Mason City council approves plans for Police Department renovation project

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City earlier this week approved the plans and specifications as well as set a public hearing date to accept bids for the city’s Police Department remodeling project.

Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says the building was constructed in 1978 and has not undergone a major remodeling since, except for the removal of the indoor shooting range.  “Our building has been substantially unchanged since it was built. We’ve got, I wouldn’t call it wasted space, but space that’s not used the best. We still have our jail cells in there. We have our port for when we used to transport  people in to be held at the police department.”

Brinkley says the proposed changes will modernize the building.  “We never had purpose-built locker room space for female officers. It wasn’t a thing in 1975 as they started planning for 1978, so we’re way past that and are working to update those facilities. The idea is for us as we try to keep our evidence on one floor, try to make moving things throughout the building, improving that work flow. We’re going to need to change the access to our penthouse for some of the maintenance stuff with HVAC. That and the briefing room are the first things that are going to move. Then after that, we’ll build out that evidence suite, will move down to the basement and do the locker room project, and we’re actually going to removal the equipment from our sewage pit that’s been there since the building was built.”

The estimated cost of the project is $950,000 and is budgeted as part of the city’s Capital Improvement Projects budget. It’s scheduled to start this fall and take about 12-to-15 months to complete.

Bids will be due by August 22nd, with the council holding a public hearing on accepting a winning bid at the council’s September 5th meeting.