Dexter still trying to find way to update police station

Saturday, May 10, 2008

DEXTER, Mo. -- Despite being soundly defeated by voters in the April municipal election, Dexter officials are still trying to find a way to replace the city's outdated police station.

"We still have several options on the table," said city admin-istrator Mark Stidham.

Building on to the existing station is a possibility, he said, but they would be more limited in what they are able to do as far as space requirements and the surrounding properties. The possibility of building a new jail is also being considered.

"We see our needs and we've started looking into our options," Stidham said.

The city is still waiting to find out if there will be any funding available through USDA Rural Development to help with the project. They put in for a grant last year to aid in the cost, but still haven't heard back.

Decisions on which grants will be awarded will not be known until after President Bush signs the annual budget.

Another possibility would be to begin putting money back.

The city has considered putting back $50,000 a year, but at that rate it would be many years before the project could even be started.

"You've got to be a little creative," Stidham said of how the city is trying to find the money. "The fact is we put it before the voters, and they put it back in the city's hands to do what they can."

In November, the city placed a one-eighth-cent sales tax measure on the ballot. It was defeated by a more than 2-1 margin.

The tax would have replaced the 34-year-old, 5,000-square-foot facility with a more modern 15,000-square-foot building to better accommodate the needs of a department that has grown in size over the years.

In addition to having 14 officers in the building during any given shift, one of the biggest problems the station has faced deals with computers.

There are now more than 15 computers set up in the building that once housed only one machine. The computers have also created a problem with throwing breakers in the building because of the outdated wiring.

"We're going to continue exploring what options are available to us and see what we can do," Stidham said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: