Keep what they have, move to a new location, or start an expensive remodel job. What to do with the Bishop Police Department was the topic at the Bishop City Council meeting Monday night.
Administrator Rick Pucci explained that the City may have the option to buy the Verizon property on Lagoon Street to convert into a new station for the Bishop Police. According to Pucci, past Grand Jury reports have said that the current police station is inadequate and year ago the council asked city staff to look into a new station.
Letters to Verizon had gone unanswered until recently, with lease discussions and the possibility of a sale to the city for $2.2 million. Pucci presented three options to the council. The first was to keep the existing police station. This would be the cheaper option unless the city decided to upgrade the facility.
The second option according to Pucci was to buy the Verizon building, doubling the size of the police station. With remodel costs plus the property, the cost to the city would be roughly $4.1 million. Pucci said that the city could possibly get grants and low interest loans from the Federal Government to pay for the project, but that there is no such thing as 100% funding.
The third option would be a remodel at the existing police station on Line Street, possibly a joint Police and fire station. Any remodel or add on attempts would be costly. Pucci explained that any remodel on the police station legally triggers a massive seismic retro fit process. How much this would cost, Pucci said he had no clue. The advantages are that the police station is close to other city offices and that the Police Station would be in compliance with modern building requirements.
This discussion is still in the early stages. Council member Susan Cullen wanted to look into whether or not the Police needed a new building. Frank Crom said that a new police station was a definite need. Bruce Dishion wanted to have a workshop to see what the city could afford. Mayor Smiley Connolly said that he didnt want to see the City go broke over a new police station.
This discussion is expected to come up again at future meetings.