DUNNELLON, Florida (WCJB) – The Dunnellon Police Department is in need of a new facility. Police Chief Mike McQuaig said the current building is more than 57 years old and has many problems.
Officers and staff are currently dealing with issues such as mold, termites and snakes.
The Dunnellon Police Department is looking for a new home. Police Chief Mike McQuaig shows me what officers and staff have to do on a daily basis in their aging office building. He says there is mold, exposed cables, and termites all over the building. @ WCJB20 pic.twitter.com/yBjOLwJQsB
– Julia Laude (@JuliaMaeLaude) February 8, 2021
“The last time we had termites, we had them drill holes in the walls that afternoon to spray the termites, and then one of my officers made a report at four in the morning and a snake came out of the room they were looking for Termites sprayed on the wall, ”said McQuaig.
McQuaig said he had a construction inspector examine the property two weeks ago and confirmed that there was mold in and around the building. Then he called a mold expert who found that mold could be cleaned, but those aren’t the only problems officials faced while working in the building.
The department’s IT system is housed in different parts of the building and there are also exposed cables.
“I would say it’s an emergency situation, yes. In my opinion, officials need a place to work without, so to speak, all these distractions and a place to come, and not just that, a place that we and the people of Dunnellon are proud of could be. “McQuaig said.
And he hopes the city council will vote to approve the change.
The two options McQauig presented to the council are to retrofit a church building the city recently bought that could cost anywhere from half a million to a million dollars.
If they moved the police department to City Hall and the City Hall staff moved to the new location, it’ll be an estimated $ 250,000.
“The previous city council bought a building. It’s a church, but very suitable for the police. You already bought it. In my new role as police chief with additional duties as city administrator, the newly elected city council had a few questions, so I gave them an alternative. We could either move to the town hall or the town hall to the new building. But they have to talk about that, ”he said.
If the relocation is approved, McQauig will consider various options to pay for the move.
“If it’s a capital expense, we can use the one-cent sales tax. Most of that would be a capital expense, so we can use some of the one-cent sales tax that we saved part of,” said he.
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He added that some of the funding could come from the budget and there could be an opportunity to apply for various grants or even a low-interest loan.
But the one thing he wants to make sure residents know: “The main thing is that whatever building we are constructing, whatever building I have been investigating, there will be no additional taxes for the citizens of Dunnellon,” McQuaig said.
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