Loan options debated for new police station

By Ludwig Gerdes

On Aug. 30, the DeKalb City Council gave an initial vote in favor of a $12.25 million loan needed for the construction of a new police station and renovations to existing fire departments.

The new police station will be at 700 W. Lincoln Highway, across from the Center for Black Studies and the Women’s Resource Center. Once the old location, 200 S. Fourth St., is vacated, other departments in DeKalb will be able to set up shop there.

A payment plan for the new police station is currently being debated.

Interim Fire Chief Eric Hicks said the city council’s second option is necessary.

“Station three was built in 1994 and has had no maintenance since then,” Hicks said. “Its not a matter of addressing them sooner. It’s the same maintenance that a residential building would need after living in it for twenty years.”

City Manager Mark Biernacki said he believes option three and renovations to the intersection of Peace Road and Route 38 are important.

“We’re seeing a choke point being created with the volumes of traffic in that area,” Biernacki said in an Aug. 30 Daily Chronicle article.

Sally Mullis, manager of DeKalb Florist & Greenhouse, 2131E. Lincoln Highway, said option three should not be considered.

“It’s only been the normal everyday congestion around rush hour,” Mullis said.

Mullis said the intersection did not need the reconstruction and she hoped the Council did not follow through with it. Sixth Ward Alderman Dave Baker said he thinks option three is the best.

“I support borrowing as much as we can right now because we don’t know when we’ll get interest rates as low as these again,” Baker said.

The new police station will be approximately 35,000 feet and will open by November 2013. Utility work, including the construction of sewer, power and water lines, has already begun. The new building will allow juveniles and adults to be processed in different areas amongst other improvements.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new police station will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday at 700 W. Lincoln Highway.

The final decision for which payment plan to use will be made on Sept. 24.