Janesville49.4°

Milton City Council positive about clinic's potential as new police department

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staff, Gazette
August 22, 2012

— Milton City Council members were left with a good impression of the former Dean clinic building at 710 S. Janesville St. after a tour Tuesday.

The walk-through was an early step in the potential purchase of the site as a new home for the Milton Police Department.

Milton Police Lt. John Conger called the city's current police facility at 120 Parkview Drive "dilapidated."

Insufficient storage and a chronically leaking roof, among other issues, plague the department's present home.

"It has enough square footage," said Alderman David Adams of the nearly 7,000 square-foot building.

Adams approved of the location, noting that after work on the Highway 26 bypass is finished, Janesville Street will be converted from a four-lane highway to a city street.

"I think it has a lot of good qualities that could be potentially used, and I think the structure looks solid," said Milton resident Gary Groelle, who also took the tour.

The building is made of gray charcoal brick, with light blue wood-and-concrete trim. It was constructed in 1990. Dean left the facility in 2010. The property was appraised at $600,000 that year.

A lot has changed in the real estate market since then, though, said real estate agent Christina Podoll of Sara Investment Real Estate.

Podoll said the building has been listed with her company since June, and three or four parties "with various ideas" have phoned to ask about the property.

City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said he counted 17 medical offices in the building. The department would not need that many, so walls would likely be knocked down to make room for larger spaces.

Most of the medical equipment had been stripped out of the building, save for one overhead examination light attached to the ceiling in a room. The sinks were all still there, however, with 15 of them are scattered throughout the first floor.

"If you need to wash your hands, there's a sink in about every room," Adams said during the walk-through.

Adams later said that if the city does move forward with the purchase, the council would have to meet with an engineering firm and discuss having them removed, among other needed adaptations.

"The key is finding a facility that fits our budget and that we can make work for our police department for the next 30 to 40 years," said Alderman Brett Frazier.

After the tour, the council met in a closed session to discuss their next move.

"It's a little too early to gauge where we're at," Schuetz said before the closed session. "We'll know more after tonight's meeting."

"It's all in the council's hands now," Mayor Tom Chesmore said.

The Milton City Council will discuss their findings at 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 430 E. High St.



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