Home purchase may pave way for new Highland police station

2013-02-12T19:30:00Z 2013-02-13T00:40:08Z Home purchase may pave way for new Highland police stationCharles F. Haber Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 12, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

HIGHLAND | The Town Council is about to buy the last house standing on the site of a future police station.

With a unanimous vote Monday, the Highland council voted to authorize two professional appraisals of the property at 3305 Ridge Road. The site is three lots away from the existing Town Hall building, which also houses the Police Department.

The council previously bought two other houses, along with a third one on Cottage Grove Avenue.

When the last house is bought, it will clear all of the land from the current Town Hall west to Cottage Grove Avenue.

Councilman Mark Herak, I-2nd, said the property owner approached the town and is willing to sell.

Herak said that, aside from the final price, the terms have been agreed on. After the appraisals are in, the parties will arrive at a purchase price.

"We are planning on action right away within the next two meetings," Herak said.

Herak said the council will revisit a 2003 study by Wilson Estes Police Architects, of Mission, Kan. The company drew plans for a new Highland police station of about 26,000 square feet.

The current station is crammed into 3,000 square feet in the Town Hall basement.

In terms of 2003 dollars, the cost would have been just under $6 million. It will now probably cost between $9 million and $10 million, Herak said.

He said the council has been staggering bond issues about every two years, so that one comes up as a previous one is about to be paid off. This was done with the Sanitary Board stormwater project and Lincoln Center renovation — and soon with the new police station.

Council President Brian Novak, D-4th, said it is possible that Wilson Estes could be invited to review the 2003 plan and how it might be updated, if necessary.

He also said Police Chief Pete Hojnicki may offer input on what features would be helpful in the new station.

Herak said with all the preparation required, construction likely won't start until 2014.

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