Buildings and Grounds chairman Kevin Bateman said that the
committee had discussed offering the now grass area on the Broadway
side of the Logan County Public Safety Complex to the city of
Lincoln for use to build a new police department.
The city currently has its police department co-located in the
complex shared with the Sheriff's Department, the city and county
jail, the 911 Joint Dispatch, Logan County Emergency Management
Agency and the state EMCOM service.
The Lincoln Police Department has become cramped for space, but
there is no where to expand its offices in the complex. The city has
been considering building elsewhere. A new city fire department
location has also been in the mix and it has also been considered to
combine the two departments in one location.
Bateman said that his committee liked the idea and he hoped the rest
of the board would too. "It is a good faith measure, what's best for
the city and the county. Space they need for the police department
and close proximity to the jail, for public safety reasons."
In discussing some of the legal aspects, board members agreed
together that a sunset clause should be put down, but that it would
likely be renewable. The offer would stand for three years.
The only concern might be the outside "footprint," how the traffic
pattern around the building might be affected as it is nearest to
the intake side for the jail.
The only stipulations would be that blueprints for the external
traffic pattern be approved by the sheriff for safety reasons, and
subject to the approvals of the county and city lawyers.
The matter was put on the agenda for the board's Tuesday, Dec. 16,
Regular session to vote.
On Tuesday evening, the Logan County board met to continue the
discussion of donating land to the city for the purpose of building
a Lincoln City Police Complex.
Kevin Bateman began by making a motion to donate the land in
question, which is located at 911 Pekin Street in Lincoln. Emily
Davenport provided a second, and so the discussion continued from
Bateman said he had spoken with several members of the board since
Thursday night. Bateman said the board members he had spoken with
indicated that a simple way of handling this idea would be pass the
motion this month, with the understanding that a committee would be
created to meet with the city to work out more specific details
should the offer be accepted.
"Instead of trying to put stipulations and facts and figures on it
at this time, let's just wait and see if they accept it. We'll move
forward at that point," said Bateman.
Gene Rohlfs said he felt the board should postpone taking such a
vote. Rohlfs said he would like to see the city show an interest in
the property first, as well as be able to provide conceptual
information on what they would build. Rohlfs made a motion to do so,
and Scott Schaffenacher was a second.
Bateman said that the intent of his motion on Tuesday was to provide
the same opportunity for the city to respond. "That was the point of
the original motion; we would not move forward until the city came
forth," said Bateman. "Right now, we're just trying to make a motion
that if they would like land there, we as the county agree to donate
land to them."
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Rick Aylesworth asked if the city had come forward with any
interest so far. Bateman said Keith Snyder was present at the
Building and Grounds Committee this month, and he appreciated
the idea, and the city would strongly consider the idea. Jan
Schumacher added that the city could add this idea to a list of
possibilities considered by an architectural firm as part of
designing a new complex.
Schaffenacher said that he thinks
donating the land might not work the best for the county. "I think
we should bargain with them, instead of just donating it. We're not
a charity," said Schaffenacher.
Bateman said the reason this would be a donation is because the
county is not making any money by holding on to it. "We're actually
paying money to maintain it," said Bateman. "It would be of no
benefit to charge them anything, it would just be trying to work out
a better arrangement for both parties."
Schaffenacher asked if the city has budgeted for the building of a
new complex. Bateman said that he knows the city has looked at
several properties so far, but they have not found any good
locations. "It would make complete sense for officers to transport
prisoners within close proximity to the jail," said Bateman.
Jan Schumacher said she is not sure if the city has budgeted for
this or not, but from the city's perspective it is difficult to find
land to use without taking away from tax funds.
Chuck Ruben said it seems that the city is likely going to begin the
project sometime around the end of 2016. "They probably don't have
the money budgeted because it would be beyond their current budget,"
"This is just a good faith effort," said Bateman.
A vote was taken on Rohlf's amendment to postpone. The amendment
failed with a vote of eight-to-four, with Schaffenacher, Aylesworth,
Rohlfs, and Blankenship voting to postpone.
Following the failed amendment, the main motion was voted on. The
motion passed nine-to-three, with Blankenship, Rohfls, and
Schaffenacher voting no.
Aside from the land offer, the board members also discussed the time
and rate on the current lease for the city to rent space in the
county Safety Complex.
Ruben said he and David Hepler had spoken with Keith Snyder and the
Lincoln city police chief on an agreement for a new lease. Ruben
said the lease would be written using previously existing language.
"The only thing changing would be the starting and ending date, and
the amount of the lease," said Ruben.
Currently, the city pays $2512 each month. With the six percent
increase proposed in the lease, the value would become $2740. This
lease would run from the 1st of February in 2015 through December
31st of 2016.
Ruben moved to approve of the lease, and Pat O'Neill was the second.
The board members voted unanimously to approve the new lease.
Board members present at the Tuesday meeting were Chairman David
Hepler, Chuck Ruben, Gene Rohlfs, Robert Farmer, David Blankenship,
Pat O’Neill, Andy Anderson, Emily Davenport, Kevin Bateman, Jan
Schumacher, Rick Aylesworth and Scott Schaffenacher.
[Derek Hurley/Jan Youngquist]