The Newton Police Department is running out of room, and spacing issues have reached a critical level, Chief Jim Daily reports.
Daily gave a presentation about PD office needs during a joint meeting Tuesday evening of city and county officials. Newton PD and the Harvey County Sheriff's Office currently share a building, which is owned by the county.
Daily said a remodel could buy some time, but a longer-term fix would be adding a second floor to the building. Regardless, he requested construction on a project begin by the end of 2015.
"We need to try to get this off the ground as rapidly as we can," he said.
The current facility is cramped, with not enough space for storage or evidence. It also has security and ADA issues.
The remodel is a 5-10 year solution with an estimated cost of $1 million or less. The new plan would make better use of the current space.
A longer-term, 15-25 year solution, would be adding a second floor to the building, which has a cost estimate of $4 million.
A substation in the south part of town also could be added in the future if the community continues to grow, but Daily said this would not replace the main station. He believes it is important to keep the PD and Sheriff offices together, since the organizations have a good working relationship.
Sheriff T. Walton said the Sheriff's Office also is running out of space, and a second floor would benefit his department.
Newton Vice Mayor Glen Davis said he preferred the longer-term, second story plan.
"I'm in favor of going up and not doing a band-aid fix," he said.
"If you're going to do it, then do it right," City Commissioner Bob Smyth agreed.
County Commissioner Chip Westfall said he wanted to make sure it was feasible to add a second story before moving forward with the project. Group consensus was to have an engineer assess the building, then meet again in early October to continue discussing the issue.