City Hall, police station replacement put on hold with need for new pool
The Tonganoxie Police Department isn’t the only city office dealing with overcrowded quarters.
“I think anyone driving by City Hall would understand what we’re dealing with,” Tonganoxie City Administrator Mike Yanez said.
The red brick building that is City Hall was built nearly 100 years ago. Additional space was added in 1992 when the fire station was converted to the current council room at the same time the Tonganoxie Police Department took over all the space with the relocation of the community library.
Space limitations mean there is little room for visitors to wait, Yanez said. Any meeting of more than three people has to be moved to the council chamber, and storage space is at a premium in both buildings, reducing floor space.
“We are required by state law to keep records for years,” Yanez said. “We have to keep them in dry storage. So we have boxes piled everywhere.”
In addition to space limitations, City Hall has structural problems associated with a 100-year-old building, Yanez said.
With those problems in mind, Yanez and other city staffers began to look four to five years ago at replacement of City Hall and the police station. The effort never got further than pencil sketches of a two-story building near the current complex, he said.
The concept had the police station on the bottom floor and city offices the top, access with stairs and elevator. It would be designed to serve the city for 50 years.
It was roughly estimated the cost would be $3 million, Yanez said.
Although construction of a new police station wouldn’t require a bond referendum, a new city hall would. Any consideration of such a move ended with news the city’s swimming pool had failed and the placement of a bond issue before voters to replace it.
“That was higher on the food chain,” Yanez said. “We dropped everything when we needed a new swimming pool because the other one had a catastrophic failure.”
A replacement of the city complex is on the city’s capital improvement list, but Yanez said it would be five to 10 years before it moved forward.
“We will work with what we have. I still have staff come in here and get work done. We’ll continue to put money in an old building.”