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Police station could move to city hall
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McMinnville officials will be discussing a new facility for McMinnville Police Department on Tuesday night. An old idea for the department may be making a comeback.
“We’re looking for a place to build a facility when there is plenty of room at city hall,” said Alderman Junior Medley. “We don’t even use the basement and it’s a nice area.”
Medley says he plans to propose moving McMinnville’s Planning and Zoning Department out of city hall and back to Belmont Drive. It was originally located there and shared a facility with McMinnville Public Works. Currently, Planning and Zoning uses part of the second floor in city hall.
Then, Medley believes there will be enough room to move the police department into the basement area and the second floor of city hall.
“I’ve still got to measure, but I think there’s about 8,000 square foot of space,” Medley said. “There should be plenty of room. Yes, there would have to be some work done to make it fit the department’s needs, but it won’t be anywhere near $1 million.”
Last month, officials discussed building a new facility on the empty lot behind the Blue Building on Colville Street. A cost estimate put the pricetag at $1 million — $100 a square foot for a 8,500-square-foot building, with an additional $150,000 for architect, engineering fees, etc.
“When they start talking about spending $1 million on a new facility, I think we should consider this as an option,” said Medley. “I’m a businessman. If it’s mine and I own it and we need to move you, that’s where you are going. I’m not building another facility when I already own one.”
While the layout of the plan is not complete, Medley says the front lobby where people go to pay tickets could be on the second floor of city hall with administration and the courtroom. The basement, as well as a vault located there, could be utilized by the rest of the staff.
When discussing a new $1 million facility, city administrator David Rutherford reminded officials that they should keep in mind the department would need extra space for parking patrol cars and those attending court.
Medley says if more parking is needed, they could always pave what used to be The Hole, but is now called The Lot across the street.
“It isn’t used but once or twice a year anyway,” he said. “I know that won’t be a welcomed idea by some, but it could be done.”
Officials discussed the option of moving the police department into city hall back in 2009 before moving it to Red Road Business Park. At that time, it was determined city hall would not fit the department’s space needs for staff or parking.
A Building and Grounds Committee meeting is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Tuesday night. More details about the plan will be available at that time.