Rockland to consider selling police department space

By Stephen Betts | Nov 28, 2018
Source: File photo The city is considering whether to sell its share of 1 Park Drive, currently occupied by the Police Department.

Rockland — The city manager is asking the Rockland City Council to field offers for the space occupied by the police department at 1 Park Drive.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said if there is interest in buying the space, he would recommend the city develop plans to expand the current fire department building to accommodate the police department.

The City Council will be asked at its Monday, Dec. 10, meeting to seek requests for proposals for the city's share of the 1 Park Drive building. The space is about 7,700 square feet.

The police department occupies a large section of the lower level of the building. The Rockland Festival Corp. owns the remainder of the lower level, while the Maine Lighthouse Museum has the top floor.

The police department moved into the space in August 2004. Police had been crammed into the same building as the Fire Department from 1983 until the 2004 move.

This will be the third time the city has considered building an addition to the fire station at 118 Park St.

In 1989, the city hired Moore Weinrich Architects of Brunswick, which concluded that an additional 9,000 square feet of space was needed to accommodate the full needs of the Police and Fire Departments. The City Council did not proceed with an expansion.

In January 2000, the city purchased for $53,500 a quarter-acre parcel across Lisle Street from the fire station that had been owned by Howard Walen and occupied by the Finast Kind Market. In June 2000, the city formed another committee to look at an expansion of the fire department building, but again the council did not go ahead with an expansion.

Luttrell said the Lisle Street lot could be used for parking and the addition could go to the side or the rear of the existing building.

The city leased the police department space at 1 Park Drive until 2007 when the building was purchased from MBNA.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Dec 06, 2018 09:16

The elephant in the room is the Maine Lighthouse museum.  According to un-named sources the museum has not paid the city for their share of the building for years.  This is creating an undue expense for the city.  It has been suggested by myself and others that the museum could easily be moved down to Jim Sharps maritime museum in  the south end.  The police department can go anywhere it does not need to occupy a million dollar waterfront condominium.  This city like many others is not good at how they spend your money.  Good think we now have Tom Lutrel at the wheel



Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Nov 29, 2018 09:47

George:

As you know, combining police and fire departments under one roof is surprisingly more difficult than would be expected. The two organizations have much different cultures; the City would do well to reach out to other communities that have done this and learn what the difficulties they experienced and how they were surmounted. It's not impossible - getting buy in from both departments will be key.



Posted by: George Terrien | Nov 29, 2018 07:48

Gerald, I like your proposal.  And, there is more to consider, including efficiency from co-locating emergency services.  Once we start down that path, why stop with Rockland?  Yes, I know, the possibility of combining dispatchers, equipment availability, etc., keeps coming up among other towns and with the County (I refer here to our County, not "The County"), but I am not aware of a recent study that evaluates potential savings and disadvantages.  If such a prospect makes any sense in the abstract, now would be the time to look at the proposition seriously.



Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Nov 29, 2018 07:27

Mr Emmott:

The City will be taking over the former McLain School on Lincoln Street in the Spring. City Hall could be moved there and the land where it is currently situated sold.

It would be disappointing to see the Lisle Street property simply turned into a parking lot. The land could be leased to a developer to build an apartment building with the City allowed to use parking spaces during business hours.



Posted by: Ian Emmott | Nov 29, 2018 06:26

I would love to see city hall downtown, more centrally located.



Posted by: Stephen Betts | Nov 28, 2018 19:57

The city does not plan on buying any property. The proposal would be to expand on the existing lot where the fire station is and to possibly use the vacant Lisle Street lot for parking. The money for the addition would be offset by the sale of the police property.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Nov 28, 2018 17:15

Going backwards???  No surprise there.  Better check on the condition of your Fire House City  Manager Luttrell before letting even a squeak as to move the police station back to the fire station.  I would like to know where the City is acquiring all this money to buy real estate in Rockland.  How the heck could the fire station expand when the property the city bought is across the street and just a quarter of an acre?   Who else is using the parking?  This is so ridiculous!  Doesn't the city own quite abit of property by the city hall?  Goodness knows that the city has plenty of properties to get rid of so why not use them as parking.  Something just isn't quite right with this........

 



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