The City of Corcoran is getting thisclose to having a new police department. The long-awaited project got a major boost this year, when Governor Jerry Brown approved $3.82 million in the state budget to help with construction.
Unfortunately, that figure will not get the job done.
lice Chief Reuben Shortnacy first began seriously pursuing the project in 2009, when he hoped the city could provide a “shovel ready” design to gain approval of a federal grant. No dice. Since then, he has worked diligently to gain some funding from the state.
Finally, after two years of putting together a strong Kings County team, the local police department and other agencies got great help from Assemblyman Rudy Salas to get a funding bill passed and signed.
Only problem is, the price tag for a new police department building has gone up in the last six years. The original design called for an expenditure of approximately $6 million to build the facility—without add-ons. Cost now is estimated at about $8 million,
With almost half that in pocket, the city is not giving up hope of obtaining the remainder to finally get construction underway, The city is currently looking at use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, as well as a United States Department of Agriculture grant/loan program, No stone is being left unturned.
The project can accomplish several goals, two of which are paramount. First, construction is expected to create over 100 local jobs that will last the expected 15 months of building. Second, the move will allow the police department to actually flex and breathe, whereas now some personnel actually call small closets “office space.”
The new building design calls for 9,900 square feet of space. Shortnacy said the new design is more user friendly, with the public more easily accommodated; the building becomes more secure as you move deeper into the building. There is a full sallyport, making it safer to bring suspects into the jail; the jail itself makes better use of its allotted space.
The building will have a solar
component, easing utility costs, as well as the ability to use gray water for landscaping.
A new building would be a welcome change. Right now, the department is utilizing a building that is some 75 years old. It also took over parts of the old city hall, once that function was moved to a downtown location.
The department has looked into the cost of rehabbing both buildings, but found that it would be just as inexpensive to build a new facility.
“One you deal with all the haz-mat involved, it gets pretty expensive to totally renovate both buildings to make it work. There is also the question of where the department would be located while the work was being completed,” noted Shortnacy.
Construction will take place directly behind the current police department, taking up part of the parking lot adjacent to the park on Otis Ave. Entry to the new facility would be from Hanna Ave.
“All our design and engineering is completed,” Shortnacy said. “It’s not if we will build, it’s when we will build.”