Greenwood’s police chief told the city council Tuesday that his department would like to move into a building near the center of town, if voters approve a new tax in a December special election.
The city council is moving forward with plans to hold a special election Dec. 10 in which voters will consider a quarter-cent tax over 20 years to fund a new police station. Greenwood Police Chief Will Dawson said his department currently operates out of a 1,200-square-foot space in the back of City Hall.
Dawson said the old Post Office building became a possibility last week. The building is on the market for about $350,000 and could be renovated to suit the department’s needs without raising the proposed tax amount, Dawson said.
"The location of the Post Office — you can’t beat it. It’s now at the center of town and sits up on that hill," Dawson said. "Everybody will see it."
Councilman Tim Terry agreed that moving the new station to the center of town could garner more votes, as opposed to having it located off U.S. 71.
Dawson said the department has a Plan B if the move falls through, adding that the new police station must be housed in an existing location, not a new building.
The council voted unanimously to reread the proposed ordinance as a first read in title only to reflect changes. The council must approve the ordinance and turn it in within 60 days of the scheduled Dec. 10 election to get the measure on the ballot.
Also in Tuesday’s meeting, the council read for the third and final time an ordinance that waives competitive bidding for purchases or contracts under $20,000. The previous threshold was $10,000.
Councilman Craig Hamilton suggested raising the threshold to $15,000 instead, but the council voted not to consider the change.
The council also approved $1,500 to pay for professional services for a sign and generator project at Greenwood’s fire station next to City Hall.
The resolution passed unanimously, however Mayor Del Gabbard stressed his concern with the overall project. Gabbard said the proposed $21,000 for a digital sign and the proposed $46,000 for a generator for the Fire Department could be better spent.
Gabbard suggested a generator should serve more than just the Fire Department, and that the city already has an electronic sign that displays information similar to what would be on the new sign. Councilman Lance Terry pointed out funds for the sign and generator would come from a sales tax for the Fire Department, and cannot be used for anything else.