WACO (February 4, 2013)--In a unanimous vote, Hewitt city council members approved a funding measure to pay for a new police and fire facility.
The move allows the city manager to move forward with the sale of certificates of obligation, which don’t require voter approval.
Basically, the city will take out a mortgage to pay for more than $3 million in construction costs.
Both the police and fire chief say the new building is needed, and Hewitt’s city manager, Adam Price, says it’s a good time to build.
“The City Council determined that the timing was right to move forward with this project,” he said.
“It is clear that the older buildings are not suitable or adequate to serve our community as we grow. By taking advantage of historic low interest rates and a competitive construction market, the timing of this project could not be a better value to our citizens”, he said.
Price said the average residential property tax bill will increase by a little more than $2 dollars a month.
Residents and business should see the increase on next year's bill.
The police department is now housed in a building that was once used as doctor's office.
The building still has 1970's brown wood paneling, the ceiling and the walls leak, and the wiring is exposed.
Officers say they interview criminal suspects in a room shared with the utilities supervisor.
Evidence is locked away in several parts of the existing facility wherever space is available.
City officials say they've been discussing plans to build the facility for at least a decade.
Monday's vote comes after the voters rejected a $7.7 million dollar bond issue in 2009 that included plans for a new police and fire building, among other city projects.
The new facility will be about 26-thousand square feet and most likely be built near the intersection of Spring Valley Drive and Old Temple Road.