A lease agreement between the city of McMinnville and Red Road Business Park will be broken.
The city Safety Committee and Building and Grounds Committee unanimously approved providing a written notice that the city intends to terminate its lease agreement with Red Road Business Park and relocate McMinnville Police Department to City Hall.
“When can you start moving?” asked Alderman Everett Brock. “Tomorrow?”
McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton replied, “Yes, please.”
Those statements came after Tuesday’s joint meeting in which the plans were outlined.
“I think it goes without saying that getting them out of their current location is long overdue, but it’s also not in the cards at the moment to invest in a brand new multi-million dollar facility,” said Vice Mayor Ryle Chastain in opening the discussion. “We’ve all come together, pooled ideas, and come up with what we feel is a plausible solution to that issue and that would be to move the Police Department to the third floor of City Hall and the basement.”
Denton and city administrator Nolan Ming outlined the plans.
“They would take over the majority of the third floor,” said Ming. “My office would remain where it’s at. Very minimal work would be required. We are talking about replacing some flooring, placing two doors, and building one new wall.”
“We would relocate administration and detectives,” said Denton. “Patrol officers would have a work area there and they would be in and out. Interview room and training room. We would plan on using the city’s council room for city court and maybe driving school.”
The basement would be used for evidence storage, armory and confiscated items such as weapons.
Parking was discussed.
“We have a plan for parking,” said Denton. “We will probably utilize the property on Bell Street for overflow vehicles and personal vehicles that are driven to work. We need some way to secure those, but I don’t think that would be a big deal. We could also utilize a little office space over there.”
Other than shift change, officer presence at City Hall would be minimal.
“Shift change would bring several vehicles downtown, but it would be at 5:45 a.m. when there’s very little traffic on the square and then again at 5:45 p.m. Other than that, I just don’t see a downside to this. There may be one that I don’t see. Other than during shift change, I don’t expect there to be more than two uniformed police officers to be in the building at one time.”
Alderman Everett Brock replied, “That solves the biggest problem that we’ve had: what to do with all the cars.”
Denton did request three parking spaces – located on the west side of the building where the bank’s ATM used to be – on Court Square for officers who would be in and out of the building throughout the course of the day.
Ming estimates relocation would save the city approximately $100,000 a year in rent (currently $42,000 a year) and utilities.
However, the existing lease at Red Road Business Park has to be terminated first.
“Do you think there’s a chance we can negotiate a flat payment or something?” asked Brock.
Denton replied, “I have talked to one of the owners about that and he indicated that there might be some give and take about that. Just how much, we didn’t get into that.”
“If they have someone interested in moving in, maybe they would settle for three months,” said Brock.
Safety Committee and Building and Grounds Committee members unanimously approved providing Red Road Business Park with a written notice of lease termination and to arrange a meeting with it owners to discuss a financial settlement.
Board of Mayor and Aldermen approval is not required.