A plan to move evidence from the Clinton Police Department to the former Building and Neighborhood Services building passed through the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, moving the department one step closer to managing space needs.
The building sits one block north of the police department and would afford the department 7,100 additional square feet of space. The building is owned by the city, but currently for sale. If the city wished to reclaim the building for evidence storage, it would need to be unlisted. Because it is owned by the city, the police department would not be responsible for the $31,950 in annual rent the building would require otherwise.
“We are in dire need of getting our space under control,” Guy said. “We’ve got retention issues with evidence that needs to be in a better environment so it can be kept longer.”
The space would need additional shelving, an alarm and connectivity to the police department. These upgrades would cost $5,000. While the roof also needs to be repaired, it would not be immediately required.
“As far as getting the building ready, we think we have outside source funds that would take care of that. I would work with the city administrator to facilitate that. I would anticipate the roof at some point, perhaps as a capital, perhaps next year for consideration,” Guy said.
Police plans also included an office for cold case investigations, the department chaplain and a space for staging records that are being digitized.
Council member Jennifer Graf, at-large, said she would rather see the front space used as a meeting room for city employees and officials. She said while she sympathized with the department’s needs, the thought of using a building that officials decided to shutter in order to save money two years ago was troubling.
“My personal frustration, two years ago when we sat down and we were just wringing our hands on what we’re going to do to save money and one of the things was to close the BNS building, move everything back under one house, how we’re going to save all this money,” Graf said. “But it’s not against your needs because those are real.”
The council forwarded a resolution to the next regularly scheduled council meeting directing the building be removed from the city’s list of for sale properties and designated for police storage needs and city usage.