Archive for Wednesday, January 25, 2012

TPD search moves forward

January 25, 2012

Finding a new home for the Tonganoxie Police Department — or renovating the current site at Fourth and Delaware streets — has been an ongoing process for more than a year.

Monday, the council made a step forward, though it did so with a split vote and a lengthy discussion that became contentious at one point.

By a 3-2 vote, with council members Dennis Bixby and Bill Peak voting against, the council voted to move forward with research of possible sites at 725 Laming Rd. and 302 Shoemaker Way, two selections from a field of nine.

Discussion centered around whether the city was in a position to borrow money or increase mills in an effort to finance a new station. The building at 725 Laming had an estimated cost of $965,000 to $1.035 million and was being offered turnkey, meaning the current owners of the business, Everlasting Specialites, would take care of renovations needed at the building.

The other finalist, 302 Shoemaker Way, had a proposed cost to purchase and renovate of $833,050. Installing aphalt to the gravel parking area was not included in the estimate.

At one point in the meeting, Mayor Jason Ward and Bixby had an exchange of words about the issue, but Bixby later apologized for his actions.

— For much more on the police station and other meeting items, go to tonganoxiemirror.com and see the Feb. 1 print edition.

Comments

Michael Vestal 2 years, 2 months ago

I would like to know why the council is not considering putting a Police station near downtown where it should be, putting it on property they already own, being the old city shop & the home to the north. It would accomplish two things, keeping P.D. Downtown & It could be built to fill All the Depts. needs. Also a City Hall could be built there also. I just hate to see everything leaving our wonderful downtown like the Post Office decided to do. I Do applauld Councilmen Bixby & Peak for trying to save taxpayer money with everythingt else going on such as the Industrial site south of town.

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Old_Vet 2 years, 2 months ago

We have an empty industrial site north of town, we have a million dollar property south of town that needs a lot of development, we have a downtown suffering flight, we have businesses closing weekly, and the Chief wants new facilities. For what?

When are the politicians going to get it that in these tough times the tax payers (aka voters) do not want government growth at any level, local, county, state or federal. Look at the county, they hired an administrator to do the job we pay our commissioners to do. The school district tried to pass a bond to build a new elementary school, administration building and Taj Mahal for the high school. The voters told the district NO, the county commissioners are probably in trouble at their reelection, and now we have to look at the progressive record of Truedell, Ward, Donnelly, and Gilner to decide if their progressive values are what we need in conservative Tonganoxie.

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.

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jumairs 2 years, 2 months ago

First of all, in response to "old vet", let me thank you for your service to our country. We all have benefited greatly in our freedoms because those like you stepped forward. Like you, our civil servants, our police and fire departments, our community leaders have also stepped forward to serve us. I agree that we, as a city, and a country are suffering through the worst recession that our nation has ever known. I am aware that there are many who do not want government growth at any level; but it is a fact that if we do not maintain some growth and are not forward in our thinking for the city, it will die. I, for one, believe that our city leaders are doing their best to strike a balance. Only spending what we take in is a great platitude but is not realistic. We have to take advantage of state and federal monies to maintain our infrastructures and keep our city safe. Our police and fire departments are exemplary in their service to the community. It is common knowledge that the police department building is suffering from water damage; hence, mold, lack of space and electricial systems that hardly support the technology needed in this computer age. I do not believe that entering into an agreement with the County Sheriff's Department for police protection is an answer and would not be supported by city voters. I have long considered myself a conservative but do not think that Mr. Truesdell, Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Gilner, or Mr. Ward are following a "progressive" agenda. They are working very hard to see our city through this recession. It is a thankless job!

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Old_Vet 2 years, 2 months ago

Jumairs, you articulated a thoughtful response, but you did not justify the need to continue to fund a police department when an alternative is much more viable. I do not disagree that our public servants are doing a good job. However, there wants do not necessarily translate into community needs. As I've said before, we may be better served with a cooperative agreement with the county of Leavenworth to provide us with emergency services. We already do with ambulance and paramedic support, we do with some law enforcement functions. Why not look into the feasibility of furthering that cooperation to include all law enforcement duties. I believe Riley County has an efficient system of county law enforcement working for them.

I do not see an issue if our department stays in its current location for two or three more years. We have other options, will the school district attempt to pass another bond to replace the elementary school? What about that building to consolidate police, city, and rec-commission offices? I've heard the county annex is looking to expand, maybe they could locate there as well. These would keep the downtown alive and viable.

I am concerned that our current council is too ready to spend money that we on retirement and fixed income can ill afford. I'm not against progress and growth, but I am against growth for the sake of hope. If we have a need then build it, if we hope we'll have a need, then it is a want. Right now we need to be smarter.

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