With closing set, Phelps borrows city equipment for enhancements - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

With closing set, Phelps borrows city equipment for enhancements

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DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) -

A request from Phelps Correctional Center to borrow city equipment has City of DeQuincy officials scratching their heads.

The City of DeQuincy let the facility borrow a forklift, or backhoe, to help unload building material from 18-wheelers.

DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan said it's confusing because the facility is closing come November, so why would building material be needed at the center?

"I said, "Excuse me? I thought we were closing this place down in a month? We're still unloading building materials? So, what's up with this?"" Henagan said.

Henagan said he didn't mind helping out employees at the center because the center has helped the city before with various projects throughout the years.

"If those people need the help, I'll do what I can to help them. But I'm not doing it for a favor to some other folks," he said.

Warden Robert Henderson said a pipeline company donated between $60,000 and $70,000 to Phelps. Henderson didn't want to disclose which company made the donation.

"In some ways I wish that we weren't asking them [City of DeQuincy] if we could borrow it because what we were doing was unloading some things that have been given to us as a donation to the prison," Henderson said.

He said the donation was made to the facility well before they knew the prison was closing. And asking to borrow city equipment was a decision made by employees of the facility, not higher-ups.

The project will reportedly include some grounds enhancements.

Phelps Correctional Center received lumber, paint, trees, lawn equipment and other material.

Once the doors close in November, Henderson said all the new equipment will be distributed to other facilities across the state, primarily Angola. 

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