Kyle City Council authorizes funds for police department needs assessment

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After discussing the issue at Nov. 5 and Nov. 20 meetings and asking for revisions to the proposal, Kyle City Council on Dec. 18 approved $34,900 to be paid to Austin-based Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects for a police facility needs assessment.

“At the previous council meeting the council gave directions to our architect-contractors to expand the scope of their services and to bring back that scope-of-work contract,” Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said. “That’s what we’ve delivered.”

The original proposal was strictly to plan for a new building, but council members asked that retrofitting of existing buildings also be considered. A similar study took place in 2009, but that survey proposed a building that was too expensive for the city at the time.

“We want to take a much more realistic look,” City Manager Scott Sellers said when the item was first discussed Nov. 5; he added that some of the amenities included in the previous plans are now being provided by the new ACC Hays public safety building.

The scope of the approved proposal includes a 20-year needs assessment—including parking—in addition to an evaluation of several different facility options including: keeping and possibly renovating the  existing City Hall at 100 W. Center Street and the existing police department building at 111 N. Front Street; moving the police department at least partially to Center Street and demolishing or redeveloping the Front Street property; a plan for a new building on a generic site; and a plan showing best available options according to a fixed budget the city will provide.

The assessment is expected to be finished in about eight weeks from Dec. 18, Barnett said.

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Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publications in New York City before she moved to Texas, and has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Texas-Austin.
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