Bee Cave staff, officials looking at best options for new police facility

Bee Cave police officers are operating out a building officials say the department has outgrown. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bee Cave police officers are operating out a building officials say the department has outgrown. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bee Cave police officers are operating out a building officials say the department has outgrown. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
(Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Bee Cave Police Department has outgrown the facility it moved into in 2007, according to an August 2019 needs assessment commissioned by city officials.

That facility, located on the south side of Hwy. 71 west of the Shops at the Galleria, was built in 1998 and initially served as City Hall.

Now, the existing police department staff can barely fit inside, according to Chief Gary Miller.

“We’ve run out of space some time ago, so there is not any room for additional anything,” Miller said. “The evidence room is full, and [the building] was never really intended to be a police department, so there are some security concerns.”

Miller added there is no locker room where officers can change, nor are there any meeting or training spaces, and the fact that there is only one men’s and one women’s restroom does not help.


Miller said he is hopeful a new facility could be move-in-ready by the second quarter of 2021, but Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza said he does not want to put a definite timeline on the project.

“We want to do it right,” Garza said. “I don’t want to crash the schedule and then run up costs that way. I’d rather get the right building built and get it done that way. We’re not in dire straits right now, and we’ve got the right chief and the right staff to operate the way we’re operating currently.”

Officials are still in the contract negotiation stage, having begun the search for design proposals from firms during the Jan. 14 City Council meeting.

Garza said other preliminary planning is also needed, including a determination on where to temporarily house the department until the permanent facility is complete.

“The only [space] we’re looking at right now is [a tract owned by the city of Bee Cave called] the Skaggs tract,” Garza said, referring to a plot of land on Bee Cave Parkway next to Hill Country Indoor.

Garza said while there is not enough room to house the department at its current location away from where construction would take place, the overall plan still calls for the new facility to remain at the same address as the current one.

Regarding costs of what is now assessed as a nearly $9 million facility, Garza said the city is exploring several financing mechanisms to pay for the project and emphasized the city does have enough to foot the bill.

“It may not go before the voters for a bond, but that is not off the table,” he said.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


MOST RECENT

All employees will receive a 2% increase off their midpoint salary. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD approves a 2% midpoint raise for staff

Trustees approved salary adjustments for the upcoming school year.

The former hotel off I-35 had most recently been used as a COVID-19 homeless Protection Lodge. (Courtesy City of Austin)
East Cesar Chavez encampment residents move into former South Austin hotel

Through Austin's HEAL initiative, residents of an encampment near East Austin's Terrazas Branch Libarary were relocated to a South Austin shelter before that camp is cleared away.

Lake Travis ISD will apply for the final round of funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Program, or ESSER III. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD will seek community input on how to spend federal COVID-19 relief

Lake Travis ISD opened a community survey focused on how to best use this federal funding in its COVID recovery.

Rollingwood City Council continued the discussion June 16 surrounding regional plans for a MoPac expansion. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rollingwood continues conversation on South MoPac expansion

Rollingwood, alongside a contracted law firm, will send a letter to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authroity for more information on the MoPac South expansion.

The regional blood bank appealed for further donations in the wake of the June 12 shooting in downtown Austin. (Courtesy We Are Blood)
We Are Blood appeals for blood donations following weekend shooting in downtown Austin

The Central Texas nonprofit also said its blood supply remains depleted due to decreased donations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austin City Council's Housing and Planning Committee met virtually June 15. (Screenshot via City of Austin)
Austin City Council members, city Realtors talk housing market increases and affordability

The median sale price of Austin homes surged past $500,000 through the first five months of 2021.

Izzy  is one of the 20 dogs in need of an emergency foster home. (Courtesy Austin Pets Alive)
Austin Pets Alive seeks emergency foster homes for dogs recovering from distemper

The Bastrop County Animal Shelter and Austin Pets Alive are seeking homes within the next 48 hours for 20 dogs facing euthanasia.

Home prices continue to increase, according to local real estate data. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lake Travis-Westlake home sales spike 67.7% in May, housing inventory reaches critical low

The region’s median sale price increased 34.8% year-over-year to $822,500.

Community groups painted "Black Austin Matters" along three blocks of Congress Avenue in 2020. Juneteenth, an official city of Austin holiday as of 2020, commemorates the day Black residents of Texas found out they were free from slavery in 1865. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Juneteenth in Austin: Parade and fireworks information, other community events, city closures

The holiday commemorates the day Black enslaved residents of Texas were told they were free in Galveston in 1865.

Plans to move forward with the design of a new Travis County women's jail have been postponed indefinitely. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County pauses plans to build new women's jail

Commissioners voted unanimously to postpone any design or construction of new jail facilities for at least a year while staff re-evaluate the Travis County correctional system's needs.

Joseph Chacon, interim chief of the Austin Police Department, gives an update on Austin's recent move into the second phase of Proposition B camping ban enforcement June 15 alongside Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey and City Manager Spencer Cronk. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Proposition B enforcement shifts from education to warnings

Austin officials on June 15 provided an update on enforcement and outreach work by city staff and the Austin Police Department with the second phase of Proposition B camping ban enforcement now underway.