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Thursday

September 2014

18

Eagle board sees proposal for cop shop

Village of Eagle - The Village Board got its first glimpse Oct. 11 of proposed plans for a potential addition to the municipal garage to serve as a new police station.

Police Chief Russ Ehlers gave trustees a new building proposal to review and discuss later. The 28-page document outlines estimated costs for the project as well as funding sources.

The proposed station would be built on the north end of the municipal garage, which is just east of Village/Town Hall.

The cost of the new station is estimated at $89,794, according to the proposal. It also indicates that the state has said it is willing to fund the project through a low-interest loan of 3.75 percent, amortized over 20 years. A monthly payment on a loan of $105,000 would be $623 - less than the department is paying now for rent.

The department also has $20,000 in impact fees that have been designated for a new station. Between the impact fees and low-interest loan, the Eagle Police Department has about $125,000 in available funding.

One thing that must be considered is repairs that are needed on the garage, including a new roof. The proposal estimates the cost to repair the garage without the addition of the Police Department will be around $17,300. The cost to repair the garage with the addition is estimated to cost $9,800.

Ehlers previously noted that financing the project could present challenges; he added that he was not willing to spend more on a new police department that it is currently spending on rent. At the time, the monthly lease was $650.

"I think that our focus on bringing this project to fruition with no increase in taxes and to spend no more than we are on our current lease will allow resident to really wrap their arms around the idea of bringing this asset to our community," he said.

Background

According to the proposal, consideration to construct a new police station came about in 2007 when it was clear that the two small rooms at the Village Hall that housed the department were inadequate. Former Village Trustee and Police Committee Chairman Roger Couch spent time scouting a number of locations, but the focus continued to move toward adding office space to the existing police garage for the cost-savings element and the fact that the current garage was on village-owned, nontaxable property.

Many people saw a benefit in using the municipal garage site because of its location just outside of downtown and the fact that squads are already housed there. Though Couch felt the time to build was soon, he began searching for what he referred to as a "temporary holdover" for the department, which is the rental space the department currently occupies.

In early 2012, the consideration process picked back up with the goal to plan for a new police department on nontaxable, village-owned property, and to plan for a station that would not exceed what the department is currently paying in rent.

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