Growing space concerns are keeping talks of a new Wellington police station alive.
Chief Tim Barfield discussed the issue with village council at a recent meeting, citing a study by the Poggemeyer Design Group that found the former Elyria Savings and Trust building at 153 East Herrick Ave. to be the best available option.
“Look around at this office and tell me we don’t need another place,” he said. “We need more room and if we’re going to get more room we ought to be planning for the future because it would be silly to just make enough room for now, then have to do it again.”
Lack of space has been an issue since taking over as police chief in 2014, Barfield said.
“If money were no object I would want a brand new, state-of-the-art station with an indoor range,” he said. “My office is gathering more and more stuff everyday. We’re out of room. I’m embarrassed to have anyone in there.”
Expansion of the officers’ home at village hall has also been considered but could prove to be too costly because of the building’s historical classification.
“We looked at town hall, the existing fire station garage, and the EST building,” said mayor Hans Schneider. “They concluded it would involve less hassle and be less expensive at the EST building. Town hall is a historical building and there’s a different set of guidelines for projects with a historical site.”
Talks of heavy leakage at the EST building have proven to be false, said Schneider.
“In Poggemeyer’s opinion, it’s structurally sound and they’re going to come up with some proposals for us to look at,” he said. “There were rumors of water damage and flooding but there was no evidence of any of that during inspection.”
While the building shows promise, interim village manager Mark Rosemark said it would still need improvements and additions before housing the police department.
“We’re looking at provisions for conceptual drawings but there’s been no proposal yet as far as cost or definite plans,” he said.
Even if improvements to the building began immediately, Barfield said it could still be a while before his department moves in.
“Once we have some numbers lined up, I’m sure we’ll discuss it with council,” he said. “If the money is there, I’d like to get this done as soon as possible. Even if we jumped on it this second, though, I don’t see it being done for at least a year.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise The building at 153 East Herrick Ave., former home to Elyria Savings and Trust and State Farm Insurance, is considered to be the best option for a new Wellington police station.
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