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Arroyo Grande's police station woes continue

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Though the City of Arroyo Grande failed to convince two-thirds of its resident voters to approve a June bond measure to fund a much-needed new police station, the city isn’t giving up.

In a special meeting Aug. 14, the city council voted to hire a consulting firm to explore how to best pursue either repairs or “other alternatives” to enhance the police department’s digs.

The price tag: $25,000. The consultant: BFGC Architects Planners, Inc.

According to City Manager Steve Adams, the city is seeking to identify the police department’s “most urgent needs” with the study, and how much green it will take to satisfy them.

The North Halcyon Road station was purchased by the city from a phone company in 1973 and was last updated in 1989. Since then, according to a staff report, department personnel has grown from 12 full-time and six part-time employees to 36 full-time and 20 part-time staffers.

Key needs identified include space for a detective unit—currently housed in a trailer out back—evidence storage, expansion of the dispatch center, and an “adequate area” to house computer equipment.

In March, Police Chief Steve Annibali took New Times on a tour of the antiquated building, complete with dripping ceilings and tarps strewn over sensitive equipment.

Asked about whether grant funding was available for the station, Adams said that city staff has exhausted their options as far as American Redevelopment and Reinvestment Act funding goes, which, oddly enough, could offer funding—if only the city was pursuing a fire station.

Adams said city staff could have results from the study by the end of the calendar year.

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