Grandview mulling new police station; could cost millions

Grandview mulling new police station; could cost millions »Play Video
GRANDVIEW, Wash. -- Grandview's police chief is asking for a new station. He says the current building's too cramped and borders on being unsafe. A replacement would cost millions. KIMA asked whether Grandview can afford it.

Grandview's police station is a throwback.

How far back? Try the 1930's. The setup is far from current.

"We have a jail where you have to cook the food for the jail in the officers' and dispatch space, and then put it in the jail," said Chief Kal Fuller.

And, that's just for starters.

Jail supplies are stored in the garage with the police cars. Prisoners are routinely escorted right past dispatchers while headed to their cells. Juveniles are held just a stone's throw from the front desk.

Back in the garage, Fuller showed me a bench.

"This is a temporary holding area for prisoners, arrestees that we have. We'll bring them and we will chain them to this bench, because there's no place inside for us to put them."

Same for police records. They used to be in the basement beneath an old trap door. Until it flooded.

"Having an employee crawl up and down these stairs into this dark basement is not a good option nowadays," said Fuller.

Remodeling isn't an option. So, Fuller is looking at a new building that could cost up to $9 million.

Councilmember Joan Souders told me she expected the cost would be higher. But, Grandview still doesn't have the cash to pay for it.

I asked her whether council would consider raising rates or taxes.

"I really feel like we need to keep our taxes somewhat where they're at right now, so I don't want to say yes and I don't want to say no. I really...I think we have to explore all of the options of funding."

Amy Householder lives in Grandview. She's open to helping pay the bill.

"Within reason. Nobody likes tax increases, but I think for a good purpose it's needed."

Needed money, says the chief, to bring the police department into the 21st century.

A potential location for a new police station is still up in the air. Council hasn't made any final decisions on the fate of a new station.