Groves Council considering $2.5 million police department, emergency center

Published 7:35 pm Monday, August 3, 2009

By Darragh Doiron

The News staff writer

GROVES — A new $2.5 million police department and emergency operations center built with grant money would make the city “good stewards” of citizens’ money, Groves City Marshal Jeff Wilmore said.

Wilmore and a representative from BRW Architectural Inc. discussed a feasibility plan for new buildings at Monday’s Groves City Council meeting. Council has scheduled a 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, special meeting, canceling the regularly scheduled Monday, Aug. 17, meeting, to expedite writing and submitting the governmental Port Security Grant. Council must vote to finalize the grant request, which Wilmore said he will submit immediately, if approved.

The study indicated that improving the current police department site connected to city hall is not feasible for reasons including a lack of parking, temporary relocation of workers because of expected asbestos removal and expensive bathroom upgrades. Wilmore said several new sites are under consideration.

The city of Groves would spend about $640,000 and the grant would pay for about $1,920,053, Wilmore said. The proposal could also include a new courtroom area for additional funds.

Wilmore said the grant, if approved, would maximize taxpayers’ dollars, making the city “good stewards” of public monies, to “get as much built for the dollar as we can get.” The figures calculate to the city paying about 25 cents for every 75 cents of government funding, he said.

If the city doesn’t take advantage of the funding now, the decision could delay the inevitable and the city could one day have to pay all funding for new buildings, Wilmore said. In previous appearances before council, Wilmore has described a police department that has outgrown current space. The emergency center is needed for coordinating hurricane operations, he said.

Council also called for a general election on Tuesday, Nov. 3, for electing Ward 1 and Ward 3 council members. Joseph P. Arisco currently holds the Ward 1 position and Sidney Badon currently holds the Ward 3 position.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox