St. Petersburg looking to build new police department
By: Steve Nichols, FOX 13 Pinellas Bureau Reporter - bio
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -
St. Petersburg needs a new police headquarters, but the problem is paying for it.
Mayor Rick Kriseman is asking Pinellas County commissioners for about $20 million.
"I've come to the decision I want to do it in one phase," Kriseman said. "It makes a lot more sense financially."
That eliminates a path pursued by former Mayor Bill Foster: Build in stages, which ultimately might cost an extra $30 million.
St. Pete's current police building has been outdated for at least a couple of decades.
The price of a new headquarters built in one phase is now estimated to be about $70 million. The problem?
"We've got close to 50 [million]" Kriseman admitted. "So I'm working on it."
On March 31, the mayor wrote Pinellas County's administrator, detailing ways to shift around several joint Penny for Pinellas sales tax revenues to come up with $20.2 million for the police station.
Interim county administrator Mark Woodard said the request is being studied, noting there may be differences between the city's and the county's calculations. However the general idea of county participation is not dead on arrival.
County Commission Chair Karen Seel said she's open to the idea if it is a one-time assistance to one specific city.
In the meantime, the current police station continues to deteriorate. St. Petersburg police headquarters is actually two buildings joined together, one portion built in the 1970s, the other in the 1950s.
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