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Puyallup police, court won’t move into City Hall

Post by Sara Schilling / The News Tribune on May 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm with 6 Comments »
May 22, 2012 11:30 pm

Puyallup’s five-story City Hall that overlooks the library and Pioneer Park downtown won’t become home to the city’s police department or municipal court.

There isn’t enough space, consultants told the City Council on Tuesday. They also said the building wasn’t designed for those public safety programs and adapting it to fit their needs would cost millions of dollars.

The seven-member council seemed convinced.

“I definitely think this report puts the nail in the coffin of moving the court or police to into this building,” Councilman John Palmer said during the study session.

Instead, several council members indicated they wanted to see a community task force formed to examine building a new public safety facility in the future. Council members also said they want to find other ways to fill up City Hall.

“We obviously have a lot of space that’s underutilized,” said Councilman Kent Boyle. “…We’re wasting a great degree of money if we don’t (find a use for it).”

The roughly 40,000-square-foot building opened in 2008 and cost about $38 million. Today, it holds several city departments, including finance, legal and the city manager’s office. About 60 people work there in all.

City Manager Ralph Dannenberg said he’s asked staff to shift around and free up at least one floor. Two public agencies have expressed interest in renting space, he said.

The idea of moving the police department or municipal court into the building has been around for months.

In February, the council asked Dannenberg for information on the feasibility. He hired the Seattle-based EHS Design to conduct an analysis.

Last month, Mayor Rick Hansen asked to put the on brakes so the council could vet the possibility of a new public safety building. But the idea didn’t gain enough support at the time.

EHS Design’s report, presented Tuesday, said City Hall was intended to be office space and would require extensive modifications in order to meet standards for public safety programs.

The cost to move either department would exceed $4 million, the consultants estimated. They also said there’s not enough room in the building for either program.

One scenario had the police department spread out across the first, third and fourth floors and even into a portion of the first-floor parking garage. There still wouldn’t be enough space for all the police needs, the report says.

Today, the police department is in a 44-year-old building at 311 W. Pioneer that also includes the city jail and a Central Pierce Fire and Rescue station.

The municipal court is in leased space at 929 E. Main. The lease is set to end next year.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. It’s easy enough to prevent causal bond building between
    Puyallup’s citizens and the police, just build a fence
    behind the station.

  2. dirtydan54 says:

    Tough. Elected officials created this 38 million public services building now live with it. It’s not bad enough that it would cost over 4 mil to remodel this new public services building so that it can accommodate of all things, public services. Facing that reality it will be necessary to build a new public services facility far exceeding 4 mil. to accommodate, of all things, yup, public services.

    Love it.

  3. hipocraticoath says:

    DD54–bear in mind this council had no part in the building disaster. Previous councils apparently wanted a monument unto themselves. I understand the conference rooms have lavish conference tables–rarely used as not enough people occupy the building and $1400 wooden chairs. The current council is now trying to resolve matters and make the best of the lemonade they were handed. Interesting discussions last night as the council directed consolidation of staff into smaller work spaces and potential lease of floor space to outside agencies. Now if they get rid of the art gift store that pays no rent, then things will be looking brighter.

  4. I’m stunned. This “do nothing” council again does what it does best, nothing. It was never going to fly. If they can’t manage small decisions like this, how on earth will they manage an impending $10M budget defecit, finding $12M for a busted bridge and more elaborate buildings to suck the taxpayer dry.

    The solution is simple. Send all prisoners to Tacoma (saving $1M a year at lease out rates) and the cops will have the jail space to expand into. But that will not happen for due to “special interests”.

    All this council have managed in 4 months so far is give raises to city staff, delay the start of council meetings by 30 minutes and give special parking to Joyce McDonald and her “clients” on Meridian.

    I can’t wait for the next big flap to yack about for weeks and end up doing nothing. Sounder Parking, Red Light Cameras, Police HQ, Electric Dog Collars, Trout Hatchery. There is a pattern here somewhere.

    At least Kathy, Tami, Nicole and Don were entertaining. The current bunch are simply mind numbing.

  5. hipocraticoath says:

    IQ88-guess you missed the meeting last night. Consultants said $4M to move either one. Got $4M in your back pocket you want to donate. Assuming you live in the city limits, I’m looking forward to your campaign. Yur a fricken genius!

  6. dirtydan54 says:


    I guess you missed the point of my comment when I stated elected officials. Does it really matter to knit pick who specifically served at what period of time when, although the faces have changed, the song remains the same?

    Granting acceptance to a steady and constant stream of incompetence of elected officials with their short sighted visions for the best interests of the people certainly is moving forward with little signs of it slowing any time in the near future. Having to hire consultants to do their information gathering and thinking on how to resolve problems they were elected to deal with leaves me with just one question,

    Just what do any of these elected officers actually perform in their duties that actually positively reflects the best interests of the public at any period of time they may be or have served in the public trust that doesn’t include a but, if, or, could be?

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