A split Statesville City Council approved funding the police segment of the proposed municipal service center with an $11 million price tag.
The vote was 5-3. Councilmen Steven Johnson, John Staford and C.O. “Jap” Johnson voted against the project.
The original plans for the municipal service center included police, fire and emergency medical services. However, city staff broke the project into pieces during the bidding process. Council members decided to limit the scope of the project to police.
To use the property at the corner of Amity Hill Road and Shelton Avenue, the city will also have to realign Amity Hill Road to make it easier for police cruisers to navigate. The intersection will go from the current V shape to a T-shape.
Building the police station and realigning Amity Hill Road will cost $10.3 million. Including the fire and emergency management services would have cost $15.663 million.
Police Chief David Addison said the project will enable him to move out of two sites other than the current Police Department and still have room to grow. There will be a 29% increase in space, and 10-15% will be used for department growth.
Steven Johnson expressed concern about whether the city will have the funds to pay for Police Department improvements or growth after committing to such an expensive project.
To include fire services, the city would have moved Fire Station 1 to the municipal service center. Staford expressed concern regarding the possible move because the Statesville Fire Department would reach less of the city in its goal of four minutes or less.
There were plans to build a fifth fire station or move Fire Station 2 if Fire Station 1 moved. Chief Spencer Lee said he had three possible locations picked.
He added that Fire Station 1 and 2 were in need of maintenance that would cost $250,000-500,000 in the next few years. Such maintenance includes the replacement of the buildings roofs, modification of Fire Station 2 to accommodate larger trucks and maintenance of the terracotta sewer lines.
The council will have to hold a public hearing and approve the financing plan for the project. The council will hold the public hearing at its next meeting Nov. 18.