The much anticipated decision of where the new police station would go was released Monday night with a kind of a surprising spot as Frankfort Police Chief Troy Bacon announced the new facility that would include a fire station would be built at the Frankfort Municipal Airport.
“We’ve been thinking about it since about March 2015 but kind of dismissed it,” said Bacon. “It’s kind of come full circle to where we’re back at the airport property again. We visited all the other locations and none of them worked out. We just feel that this is the most optimal logistically sound location for a police station and a fire station.”
Bacon said they looked at and considered the properties at CVS, the old Kyger School property, a lot on South Third Street near the Frankfort Utilities building and the old Marsh building. Bacon said everyone of those locations had problems that were too much to overcome.
Also considered was a possible renovation of the current police station, but that didn’t work either. The police moved into the building in 1979.
“This is a once-in-a-generation project and we are moving forward,” said Bacon. “We’re excited that we have support of the Airport Authority and the (City) Council to move forward with looking at a property at our airport.”
The Frankfort/Clinton County Airport Authority Board heard a presentation about the police station before Monday night’s meeting at Old Stoney. They said they are unanimously behind this project.
“We’re really excited about this,” said Airport Authority Board President Alan Dunn. “It’ll help provide enhanced security to the airport. It gives us a chance to check some more boxes with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that will hopefully allow us to get some more grant money in the future.”
According to Dunn, the proposed project would be in a grassy area between just to the west of the North/South Runway that almost terminates at State Road 28 and the Centurion Building. Dunn added that area is not used for anything right now outside of being cut for hay.
Mayor Chris McBarnes said the project has been budgeted for roughly $8 million. Bacon added there’s still a lot of work to do with surveying and ground studies which would start almost immediately. Bacon also said there should be some significant headway made by March of next year.
Dunn added a decision needs to be made to purchase the property or go into a long-term lease.
Bacon said the current police station has about 13,000 square feet and this new project would double that.