Jul 23 2008
Manager Tries New Plan To Build Police Station
Wednesday, 23 July 2008

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            The Kodiak City Council got an update on the City Manager Linda Freed’s plans for the new Kodiak Police Station and Jail project at a work session Tuesday. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

            The latest roadblock for the project has been the skyrocketing cost of construction, with the most recent estimate putting the overall price tag at about 22.8 million dollars. Earlier this month the city council rejected Freed’s proposal to raise the sales tax on alcohol to make up for about a 6-million dollar shortfall on the project.

The city manager’s latest idea is to build the police station, but leave the jail portion unfinished, until additional funds from the State of Alaska can be secured.

            (City Jail 1                           :17s                 “…roughly 18.5 million dollars.”)

            The city council has directed Freed to write a letter to the state asking for more money to complete the jail portion of the project, since the city’s jail is a regional facility that houses prisoners from multiple jurisdictions. Freed reiterated that this wasn’t the way she preferred to complete the project, but with the rising cost of construction affecting every aspect, she felt it was the best way to proceed at this time.

            (City Jail 2                           :12s                 “…won’t come in any higher.”)

            Once the police station is built, and until funds can be secured to complete the jail, Freed said the city could continue to operate the jail at the current location for a period of time. But once that building becomes too rundown to operate anymore, the city will be forced to use temporary holding cells in the new station. The holding cells would be limited to arrests made by Kodiak police officers. Freed added that there would be no holding cells for juvenile offenders, and if the cells became overcrowded there would be a possibility that some prisoners would be released to make room for more serious criminals.

            (City Jail 3                           :12s                 “…domestic violence requires arrest.”)

            The city council was noncommittal with Freed’s plan. Members said they would look at the completed design for the proposed police station, without the finished jail, and decide then if it was worth putting out to bid. Freed said the plans were about two weeks from being finished.

            I’m Casey Kelly.