EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. — East Dubuque officials are gambling to secure funding for a new police station.
City Council members this week approved funding the creation of design documents for the project, which would be constructed on four parcels located at the corner of Sinsinawa Avenue and Second Street, next to 2nd Street Slots. The land was previously the location of a planned East Dubuque’s fire station project before it was moved elsewhere.
The East Dubuque City Council has been discussing constructing a new police station for several years, with the current station, located on Sinsinawa Avenue, considered to be too small and in deteriorating condition.
City Manager Loras Herrig said work on the project was renewed after the state announced it would create $25 million in fast-track public infrastructure grants this summer. Herrig said the grant program could fully fund the construction of a new police station, but there is no guarantee the city will be a recipient.
“This would basically mean we get a new building,” Herrig said. “You don’t see 100% grants that much anymore.”
Mike Ruden, with IIW Engineering in Dubuque, said initial estimates of a new police station put it between 4,500 to 5,700 square-feet in size, with the project cost ranging from $1.25 million to $1.75 million.
Illinois’ grant program will approve funding for projects of up to $5 million.
Ruden said his current estimates are for a smaller police station that meets the minimum requirements of what would need to be included in the building.
“It’s a small police station for a small community,” Ruden said.
The city had originally selected four potential sites for the building, including the current police station, the current fire station building located on Sinsinawa Avenue, the four lots located on Sinsinawa Avenue and a parcel located next to city hall, which lies at the intersection of Sinsinawa Avenue and Montgomery Avenue.
However, Herrig said the grant program requires that the city be ready to begin construction on the new police station by Sept. 1, and designs for the building would need to be submitted by the end of the month.
Herrig said the four lots on Sinsinawa Avenue needed to be selected because they do not have a structure currently in place, thus allowing for the city to meet the construction deadline set by the grant program.
Ruden said IIW could finish the design documents in time, but a contract with the engineering firm would need to be approved that night. In total, the city approved a contract with the engineering firm to draft design documents and hired Community Funding and Planning Services for assistance in applying for the grant, all for about $39,000.
If the city is not approved for the grant, Herrig said certain aspects of the design documents can still be utilized, so the investment would not be a total loss.
City Council Member Adam Arling said the investment in the project before funding is secured poses a risk for the city, but he ultimately feels the grant is worth pursuing.
“I feel like I’m in Las Vegas right now,” Arling said.