility is named in memory of the Rev. Delmas Taylor, father of the assessor, who founded Unity Prayer Center in Livingston. He served as Registrar of Voters from 1997 until his retirement in April 2016.
He died in August 2016.