• Last modified 513 days ago (Feb. 27, 2020)


City OKs police station upgrades

Staff writer

A $4,400 contract to have Wiebe Construction build an alcove at Peabody Police Department was approved at Monday’s Peabody city council meeting.

The addition is needed to lessen wear and tear on the police department entrance, mayor Tom Spencer said.

“Protect the door we have,” he said. “So do the alcove first, in this budget year. You wouldn’t want to put in a brand new door to have the same thing happen. Know full well the wind is going to throw that thing against the wall.”

The goal was to get a new outside door at the station as well, and a ramp compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, but that would be too expensive to complete with the department’s budget.

The department had $4,750 budgeted to its capital improvement fund and $750 in its municipal court budget, police chief Bruce Burke said.

“If you don’t like these bids and want me to go find a different bid then I’ll go do that, but I’ve had a heck of a time trying to get people to bid on this project,” he said.

Wiebe Construction was the only company to show serious interest of the four contacted, Burke said.

Burke’s preferred door choice has a latch to hold it shut, which will mean the outer door no longer has to be locked to stay closed on windy days.

“It’s just like it pressurizes the building when those doors are open and the wind is really strong out of the south,” Burke said.

Purchasing a new door was tabled since the cost combined with the alcove expense would be $8,800, $3,300 more than available funds.

There is an opportunity for a vacant building in the 500 block of W. 4th St. to serve as Peabody’s food bank, councilman Lindsay Hutchison said.

“If we have a space like that devoted to the food bank, we would have a lot more resources come from Wichita,” Hutchison said. “We’d have a lot more food and we’d be able to be open a lot more.”

The building formerly served as an office when Randolph Whitely had a medical practice in Peabody.

One challenge would be that Peabody Association of Churches would have to pay the utility bill. Utilities cost around $250 a month when Whitely used the space, Hutchison said.

“It would be a great way to utilize the building and also a good benefit for our community,” she said. “It would be a step moving forward.”

Peabody Recreation Commission will purchase three eight-foot benches for the city’s swimming pool, which will cost the commission $348 each, commission president Beth Peter informed the council.

The commission planned to purchase four benches, but decided to go with a more expensive and sturdier option.

“Three of them are a far cry better than what we have right now,” Hutchison said.

The pool’s old benches were wooden and were referred to as safety hazards.

In other business, Burke and the council will hold a hearing 6:30 p.m. March 30 to discuss property violations with a home owner from the 200 block of S. Olive St.

Last modified Feb. 27, 2020