Martinsville researches designs for new police station and office building
MARTINSVILLE – Recognizing the need for improved workspaces, City of Martinsville officials have announced their intention to solicit architectural firms for preliminary designs for an office building and new headquarters for the police in the city center.
On Monday, the city council held another workshop session to discuss the condition of several city-owned structures, including buildings in need of renovations and others not worth the cost of maintenance.
The Office of the Clerk-Treasurer, located inside the old Chrysler Building at 110 W. Morgan St., falls into the latter category. A 2019 study showed it would cost around $ 5 million to renovate the structure, which also houses the building inspector and code enforcement offices.
A majority of council members appeared to express support for a stand-alone office building behind City Hall that could house several city offices and store official documents,
Gary Oakes, the city’s planning and engineering director, provided council with a rough sketch of a 40-foot-by-60-foot building.
City Councilor Phil Deckard I said he believes the city should seek designs from a professional engineering firm, rather than doing them in-house, before issuing tenders.
Martinsville Mayor Kenny Costin said he would contact architects to get preliminary drawings of the free-standing structure next to City Hall and the future police headquarters. Ideally, the two projects would start around the same time, he said.
Once these projects are underway, the city plans to renovate the town hall.
Council members continued discussions on the demolition of the old Chrysler building and the construction of a new police station on the site, a concept that has been discussed for several years.
Martinsville Police Chief John Richards said the city should be planning for police service needs 30 years from now.
“We are absolutely ready to work with people – everything will be better than what we have now – but I strongly urge the board to give us a building as large as possible, so that in ten years our successors will be ‘t come back to the board with more requests, ”said Richards.
Martinsville News: The lawyer finds no problem with the overtime pay of Martinsville employees.
Costin said the goal would be to have the old Chrysler building demolished early next year.
Another city property workshop session is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, January 24 at Martinsville Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public, but comments from the public are not permitted.
Council hears police and fire reports
The Martinsville Fire Department responded to 66 fires, 97 false alarms and 2,529 emergency calls during the year 2021, according to Martinsville Fire Chief Kevin Greene, who provided his annual report during the Monday city council meeting.
Of a total of 3,016 incidents reported, more than 400 took place in the south-eastern part of the city. This is in large part due to the many health facilities in the Grand Valley Boulevard area, Greene said.
In December alone, firefighters responded to six fires and 248 emergency calls, making it the busiest month in the department, he said.
Richards said the police department responded to 609 incidents in December. Officers made 36 arrests, issued 46 citations and 186 warnings and deployed the departments’ K-9 unit a dozen times, he said.
In other cases:
- Council approved a change to its city code to allow homeowners to have up to nine days of garage sale activity in a 90-day period, up from the previous six-day limit.
- Council deferred voting on the election of a new Pro Tempore President until all Council members are present. Councilor Phil Deckard II, who currently holds the post, was absent for Monday’s meeting, and Councilor Ann Miller was calling by phone.
The next Martinsville Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 24, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at Martinsville Town Hall, 59 S. Jefferson St.
Space required for animals
At a meeting of the Martinsville Works and Safety Board of Directors, board members approved a rental agreement that would allow the Morgan County Humane Society to use a vacant city-owned building to temporarily house during the winter season for the low cost of $ 1.
The West Mitchell Avenue Animal Shelter is currently overcrowded, city attorney Dale Coffey said and the city has space available in a vacant structure on West Clover Lane.
City code enforcement officer Ike Tumey, who also works at the animal shelter, said February was often the busiest month for the non-profit organization.
“Last year we were terribly overwhelmed and some of them had to be kicked out,” Tumey said.
Under the terms of the deal, the lease would expire on June 30 and the shelter would be responsible for paying for utilities and maintenance costs associated with the building, city officials said.
In the remaining cases, council approved sewer adjustments for two properties.
The next meeting of the Works and Safety Council is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 24, at Martinsville town hall.