Maintenance building

The City of Blair was considering purchasing this former Dana College maintenance building for use by the Blair Police Department.

After agreeing to do additional research before final consideration of a plan to purchase the former Dana College maintenance building along 27th Street near College Drive, the Blair City Council unanimously voted Tuesday against final reading and passage of a resolution that would have authorized the purchase.

The city was looking to purchase the building from Angels Share, Inc. for $29,000 and use it for storage of items for the Blair Police Department (BPD), including equipment both inside and outside the building, as well as cars the department needs to hold for evidence or impound.

The plan was met with opposition from Councilman Jon Stewart and residents who live in the area.

During discussion of the ordinance at the Sept. 11 city council meeting, residents urged the council make it a residential lot instead.

Many residents were concerned about it being turned into an impound lot and the possibility of having people in and out of it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In tabling the final decision to Tuesday's meeting, Councilman Kevin Hall said it gave council members the opportunity to visit the site, which he and others did and for further discussion and a recommendation from the council's police committee. Hall said he heard a considerable amount of comments from people in the community about the proposal.

"In my opinion, I think there's better places," he said of meeting the police department's needs. "I think there is going to be more to that building, more potential needs than what has been talked about in the past."

Prior to the council's decision, City Administrator Rod Storm said, if they chose not to purchase the building, city staff will do what it can to find other alternatives.

He also encouraged the council to look at ways to clean up the maintenance building property.

"It would be staff's positions to look all alternatives and come back with you in a month to six weeks with a recommendation on how to proceed with getting rid of that building and getting that site cleaned up so it can be a useful part of our community," he said.

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