Tri States Public Radio Staff
Lack of Money
Thu September 12, 2013
Burlington No Longer Pursuing Building
Burlington has stopped its search for a new home for one of its departments.
City Manager Jim Ferneau says purchasing and renovating the downtown US Bank building at 201 Jefferson Street is no longer on the table.
The city was eyeing that location as the new home for the Burlington Police Department, to the degree where a purchase agreement was being prepared.
Ferneau says that process has been halted because Burlington simply cannot afford the roughly $5-million dollar price tag.
"We really don't have a realistic cash-flow amount that we can really justify covering the costs on a new facility now," says Ferneau.
At first, the city wanted Des Moines County to partner with it on a joint law enforcement facility that would be used by the Burlington Police Department and the county sheriff's office.
The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors eventually backed away, citing the cost and the potential need to borrow money.
From there, the city discussed using money generated through a large tax increment finance (TIF) district to pay for the acquisition and renovation.
Ferneau says that account is not meeting expectations, prompting the decision to stop pursuing the downtown location.
The Burlington Police Department will remain at 424 N. 3rd Street for the time being. The building's structural issues prompted the search for the new station.
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