City workshop to discuss police/ambulance garage

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Construction of a new ambulance and police facility will be one of the topics discussed at a special City Council workshop today Wednesday, March 14. The workshop has been scheduled for 5 p.m.

At the March 7 Council meeting, Mark Brandt, representing the ambulance service, asked the council’s blessing to continue with planning and work for construction of a building this summer.

The ambulance service and police department will be displaced after the City Hall is remodeled for the public library.

City Administrator Lonny Johnson said that the council made a commitment for 2008. Funds were not included in the 2007 budget for an ambulance and police facility because the city will need to bond for it, he said.

Brandt said that the Goetsch family has offered to sell the lot at the corner of Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue (site of the former gas station) to be used for a police and ambulance facility. “There is good access to Main and side roads,” Brandt said of that location.

Brandt said that there are benefits of locating the police and ambulance together. Police usually respond to the ambulance calls, he said.

Gaylord Police Chief Dale Roiger said that “instead of moving two or three times, we could move once and get it done and get it finished. It makes more sense if we could get it done this year.”

“I don’t think any of us are ready to commit to start construction this year,” City Council member Carl Wetzel said.

“You don’t have the land and financing,” EDA President Chuck Klimmek said. “Take time to do the right building. It is not practical to get it done within the next six months.”

“I didn’t know land was available,” Council president Brenda Pautsch said.

“We need to put our priorities in order,” Council member Pat Pinske said. The bottom line, she said, is the cost for the citizens. “It’s hard to make commitments until we have a workshop and know where we’re at.”

Ambulance Service member Amy Hahn said that drawings for a building were not brought in at this time because the group didn’t want to have drawings made until a site is determined.

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