City Manager Tutt Gorman believes that the City’s Police Department has insufficient space for its operations and needs, so he has been leading the effort to look at all available options for an updated police department. Gorman informed the Beacon that, “This could include remodeling the current space, refurbishing an existing downtown building, or constructing a new free-standing building at the corner at Grand River Avenue and Divine Highway, this is the parcel of land that the City recently acquired that used to be owned by ADM., or at the Corner of Grand River and Maple, which is now a city parking lot.” Gorman clarified that a final decision about which option will be chosen is yet to be made by the City Council.
At its meeting on Monday night, the City Council agreed that the next step is to complete a feasibility study and it approved an $8,600 proposal from Fleis and VandenBrink Engineering, located in Grand Rapids, to complete the feasibility study and to recommend design concepts for potential options.
Fleis and VandenBrink suggested that if a new building is eventually decided as the best option, “the intent would be continuing the downtown business character by being a two-story building which would incorporate a parking garage for police cruisers and public spaces including entry and lobby area, a service counter, an interview room on the ground floor, and department space on the upper floor.”
Once Fleis and VandenBrink completes its study, they will present their results and recommendations at a regularly scheduled public City Council meeting. Gorman stated that there is not a firm deadline for when the study will be completed. City Council Meetings are regularly scheduled twice a month, on alternate Monday nights beginning at 7:00 P.M.