Published July 31, 2014
By David Tuma, The Belton Journal
The expansion of the Belton Police Station is long overdue and is currently close to becoming a reality.
“This is a significant addition. There isn’t near enough parking at the Police Station, and secure parking for both police vehicles and crime victims isn’t available,” said Public Information Officer Paul Romer. “The community outgrew the facility. When the Capital Improvements Plan committee toured each site, the city had the Police Station needs voted the top need. Currently, plans are close to being finalized.”
In December of last year the council approved Architects Design Group for architectural services on the project and Baird/Williams Construction as the Construction Manager At Risk.
Over the years Baird/Williams has worked with both the City of Belton and BISD on multiple projects and has a spotless record locally during that time. Being a locally-controlled company that manages huge public works projects across the state has been an asset, and both the city and school district have benefited.
“The addition and renovation at the police facility will allow BPD to provide outstanding service to the community by expanding our capabilities to prevent criminal activity, investigate criminal acts and maintain the quality of life in Belton. The addition/renovation will add needed space for evidence processing, site security, interviewing and investigative functions. We greatly appreciate the support of the City Council, City Manager and community in making this much needed police facility expansion possible,” said Police Chief Gene Ellis.
The changes that were needed were decided by a committee that toured every part of the City of Belton. After extensive review, the committee selected the expansion of the Police Station as the number one need in the community.
Committee members toured the Belton Police Department and were briefed about a 2012 Facility Needs Study that reported deficiencies in security, parking and facility space.
One way of meeting the needs highlighted in the study would be to add a 10,000-square-foot addition to the existing structure and expand public and staff parking areas on the property, according to the study.
Two other options to relocate the police station to a different area of the city were presented in the study and shown to the committee, but fiscal constraints made those options unrealistic, according to city staff.
A presentation from Belton Fire Department reviewed the City’s emergency fleet and allowed committee members to inspect two of the older vehicles: Engine 1, a 1997 Diesel International, and Engine 2 (reserve), a 1987 Diesel Ford Custom Cab.
General estimates of how much it would cost for an addition at the police station, an estimated $2.5 million, and to replace a fire engine were presented, but committee members were asked to focus on needs rather than cost at this point in the process.