City looking to nail down cost of new police building

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It’s been long overdue in the city of Picayune to construct a new Police station/complex. On the horizon is the groundbreaking for a new police department complex near the Rouses location on Highland Parkway.

On Sept. 2021, Mayor Jim Luke and the City Council approved the project. According to previous coverage, the city intends to take out a $7 million bond to build the new police station.

The City Council is in the pricing phase of the project, they’ve budgeted $7 million towards construction only and plan not to exceed that amount. The council will know in the following weeks, or as soon as the February 7th City Council meeting, regarding the exact cost or bids for construction. They will discuss a plan if the project exceeds their budget. As soon as the bid is received, the Mayor and council will vote on it and construction will begin following their vote.

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In terms of funding the inside of the station, its furniture computer, and other items will be financed separately from the construction budget. Most likely, they will be purchased with in-house funds or leftover funds from the budgeted construction if possible.

“We will take whatever we can use,” said Picayune Police Chief Joe Quave.

When it comes to the new police station, Quave wants only what the department needs. He understands this is coming from taxpayers’ money, so spending it wisely and on necessities is a priority one.

The current police station, located at 328 South Main St., is outdated and too small for all the department’s needs.

There is such little space that two police personnel units aren’t even housed inside the station.

Staff and day-to-day operations are inside the station, the investigators are in a mobile office

next to the station and the Evidence Clerk is at the bottom of City Hall.

The new police station, which is planned to be located on Highland Parkway, will house all units and more.

The current police station has been there since 1978. During a tour of the police station, it’s evident that walls have been taken down and/or put up to create more room. Quave said there was no storage room or visitation room until they had to make space for it, same with an investigation room. He said they can’t create more with the same amount of space, but for 30-plus years his department has made the best of what they have had.

According to the floor plan notes, the new police station will have multiple restrooms, a large courtroom, a lobby, an investigation room, a records office, and more.

For more and the most current information, please attend the City council meeting at City hall on Feb. 7 at 5 p.m.