Atlantic Beach OKs Funds for Planning; the City Approves $35,000 for a Preliminary Needs Analysis for Its New Police Station

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Byline: DREW DIXON

ATLANTIC BEACH - The City Commission Monday approved $35,000 to be spent on a consultant to find out what needs must be met if a new or expanded police station and public safety building is going to be constructed.

The commission voted unanimously to pay $35,000 to Architect Design Group of Winter Park to conduct a "spatial needs assessment, master plan, project development costs and conceptual renderings" analysis for the proposed new police station. The proposed new facility has been considered since 2005 but the commission each year halted proceeding with any plans due to budget limitations.

Assistant City Manager David Thompson recommended the study and said he only wants to get the proposed needs assessment in line in case funding does become available.

"They didn't vote tonight to build a new building," said Thompson after the meeting. "That $35,000 worth of work is going nowhere near to construction drawings.

"What it will do, however, if funding does become available, through the [United States] stimulus package or whatever, is that it moves them several months ahead," said Thompson. "If we're starting from scratch and we haven't even done a spatial analysis and we don't even know what size we're talking about, we're going to be really behind the eight ball here."

Previously, the city had estimated the current facility at 800 Seminole Road needed to expand about 2,000 square feet at least from its current size of 5,000 square feet. There had also been consideration for building a new police station at a new location, but that would involve purchasing new land. …

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