Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Police department to get addition, remodel

City council discusses architect services.

Whether or not to hire an architect to design a renovation plan for and addition to the Gothenburg Police Department is on the minds of local council members.

At a special meeting Monday afternoon, members discussed whether or not to pay money for a professional or rely on police chief Randy Olson to draw up a plan.

Members had earlier approved a budget that included an estimated $120,000 to add a garage to house police vehicles and renovation of space within the department.

Senior citizens who have played pool in a room attached to police headquarters will have to give up their space in the plan.

A proposal drawn up by Olson includes separate cubicles for police officers and offices for the police chief and deputy chief Matt Langley as well as separate space for evidence, interviews, interview/holding, storage, a break room and unisex bathroom.

A public rest room for men, which exists now, will remain and a new women’s bathroom built. The police department is secured from the public area.

Because there aren’t many structural changes with the exception of the garage addition, city administrator Bruce Clymer said he wondered whether an architect was necessary.

Clymer said an architect could drive up the cost, noting that such a price tag could range between $5,000 and $10,000.

Council member Jim Aden said it sounded fairly simple and wondered if the $10,000 could go into the cost of construction.

Clymer said depending on Olson to draw up final plans would involve much of his time.

Jeff Kennedy, council president, said he thought the project was much more involved than a house remodel and that an architect may be a good idea. An architect may also absorb some liability, Kennedy added.

Aden asked Clymer to get an estimate of the cost of an architect from Miller & Associates Consulting Engineers—the city engineer—who have architects.

Clymer said he would get a proposed contract and present it at a future council meeting.

The council also discussed whether or not to leave public bathrooms in the police department since they are next to a secure area.

“It’s not the perfect solution but there’s a separation,” Olson said.

Several council members like Kennedy and Tim Strauser said they favored keeping public bathrooms.

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