City of Weiser, County assess city police department offices

Above is the former Weiser City Fire and Rescue station at 55 W. Court St. It is being considered as the future home of the Weiser Police Department, but city officials are in the very early stages in their assessment of the project’s feasibility. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
The Weiser City Council recently approved up to $2,500 to share the cost of an appraisal of office space currently utilized by the Weiser Police Department.
 Council members were told during its May 7 regular monthly meeting that the total cost of the appraisal would be split between the city and the county. 
 “We are in the exploratory stages right now,” Weiser Mayor Randy Hibberd said of the city’s effort to find a new home for the police department. 
 “The police and the sheriff’s office both need more space, so what we are looking at doing is getting an appraisal on the police department to see if it would pay for the remodel of the old fire station. I don’t know if any of this will materialize, but we are looking into it.”
 The James R. Johnston Justice Facility is located at 262 E. Court St., adjacent to the Washington County Courthouse. It is used by both the Weiser Police and the Sheriff’s Office, though the City of Weiser owns its portion of the building.
 The city’s intent is to potentially sell its space to the county and use the funds from the purchase to upgrade the old Weiser City Fire and Rescue station, located at 55 W. Court St. in downtown Weiser.
 The building was vacated about 18 months ago after city fire services and the Weiser Area Rural Fire District combined.  
 City and area fire protection service, reformed as the Weiser Fire District, is headquartered at 167 W. Commercial St.
 “This is a thought development that I would like to explore further,” Hibberd said in a written summary provided to council members prior to their May 7 meeting, adding that city and police administrators have already assessed the building’s condition.
 “Lt. Krahn has given input on the space required – number of offices, size, uses, etc.,” he stated. “Dave Loos has revised the plan to take advantage of what is already there, taking into consideration the load-bearing wall, and still meeting the space requirements.”
 He told the Signal American on Monday that “Exterior-wise, the building is in really good shape … but there would probably be some re-wiring and re-plumbing and that sort of thing, and those are the things that would really add up.”
 Hibberd noted that the city has a ballpark estimate on the work that would be needed, but that the cost is not yet certain and that too many questions remain at this stage.
 “I’d like to see it done, but I don’t know if it’s feasible,” he said, adding that the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney’s office is also in need of a home since current Prosecuting Attorney Delton Walker, who did not run for re-election this election cycle, has worked from his private office for years, negating a need for office space.
 Added space at the Sheriff’s Office, provided a purchase can be affected, could mean potential room for recently elected Prosecuting Attorney True Pearce who takes office in January 2025.
 “It would be up to the county how they would use it, but I think the prosecuting attorney’s office is part of the impetus,” Hibberd said. “Whether it would go there or someplace else, I don’t know.”



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