The town of White Hall is one step closer to getting its police department a home of its own.
The West Virginia Economic Development Council has approved a request by council that a grant used to build a pavilion outside of the municipal building would still be in effect as that pavilion gets converted into a police department.
At town council's meeting Monday night, Mayor Guy Ward said all that all council needs to do is pass a resolution reflecting these changes.
"Part of the agreement in the grant was we had to utilize it for the purpose we intended it for, but that was five years ago. They've outgrown their space, they were in one room, a small room, and they outgrew it. We moved them to a bigger room, and now they've outgrown it. They actually need a building all to themselves," said Ward.
Town council plans to pass that resolution at its next meeting.
Ward said construction could begin as soon as April 1.
ORIGINAL STORY (January 2014):
The town of White Hall has been working to build a home for its police department for quite some time.
Multiple officers are currently sharing one small room and two desks.
"We started out in a very small office. After I'd say about five years we finally moved into a bigger space but we are starting to outgrow it with more officers and more evidence that we have collected over the years," said Chris Erdie, White Hall Police Department.
The most common crime that occurs in White Hall is burglary. A lot of it happens at Walmart and the surrounding businesses.
Officers said every time they are called to the scene, they must take the evidence back to the station as part of the investigation. When they are called nearly every single day, the evidence is going to pile up and eventually its going to need a room for itself.
"Right now the police department uses a room in the town hall. They had one room they started with and they outgrew it. Now we gave them a larger room and they outgrew it. Evidence is probably the biggest thing that's causing them to outgrow their space," said Guy Ward, White Hall Mayor.
White Hall Town Council recently approved a motion to allow the department to begin transforming a nearby pavilion into a police station.
"It's really wasted space for right now," Mayor Ward said. "We looked at the structure. It has a really good foundation, good roof. We got different contractors to look at it and tell us that we could just build that in and make a building out of it."
The project is estimated to cost $20,000. The White Hall Business Association told police it is willing to donate any needed materials and labor. The town may not have to spend a penny out of its own pocket.
"It absolutely feels wonderful they are willing to help us out in building the new police station. Their support is great," Erdie said. "That's the best thing we have. The support from the community. That's what we love."
The design of the building has already been completed by the department.
"He went out there and measured it, drew it up the way he wanted it. Council approved it and we are turning it over to him to do it," Mayor Ward said.
Weather permitting, construction should begin soon. Mayor Ward said he would like to see the project completed by the end of June.