New Police Station in North Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will hold a public hearing Monday night concerning a new police station for the police department.

"We invite anyone in the area of the project, businesses and residents to come and give feedback, look at the designs, give their input on whether or not they like the preliminary designs and that sort of thing," Barry Dalton of Public Works said.

The facility is located off Rangeline Street and International Drive. It will serve as a police station, provide meeting rooms for the public and could host emergency units from the Columbia Fire Department.

The Noriega family lives in the neighborhood across the street from the proposed location.

"I think it will be better for the police to be integrated into the neighborhoods more instead of, you know, a central location in a built-up area where there isn't a lot of residential property," Deanna Noriega said.

Noriega has a guide dog and her husband is in a wheelchair. She said having a station nearby makes her feel more secure.

The city allocated a total of $9.69 million  for this project from the 2015 Capital Improvement Sales Tax ballot.

Council members authorized the purchase of the 8.55 acres of land in the Auburn Hills Subdivision in 2016.

An Interested Partners meeting was held on October 10 at Grace Bible Church with approximately 30 people in attendance. Dalton said the hearing Monday is one of the final stages of the public involvement process.

After the hearing, the city will go through an extensive bidding process before it sets an actual date to begin construction.

Construction of the project is expected to begin during the summer or fall of 2018.