New Burkburnett Police Department moves forward

New Burkburnett Police Department moves forward
    A new Burkburnett Police Department building is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Burkburnett Board of City Commissioners approved a resolution Friday that would allow the city to issue certificates of obligation, instead of placing it on the May ballot.

“We felt issuing a certificate of obligation gave us the best chance to lock in the lowest rate which would have the least impact on the debt service and on the tax rate moving forward,” said Mike Whaley, Burkburnett City Manager.

The estimated $4.8 million project will be paid out over a 20 year period of time. It would also mean a tax rate increase of about 5.5 cents for area residents, according to Whaley.

“It was better to invest in a new facility that you knew you would have a sustained shelf life for, you know a 30 year facility,” said Whaley.

Portions of the current police department building are more than 80 years old. Utilities in the current holding facility do not always work, and police storage fills various areas throughout the building.

“We've got a lot of issues with water leaks because of the roof and there's a lot of problems with utilities because of the age of the building,” said Whaley.

Although the new facility will be home to city services, city officials said it will also benefit residents.

“For instance, our severe weather center, so we'll be able to transition it there and we'll have updated components and equipment to help with our severe weather center.”

The approval Friday means the city can publish and notify residents about the project. The city is required to hold a public hearing on the issue.

With that in mind, Whaley said they are looking to issue the debt in April.  Although no official timetable has been set up for this project, officials said the next step is the planning and design phase. That is expected to take four to six months.

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