A public hearing was held Tuesday night to discuss using the money to build a City Hall and police station instead of a City Hall and library as originally planned. The site of the project will also be changed.
The city had requested $9.2 million for the realignment of Main Street, as well as construction of a City Hall/library, police station and fire station. The latter two projects were not approved for funding.
“So we wrote them a letter and said, ‘What if within that budget you awarded us we make some changes and ask for some different things?’ They gave us permission to do that,” Mayor Drew Gilbert said as an introduction to the hearing.
Long-term recovery manager Steve Ostaseski noted that ADECA does not normally allow Community Development Block Grants to be used on public facilities such city halls and police stations. However, the rules are being waived for disaster recovery projects.
Ostaseski said city leaders have decided to build a City Hall and police station with the disaster funding and apply for a Community Development Block Grant next year to aid in construction of the library.
Gilbert also alluded to private funding that might be available for the library.
“We’re building the projects that we will never get funded again,” Ostaseski said.
The city’s police and fire departments are both currently housed in the old VFW building.
The new police station will adjoin City Hall in the downtown area, although the two buildings will have separate entrances. The facility will also include a jail with as many as 16 cells.
Ostaseski said the fire station is currently expected to be rebuilt with insurance proceeds on a site near the new medical clinic and ballfields.