The Osseo City Council heard about a sixth option for a possible new location for the police department at its Monday, Jan. 13, meeting.
So far, the council has considered five different options for housing the police department. The first would be to purchase the engineering building at 25 Fourth Street N.W. adjacent to the current police building, at a cost of $1.1 million. The second option would be to purchase the old pharmacy building at 24 Third Street N.E. with a cost of $1 million to add a garage and modify the building after purchase. The third idea would be to construct a new free-standing building in the City Hall parking lot for $1.5 million. A fourth option considered would be to include the police department in the second phase of the Five Central project, but this options has been eliminated due to the desire to build more apartments units on the site. The fifth idea would be to purchase the building at 624 Central Avenue for a cost of $1.2 to $1.4 million.
A sixth option was considered by the council Jan. 13. This option would be to add an addition on the existing City Hall building for a cost of $808,000 to $1 million. This cost includes the demolition of the existing police building and rebuilding of the parking lot for a total of 11 parking spaces added.
Modris Feders, Principal Architect with Buetow 2 Architects, said the project would consist of a 3,230-square-foot addition onto the City Hall building on the west side. This proposal would put police and other city departments, community center and library all under one roof. This police addition would house a garage for three police cars, a waiting area, booking and photo area, reception area, an open office, police chief’s office, conference room, kitchen and emergency operations center.
The addition would allow the two current public entrances to not change and remain open as well. The current windows on the west side facing the parking lot would be made into new display cases.
Feders said the proposal would keep the appearance the same at City Hall. The curb cut for one of the drive entrances to the parking area would be then used for the squad garage entrance/exit.
The electrical and plumbing infrastructure would be tied into the new addition. The existing bathrooms in City Hall would also serve the new addition.
Feders said, “For internal communication function this is really the way to go for visibility, for the public, it’s all right there.”
Also, part of the project would be to use 1,660-square-feet of the lower level in City Hall that is currently used for storage. This level would house the men’s and women’s locker rooms, storage and supply area, evidence space and armory area. Storage for various items in the lower level currently would have to be moved elsewhere, such as the Public Works building.
Councilor Rick Weber said of the lower storage area, “I did not know that there was that square footage down there.”
Feders said of the proposal, “ What a better use of the existing facilities than to take the under-utilized lower level storage space and use that for an active function.”
Councilor Mark Schulz said there was additional storage capacity areas around the city. “In comparison to building a police station, if we need to build additional off site storage somewhere else to move and relocate some of our stuff, we probably have ample room in the Public Works garage.”
Weber added that currently the Public Works houses a police car. “That police car would be homed here now full-time, so that would free space,” he said.
If the council likes the proposal, it would have design and council approval in mid-February, public bidding and council awarding the contract in April and construction between May and September. The police department could occupy its new headquarters at the end of September.
“I think this is a great potential opportunity for us,” Schulz said. “As opposed letting [the project] creep up to $1.2, $1.3, $1.4 million mark, this $800,000 mark is a lot more palatable.”
The council then approved 4 to 0 authorizing Buetow 2 Architects to begin the schematic drawing phase at a cost of $5,500. Councilor Bonnie Heinen was absent.
The council also:
APPROVED the salary and wage increases for those employees with at least a satisfactory evaluation. The following employees will receive a 2 percent salary increase: deputy city clerk ($59,659), finance officer ($58,489), city planner ($47,883), police chief ($77,642 with six weeks off without pay and this is subtracted), public services director ($69,185), senior public services worker ($47,604) and senior center coordinator ($7,446).
HIRED Ryan Johnson as a part-time Public Service Maintenance Worker in the Public Services Department at a salary of $15 per hour for an average of 25 hours per week.
ACCEPTED a donation of $90,000 from the Osseo Fire Department Relief Association. This donation will be used to contribute to funds to the city for the recent purchase of a fire truck. The association had previously agreed to donate at least $50,000.