Archive for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Council votes to move Tonganoxie Police Department across street amid basement issues

A feasibility study on three proposed sites for a new Tonganoxie Police Station also found the current downtown station to be 4,200 square feet short of what the city’s police department needs.

A feasibility study on three proposed sites for a new Tonganoxie Police Station also found the current downtown station to be 4,200 square feet short of what the city’s police department needs.

February 21, 2012

Recent water issues in the Tonganoxie Police Station prompted the City Council to move the department — at least temporarily — across the street.

In a special meeting Tuesday, the council voted to direct police Chief Jeff Brandau and City Attorney Mike Kelly to pursue a rental agreement for space across the street at 328 Delaware St. in the former Kansas Firearms Specialties. Brandau said owner Calvin Quisenberry had offered the space for $1,600 on a month-to-month basis, utilities included. The 2,000-square-foot space is a part of downtown building that is home to five other businesses.

Mayor Jason Ward said after the meeting that water was discovered in the station’s basement late last week. Mold and water have been ongoing issues in the basement, which is used for limited storage.

An environmental company has been hired to assess the basement. Results from the company’s findings are expected later this week, Ward said.

The police department, which consists of 11 full-time and 11 part-time personnel, has conducted day-to-day operations next door in council chambers.

“Council chambers are great in the interim, but it’s not going to operate as our police station,” Ward said during the meeting.

Ward declined to say whether any officers had become ill from the recent moisture problems, citing policy not to discuss non-elected personnel.

The station, which has been at the corner of Fourth and Delaware for years, is about 1,300 square feet, Brandau said.

“I think it’s very convenient to go right across the street and utilize our parking and still have some storage,” Brandau said. “We’re still limited in the old building, but more lucky to be able to have the opportunity and for Mr. Quisenberry to work with us.”


Old_Vet 6 years, 4 months ago

Solution: Disband our police department and enter into an agreement with the Leavenworth County Sheriffs Department to assume police activities in the city of Tonganoxie. The Sheriffs department could add an additional ten officers to meet the needs of our town. No infrastructure required. Works in Riley County.

I remember back 50 years ago we lost half the town to mold....wait that didn't happen cause mold has only been around for the last 10 years....NO? Then we're making a mountain out of a mold hill. The worst thing to happen out of this fiasco is now criminals know to spray mold dust at our mold sensitive officers to escape. A little mold is nothin, get over it.

I shouldn't harangue the police, I no longer live in Tonganoxie, the cops can visit me at the Homestead of Lenexa. Better hurry though, you only have about six months before I get away.

Think about it though, one lieutenant, two sergeants and seven deputies working shifts in Tonganoxie to provide the same coverage. We put prisoners in the county jail already, we use the county for special teams and investigators, why not let the county run this too.


oggie 6 years, 4 months ago

Old_Vet: You are obviously an individual whom lacks any form of common sense and or any articulated knowledge! Mold is real and a severe health problem, our officers don't deserve to have to risk their lives more than they already do. Everyone knows this has been going on for years and never addressed, I wonder what finally happened to start this fire! No, comment on if any officers have become Ill as a result... Hmm I'd call that a clue! And for disbanding the police department, we would never allow it! Our officers are top notch and they are there when we need them the moment we call. The cost is not what we think about it's the peace of mind and quality of life. Go back to Johnson County and keep your opinions there! Take care of our public servants they are important and vital to all of us.


Trouble 6 years, 4 months ago

The writing is on the wall. City Council having a special meeting and moving the Police department out of the building So suddenly. The City tax payer is up for a fight. Someone in that police department thinks that the mold issue (If there is one) is a easy ride out of town with a pocket full of tax payer money.

I want to know who is in charge to check the basement for water? If this has been a ongoing problem! Has anyone heard of water pumps? Why wouldn't the city have a water pump in the basement? If this has been a ongoing problem! Who is in Charge? Who is not doing thier Job?

Hasn't the City hired Several environmental company's in the past to check for mold in that building? If I remember, they had one last year? Must have come out OK because the Police were still in that building. So what is different this time? $$$$$$$$


Old_Vet 6 years, 4 months ago

We better not send them out on patrol when the pollen count gets too high. It boils down to dramatics, the acting club came up with a scheme to force the council to do something. If we can't trust our police, we should perhaps trust our sheriff.


12345 6 years, 4 months ago

I sure agree with the above comments. This comes what - 5 days before they are supposed to make a decision on a new building? Why does the mayor and/or council want a new police station so badly?

While I'm asking questions I have a few more:

1) Why does the police chief keep touting this "average square feet per officer number" when it's clear that we don't have 28 full time officers, at most 2 or three on duty at a time. Heck, at the last council meeting it was mentioned by a female officer in the back that she is "frequently" the only person at the station. Is 4400 square feet really necessary? I have a hard time believing that a station half that size couldn't suffice.

2) Hasn't this water problem been a recurring item? Why hasn't this been addressed? The city will have to do it no matter what - why not do it now and not force this decision predicated on some "emergency?"

3) What exactly do the taxpayers get out of this police station? I haven't heard that item brought up even once. I know we get a 3 mill increase. Will it make my home value go up? Will it bring newresidents to tonganoxie? Will it attract new businesses? The only case that might possibly be made is that it will help attract a higher class of officers, but I have not heard anyone make that argument yet.

I want answers to these questions mayor and council!


jumairs 6 years, 4 months ago

Let me see if I have this straight.......We don't need a new police station because we don't need all of our officers anyway; never mind that the city has more than doubled in size in the last five years. We don't need a new police station because of a little water....what's a little stagnant, polluted water? We don't need a new police station because of a little "toxic mold"? Just wear a mask! It doesn't mean anything that the EPA lists toxic mold as a leading cause of respiratory distress, including asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and one commenter actually compares it to pollen!!! I've been in buildings where toxic mold was suspected and believe me, when the hazmat team comes in with their suits on, you realize just how serious it is. We have a building that is over a hundred years old as with many in our city. The cost of renovation will always be increased dramatically when you deal with environmental issues i.e. removal of asbestos and/or toxic mold. Fist and foremost, we must act to protect our employees and provide a safe working environment. I believe the city council has tried to deal with this issue n the past but unfortunately fear of raising the cost to the taxpayer in taxes and the furor it would cause has delayed sound decision making. A small mill increase is a small price to pay for the health of our employees. Oh, and a note to Old Vet about moving to Johnson County. It's a great county; very large and wealthy, no problem with city services, low unemployment, no drop in property evaluations--just one thing, it won't make a bit of difference what you think because nobody cares!!!


12345 6 years, 4 months ago

Who is saying we shouldn't properly remediate the mold or even look at a new building? I was being critical of the fact that nobody really considered a building in between the one we have and the one they are looking at. The post office is about twice the size of the current station and is downtown, available and much cheaper than the proposals they are considering.

It appears that they found a place across the street for $1600/mo. That's less than the interest on a 800k loan!

Cut it out with the theatrics - it's not helpful or even funny!


maintainer 6 years, 4 months ago

If you happened to see and hear what our Mayor said on Channel 9 news Tuesday evening he said that they thought the police station had been fixed. They knew there had been some water problems in the past. So now they are bringing in another person to if the problem they have is mold or not and if it is they will address that issue. My question is when did they fix it and what did they do to fix it?
There was a nice commentary piece in last weeks paper that was quite educational. You might read it when you have time.


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