DECATUR– The Decatur City Council on Tuesday informally agreed to pursue the possibility of relocating the Decatur Police Department to a site along South Side Drive in an effort to address critical space and other departmental needs.
The department has been looking at options for additional space for more than a decade and the City recently began to seriously consider a proposal for the long-term lease of 46,000 square feet in a now vacant building space at 707 Southside Drive for police operations. The building was formerly occupied by the Zexel-Valeo auto parts company.
Several different locations and options for new police space have been considered over the last 10 years including, but not limited to, constructing a new facility downtown, renovation of existing buildings in and away from the downtown area, a new building at Wabash Crossing, the conversion of Parking Garage C and the expansion of the current location in the Law Enforcement Center (LEC).
Consultants from PSA Dewberry believe that the Southside Drive site could represent a viable option for the department, long in need of additional space for officers, parking, evidence storage and other issues related to 21st century policing. The estimated cost of renovating the site is lower than that of a newly constructed building or of renovating the current law enforcement center and it is estimated that officers could occupy the site by early 2014 were this option selected.
The City will now pursue a professional services agreement with Dewberry to assist with developer negotiations and the creation of a facility criteria package.
In other business the council unanimously approved rezoning several parcels of land to M-2 heavy industrial along Brush College Road, 27th and 34th Streets on the petitions of Archer Daniels Midland Company. ADM petitioned to rezone to create a universal zoning classifications between ADM owned properties.