By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Police Department is making progress in the storage issues that have troubled it for more than a decade by pinpointing the best building that could partially alleviate the space crunch.
The former Building and Neighborhood Services building is the apparent front runner in the search for storage space, but the department considered many other options before setting sights on the vacant building at 110 Fifth Ave. South.
According to Iowa code, the city cannot pursue the lease, purchase or construct a building before it considers leasing a vacant school building. In Clinton’s case, the only building that fits the bill is the Roosevelt building, which the school district moved its administration offices out of this summer.
While there is ample storage space, a sprinkler system and the building is only three blocks from the police department, Police Chief Brian Guy said the space has a number of drawbacks. The Roosevelt building is two floors without an elevator, is not ADA compliant and has excessive heating and cooling costs.
After essentially ruling out the Roosevelt building, police department officials considered serveral other options near their current location. The four options ranged in cost from $3 to $6 per square foot, with varying upgrades needed in order to house police evidence.
The most sensible option appears to be the former Building and Neighborhood Services space at 110 Fifth Ave. South, one block north of the police department.
“The nice thing about it in proximity to the police department is it’s a walk up the alley,” Guy said.
The space would require additional shelving, an alarm and connectivity to the police department. These upgrades would cost $5,000. Rent for the facility would be $31,950 annually. The roof also will need some repairs that would add expenses.
Police Chief Brian Guy said work still needs to be done in order to secure funding.
“I would work with the city administrator and see if we can’t come up with the funds,” Guy said. “If the committee decides to move this forward to the council, we would come up with a plan for council consideration of the immediate needs that we would have, how we would fund those and then long-term needs especially the roof. And perhaps do that in another year or so with bonding or something like that. Perhaps with next year’s budget for consideration,” Guy said.
The building is also for sale, and would need to be unlisted in order for the police department to move into the building with long-term intentions.
While the building doesn’t satisfy all of the department’s storage needs, it is more than they have now. According to a space needs study that was completed in 2001, the police department should have 24,000 square feet to use; right now they have 10,000. With the Building and Neighborhood Services space, they would have 17,100.
“Even though this is only 7,100 square feet, especially with the storage space, this gets us further down the road of where we should be,” Guy said.
The item will move to the Committee of the Whole for discussion.