Oskaloosa City Council scraps plan for police station

by Dennis Sharkey
Plans to construct a new police station in the basement of the new pharmacy on the square have been scrapped for a bigger plan.


The council had a verbal agreement in place with the Jefferson County Memorial Hospital Foundation to lease the space for $1 a year but now the council is moving in a different direction after some initial investigation into the project.

The construction plans for the police station became much more complex when it was recently discovered that the project would be much more involved because of Kansas Bureau of Investigation standards.

At issue is the actual office and storage of evidence for the department. Areas that contain records and evidence must be secured behind a block wall and have an alarm.

Currently the city police department does not have an office and records are kept on a computer at Police Chief Rick Jones’ house.

Councilman Gary Bryant after hearing what the cost would be for the police station suggested the city move forward with construction of a new city hall that incorporates all of the city buildings and services into one area.

The city currently owns an empty lot on Delaware Street next to the Independent office.

Bryant said the costs of the police station combined with the thousands of dollars of repairs needed to the city shop buildings means it makes sense to explore the option.

“I think we can do that if we just sit down and do it rather than kicking the can around,” Bryant said.

“Plan B is on the table because Plan A just got washed,” Councilman Dale Mooney added.

Mayor Mike Paavola said most people are in favor of Plan B but nothing has moved forward. He said that the city engineer would be instructed to perform a site study of the lot and then a plan could be formulated.

“I think we need to know what our options are,” Paavola said.

One main hang up for moving forward was the old Harvey’s Hardware Building. The city completed the sale of the building in May.

In other actions:

• A plan to come up with a new time card system for the city was tabled after Jones expressed concerns about a new system. Jones said the way his job is structured it would become a hassle for him.

“I take a lot of action and I’m not on the dang clock,” Jones said. “I’m not really interested in having to run down to a time clock every time I get a call at the house or every time I’m walking up the street. To me it’s a waste of time.”

• Malsbury also expressed some concerns that the city police department has no phone line that citizens can call with complaints or concerns.

• More street repair work will begin today (Thursday). Notifications will be sent to home owners, however, if cars are not moved from the street they could be towed.

• Bryant reported that 11 intersections in town need street signs in place or replaced. He said each intersection will cost about $72.

• The city will no longer send delinquent water bill notices via certified mail and changed some fee structures.

• The city accepted a bid to replace the shingle roof on the pool bathhouse with a tin roof.

• The council has decided to increase the hours of the treasurer position from 15 hours per week to 24 hours per week. Councilman John Norman said the city could probably fill the position if the hours were increased.

Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=13623

Posted by on Jul 17 2012. Filed under Government, Municipalities, Oskaloosa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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