To be or not to be, or maybe the question is when will it be — at least when it comes to expanding the Littleton Police Department. In an …
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To be or not to be, or maybe the question is when will it be —
at least when it comes to expanding the Littleton Police
In an unexpected move at a March 17 meeting, council decided to
not transfer money from an inactive Water Utility Fund to a Special
The transfer would have allowed the city to pay off about $3
million in outstanding debt, and to expand the police department —
a project that has been in the works for many years.
The problem lies in a 67,000-square-foot building at 1101 W.
Mineral. After nearly two months of offers and counteroffers, and
discussions about utilization studies and appraisals, council in a
4-3 vote, brought the project to a screeching halt.
The motion required six votes to pass but failed with Mayor Doug
Clark and councilmembers Jim Taylor and John Ostermiller
“The driving force behind this is that we have a
14,000-square-foot problem we’re trying to fix with a
67,000-square-foot building,” said Clark.
Clark, who repeatedly has said the police department’s immediate
needs include only a crime lab and more evidence storage, favored a
14,000-square-foot, new stand-alone facility at the Littleton
Service Center, which was voted down at council’s annual
Since council’s Jan. 30 workshop, many debates have ensued
regarding the size of the Mineral building in comparison to the
police department’s actual needs.
Some members argue the Mineral building is a comprehensive
solution to the city’s needs beyond the police department. They
want to move the entire department with the option of moving other
city functions as needs develop.
Other council members, like Clark, want to accommodate the
police department’s more immediate needs, which include a crime lab
and more evidence storage.
Two weeks ago, council made a decision to conduct a utilization
study to see what it might cost to bring the Mineral Building up to
code, and what it would cost to move the entire police department
with police and fire dispatch.
A week after that, on a 4-2 vote, they decided not to conduct a
utilization study, but to get an appraisal on the Mineral Building
“There was a majority vote to go ahead with the Mineral Building
without getting a cost estimate,” Clark said.
Council was planning to make a second offer on the building
after getting an appraisal, according to Clark.
An appraisal could still happen, but since it takes a majority
vote to actually transfer the money, those hands in favor of the
Mineral Building are tied.
“I’m hoping the majority favoring the Mineral Building will
realize that with this direction and procedure, it won’t happen,”
he said. “Whatever the solution is, it has to be something that the
super majority agrees to.”
Though she agrees the entire council needs to reach a consensus,
Councilmember Debbie Brinkman said she didn’t expect the money
transfer to be voted down.
“What was most disconcerting was the lack of discussion,”
Brinkman said. “This isn’t what we determined at the workshop. It
was a way to block the Mineral Building.”
Brinkman, who says she received an anonymous tip on the vacant
building, introduced it as an alternative for solving the police
department’s space issues at council’s annual workshop Jan. 30.
“This was the crescendo of the angst of council members,” she
said, in the next breath adding, “we all want what’s best for
Littleton, and we have philosophical differences. There’s a need
for quality dialogue.”
Council will proceed with their dialogue when sessions start
back in April.
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