A.G. City Council to discuss selling property to fund new police station

Officials to consider sale to fund a new or upgraded office on North Halcyon Road

clambert@thetribunenews.comJanuary 21, 2013 

Arroyo Grande Police Station.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The Arroyo Grande City Council on Tuesday will consider starting the process to sell three city-owned properties, with the proceeds helping to pay for a new — and, some say, desperately needed — police station.

City Manager Steve Adams hopes the sale of three residential lots located on Old Ranch Road off West Branch Street will generate $640,000, he wrote in a staff report to council members. That estimate is based on an appraisal and discussions with local real estate agents.

The revenue is necessary to help pay for construction of a new station in that area, or to upgrade and expand or demolish and replace the current station on North Halcyon Road.

City officials have long held that the current station is rundown and inadequate for the department staff, which has nearly tripled since the police force moved into the building in 1973.

City leaders have twice put measures before local voters to raise money for a new station, but have been unable to garner a two-thirds majority vote needed for passage.

The council in late November discussed potential locations for a new or expanded station.

At that time, the council voted 3-2 to move forward on a strategy that would put the new station at West Branch Street and Old Ranch Road — though doing so is contingent upon whether plans for a large recreation center move ahead.

The 5 Cities Community Service Foundation, which hopes to build a recreation center on the West Branch Street site, is expected to tell city officials in March whether it can raise enough money to build on West Branch, or whether members will pursue other locations instead.

Council members Caren Ray and Jim Guthrie dissented, preferring instead to have city staff research remodeling or replacing the station on North Halcyon Road, which is projected to cost less and face fewer hurdles than the West Branch Street location.

Tuesday, the council will discuss whether to list the city properties with one real estate agent or multiple agents and whether to form an ad hoc selection committee to review applications and select a real estate agent.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at 215 E. Branch St. The discussion is the final item on the council’s agenda.

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