REYNOLDSVILLE — Members of the Reynoldsville Borough Council acted this week to retain an engineering firm to conduct a feasibility study of making the community’s police department handicap accessible.
Jim Venture, a Reynoldsville resident, asked the council to consider other options before placing the community in debt for $300,000 over a 20-year period and suggested moving the police department from the upstairs of the borough building downstairs and moving the borough office to another location. Venture also suggested moving the police station to another location, such as the unoccupied building owned by Farmer’s National Bank.
Council member Robin McMillen said the building is one of the most marketable buildings on main street and if it was owned by the borough it would be losing significant tax revenue. Acting council president Bob Crosby agreed and said he would rather keep the building on the market to be occupied by a business. Council member Billy Cebulskie said the borough should not acquire another building as they are not utilizing all of the buildings they currently occupy.
“Are we going to be able to take care of two buildings? I think we have a responsibility to the community to take care of what we have,” Cebulskie said.
Crosby suggested hiring an engineer to perform a feasibility study to see how the borough could better use and improve the existing police station and make it handicap accessible. Cebulskie said an option was to remodel and connect the back police station to the garage. He said it would require a lot of work but they should consider what would be the most feasible. He said the borough’s tax base and population is decreasing and considerations for how the borough could sustain the cost of the improvements need to be made.
McMillen said an option to keep the police officers safe while the borough pursues funds and a better plan would be to make the back police station an auxiliary station where the officers can take individuals that can’t be taken upstairs where the police station is currently located.
“Even in the event that we get a police station somewhere else, that space becomes usable space,” McMillan said.
Cebulskie said he walked through the area in question with police chief Troy Bell to see what needed to be done in the most fiscally responsible way. He said small steps would need to be made to reach their end goal and their priorities at the moment should the safety of the officers and what is best for the citizens.
Cebulskie made the motion to contact an engineering firm to schedule a feasibility study to see what needs to be done to make the police station handicap accessible and what upgrades need to be done to the borough shed. The motion was seconded by Ralph “Tucker” August and was carried five to zero.