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Toledo City Council mulls police station repairs

Roof, interior of former drive-in bank need repair

September 20, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

When it comes to the Toledo Police Department building, the City Council has no simple answer or fix.

Options include fixing the lighting problems inside the building, use sprayfoam insulation to fix a leaky roof, tear apart the ceiling and roof before constructing a new peaked roof and possibly search for another facility to house the police department. One thing is certain - city council members know something has to be done and be done soon.

"In all seriousness, we need to get this fixed," Council member Brian Sokol said at the Sept. 10 meeting. His fellow council members agreed.

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The police station has been an item on the city council's agenda for a few months, since Chief Bob Kendall took over in March. He came to the city council with a request to repair the lights and ceiling inside the building, which had been problems for years. Possible repairs have been discussed, but nothing was approved.

On Sept. 10, the topic reached a new level. The city council talked about searching for a new building versus the work that needs to be done in the building that was purchased around seven years ago.

"Part of the problem is we bought the building and we haven't done any improvements in it," Council member "Elmer" Skip Wilson said. "We purchased it, paid for it and haven't done nothing."

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The city council purchased the building from The State Bank of Toledo for $150,000, according to council members. According to Kendall, the roof began leaking a few years after the building was purchased and no repairs have been made to the roof or the lights, the majority of which don't work. This prompted the city council to ask local contractors for bids on repairing the roof.

At the Aug. 26 meeting, the city council reported no local contractors would give bids on the roof without blueprints on the building. Since that meeting, no one has been able to find the blueprints, as the company that did them three decades ago is no longer in business and the bank no longer has them after it moved.

"The kicker to this is nobody will do this unless an architect draws it up," Mayor Dave Svoboda said. "It will have to be done professionally. If somebody has that much pocket change, we'd sure welcome it."

The city council discussed possible ways to fix the roof, with or without the blueprints. Without the blueprints, the council could order foam insulation in bad spots on the roof. The estimate for labor and supplies was $28,950 for that project.

Another option was to tear apart the ceiling and roof, and then construct a new peaked roof. That idea was discussed at the Aug. 26 meeting. At the last meeting, Svoboda said he received an estimate for such a project at around $67,000 and another $4,000 for insulation.

"I just hate to keep putting more money into a flat roof," Sokol said. "A flat roof is a flat roof."

Wilson and Council member Terry Goodhart agreed.

"I know we're tight on money," he said. "But I agree with these guys that we'd be throwing $28,000 on a flat roof."

"I don't see why we should go any further than getting it fixed," Goodhart said. "If you're house was leaking right now, you'd get it fixed. The police department has been pretty good about putting up with this building for a few years."

The financial aspect of the project also became a topic of discussion. City Clerk Julie Wilkerson asked the city council, where would the money come from to do this project?

Sokol said there is money in the city's sewer fund and it could borrow against itself for two or three years.

"I feel like we could get $30,000 out of this year's budget," he said. "I feel like we could put that down as a down payment. Then spread out the other two out for two years. You'd have it paid for and it would be a permanent roof. Or you could do the $28,000 and have a band-aid on the roof. Then five years, you have to reseal it again. It sounds like a lot of money, but it's a permanent fix."

Wilkerson said they city is supposed to be taking $100,000 out of the sewer fund and putting it in a special construction fund and that hasn't happened yet.

"I just think for the city to borrow money against itself when it doesn't have it, is not a good idea," Wilkerson said.

That spurred the conversation to possibly looking for another location.

"Do we have another option for a police department (building)," Goodhart asked? "Could we move out and abandon the building? For $60,000, we could move the police department to another city building. We're putting more money in it than it's worth. We also have to fix the inside, too."

Council member Travis Mullen and Sokol agreed the building has the potential to be nice and it has two garage bays in it. However, they also recognized the need for repairs.

Sokol made a motion to contact Dave Stoklasa at Synder & Associates to see if he could submit a bid to draw up plans for a peaked roof and have the bid available for the Sept. 24 meeting. The motion passed 3-1 with Goodhart voting against the motion.

"We may find out we're on the high end or we're on the low end," Sokol said. "We don't know until we have all of the answers."



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