PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - Palmetto Police may be closer to building a new police department. The police chief says the current building is old and has a long list of maintenance and health-threatening issues.
Before any plans can move forward, the city and police want your input. On Tuesday evening, people from around the Palmetto community walked into the Palmetto Library to give input and get questions answered about the new building for the Palmetto Police Department. “I just hope they get some facility to serve as good as they serve us,” Bob Ruland, a Palmetto homeowner said.
A tour of the current police department shows what police are talking about when they argue for a new building. There are cracks in the wall, mold and other damage from Hurricane Irma. On top of that, the department is running out of space for its employees.
Many folks say the department needs a new building to accommodate the growing community while other others think it’s a waste of money. “It’s really run down, I been in it to tell you the truth a couple times and it is not representative of how Palmetto is growing and the direction where Shirley wants to take the city,” Ruland said.
“There’s a lot of buildings already, there a lot of abandoned buildings, there’s one down the street, there’s some by the water,” Ivan Chavez, a Palmetto homeowner said. “They’re not even using those they can use those. Why are they wasting our money on new buildings, all these new cars and new things when they can use what we’ve got and be resourceful?”
Regardless, the city is moving forward with the new building that will sit on 10 acres of land between 8th Street and 9th Avenue where the old Palmetto Elementary School used to sit.
As plans move forward, the city wants to the community’s input on architectural styles and what the new building will look like. By next summer, construction is expected to start. The department could be moving in by the summer of 2021.