Archive for Wednesday, February 9, 2011

City Hall, police station replacement put on hold with need for new pool

February 9, 2011

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.”

Comments

Tongiescout 3 years, 2 months ago

I find it very sad that Tonganoxie has to wait for a new police station and city hall because of a pool. There has been a lot of political turmoil lately and I think I speak for a lot of the citizens when I say that city services are the most important. We are a smaller city but that doesn't mean that our services should suffer. I am happy to have a great police department, fire department, public works, and city administration but we pay taxes for these services and if they need to be upgraded then I'm all for it. If it comes down between a new police station and a new bike path...I vote for the police station. I have only been to the current police station once for a visit and it was cramped and seemed to not be working well, and that was several years ago.

I think it is about time that the City revisit their priorities and take care of what is important...the city workers and the public’s safety.

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Rocket 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes lets raise our already high taxes to build the police department a new station. The officers and adminstration do need a new station to sit around in.

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12345 3 years, 2 months ago

I just watched the video of the police department and read this article, and can't help but think that a $200 scanner would save the city quite a bit of money ($3,000,000??). At least they could find an off site storage location for the files that are not used frequently. There's no reason to be storing files in a space that's needed for other stuff.

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mymonkey 3 years, 2 months ago

There was no "catastrophic" failure due on the pool. Pure baloney. Could of been fixed with 200k but then who is counting. The Police station is in need but the scanner comment reflects good idea for one problem. I believe they need larger facility.

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