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City police department to host open house Oct. 23

This conceptual drawing from BKV Group architects gives an idea of what a new police department might look like – but it is a preliminary design only, according to architect Bruce Schwartzman. (Graphic by BKV Group)1 / 2
The current home of the Detroit Lakes Police Department, located on Holmes Street, has about a third of the 17,800 square feet of space needed for a department of its size, according to a facility assessment and space needs study commissioned by the City Council. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)2 / 2

Are you still undecided regarding whether to vote in favor of a proposed local option sales tax for the city of Detroit Lakes on Nov. 6? Do you have some questions about why the tax is needed to fund a proposed $6.5 million project to build a new city police department?

Then come to the police department's current home at 106 Holmes St. East on Tuesday, Oct. 23, for an open house where you can see what the department's needs are for yourself.

Alderman Ron Zeman issued a plea at the end of Tuesday night's regular council meeting, asking residents to come to the Oct. 23 open house, which will take place at two different times, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m.

"We need a new police department," he said bluntly, noting that the existing building had reached the end of its useful life.

He also noted that with the sales tax, the city could see as much as $900,000 a year in additional revenue, which would allow the bond for the police department construction project to be paid off in as little as 9-10 years — or less.

"It could be paid off in eight years," he said.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council discussed plans to form a Joint Airport Zoning Board (JAZB) with Becker County, Detroit Township, Audubon Township and Lakeview Township. The Detroit Lakes-Becker County Airport Commission passed a resolution authorizing the creation of the JAZB at its Sept. 19 meeting.

The Airport Commission is also in the process of revising its zoning ordinance, to encompass the new dimensions of the expanded and improved main runway and taxiway, as well as another existing grass runway on the property.

A public informational meeting on the runway expansion, which is currently underway, as well as the Airport Commission's plans to rezone the property and create a new joint zoning board to oversee it, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of Detroit Lakes City Hall, located at 1025 Roosevelt Ave.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 17 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454