GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A Green Bay Alderperson says it might be time for the city to look at constructing a new public safety building. One, that as Kris Schuller found out, would combine a number of city agencies and functions under one roof.
According to Alderperson Brian Johnson the city’s five-year capital improvement plan shows millions of dollars of renovations needed to improve Green Bay City Hall. And he wonders if that would be money well spent.
“We’re looking at $10 million of remodeling and we continue to own a 75-year-old building,” said Johnson.
So Monday night at the city’s Protection and Policy Committee, Johnson proposed the creation of an ad hoc committee to study if Green Bay should instead build a single new facility to house City Hall, Municipal Court and the fire and police departments.
“I think it’s critical for us to have a conversation about a unified facility before we start making that type of investment in an old aging infrastructure,” said Johnson.
“I thought it was a great idea,” said Alderperson Mark Steuer.
Steuer serves on Protection and Policy, where a vote was taken, and the idea passed.
“We’ll have a number of citizens there. We’ll probably have police, fire, Public Works, Parks Department. It’s just a matter of getting people to the table and talking about it,” said Steuer.
Back in 2016 the city considered building a single headquarters for both the aging police and fire departments. The project stalled, but Police Commander Kevin Warych says the problems persist.
“There are parts of the building beyond its lifespan. Either we reinvest and put money back into the building or then we explore the idea of having a new building,” said Warych.
A combined-use municipal facility that Johnson says could save money in the long run.
“You start to have this conversation of do we really need to have four, five, six facilities? Could we function out of one at a lower cost to the taxpayer?” asked Johnson.
Multiple questions Johnson hopes this ad hoc committee will answer.
“Obviously economies of scale, efficiency,” said Johnson.
The proposal still needs to be approved by Green Bay City Council.