Police/fire facilities update – updated

The City Council has taken another step toward new police and fire facilities by giving staff the OK to negotiate a contract with KKE Architects.  KKE has much experience with police and fire facilities, as well as sustainable design (and now would be the time to draft a sustainable building policy for municipal buildings).

The Council also had a “Review of Preliminary Sites for Safety Center” on the agenda this past week.   We took no action, but rather acknowledged the staff’s assembling a list of potential sites for a police station – earlier possible sites were based on the assumption that we would be building a combined fire/police facility – and directed staff to come up with a short list after looking at the possible sites for access and other issues.  And now, coming up on Tuesday, we have a short list (it’s item 12 in that chunk of material) of sites to pass along to KKE.  An advisory group with 2 or 3 Council members, staff, representatives from stakeholder groups (rural fire, colleges, Dundas) and citizens will be formed as part of the public process.

And, in Joel Walinski’s Friday Memo, May 11 is the tentative date for discussion of the funding mechanism for police/fire and library – the referendum or no referendum question.

There are many questions flapping around this issue, but I’m waiting for some analysis by KKE.because I need some fresh perspective on these projects.

Update: See the Council packet for April 20 for the short list of sites, which were eliminated and why.  Tomorrow, the Council will meet with KKE to discuss our goals for the project as we move forward on site selection.

One Reply to “Police/fire facilities update – updated”

  1. Betsey,

    I can’t believe that the Council is even considering doing this without a referendum.

    There is one reason not to have a referendum – the voters may turn it down. The seven of you have made a decision for which I have heard very little support. The referendum will give all of us a chance to voice our opinions, rather than just the seven of you.

    If it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t pass. So, be it. That probably means that it deserves to fail. Something more modest is appropriate.

    You heard some of the concerns at the Chamber meeting. There is nothing wrong with the building that we have. It is too small, but the problems are not that difficult (or expensive) to fix. It is certainly worth considering.

    The Safety Task Force had two of its most accomplished building development folks – Ray and Jerry – speaking against the proposal to abandon the station. Instead, they spoke in favor of expanding the current building. These guys know what they are talking about. They have more experience than the seven of you combined.

    Think about what we are really doing. We tell people to invest in their downtown buildings. But, we are going to tear down this building, and build a new one. Further, we are going to build another police station someplace not near the downtown. We can’t move the liquor store and actually make money. But, somehow we can move the police station out of the downtown.

    This has not been an intellectually honest approach to government, nor to governing. There is simply no way that we are going to get 2 new buildings for the $8.5 million dollars. A combined facility for both was going to cost more than that. How are you going to get 2 buildings for less than the price of one?

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