Council could soon take first step on police stationPublished 5:20pm Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The Fergus Falls City Council could take the first step toward building a new police station on Monday, but construction still might not happen for a long time.
At the Wednesday meeting of Fergus Falls’ finance, personnel and development committee, the committee unanimously recommended that the council move forward on getting a schematic design for a public safety facility on the property the city owns across from city hall. It also recommended that the city formally invite the Otter Tail County dispatch station to move into a new facility when it is built.
The purpose of the recommendation was twofold, according to City Administrator Mark Sievert. First, he said, if the council approves it, it will signal that when a project eventually is started, it will officially be located on the property across from city hall. Second, it allows the city to move forward on part of the plan while not necessarily approving of all of it now.
The project is expected to cost about $5.4 million overall. The city has already spent over $1.2 million on it, most of which went toward purchasing the property where the building will eventually sit. While the city could continue to move forward on the building, it would have to raise taxes to do so. Many council members are unsure if that’s a wise decision right now, with the timeline and price tag of the community ice arena suddenly in question and an upcoming state legislative session which could see more cuts to local government funding.
However, hiring an architectural firm to make a schematic design of the proposed building only will cost the city $29,500. Sievert also said that taking the project slow will allow for time to process decisions and inform the public.Tags: city council, committee meeting, Police Station