BECKER (WJON News) - The Becker City Council has approved the preliminary designs of a remodel to the city hall and police offices.

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City Administrator Greg Lerud says the project is necessary to be able to serve a growing population.

The original building was built in 1980. And then in 1996, it doubled in size. Well, the population in 1980 was 600 people. In 1996, it was just under 2000. Today's population is just over five (thousand). And so we have a need, the police department clearly does not have enough adequate space.

The preliminary plans include a new shared entry for both city hall and the police offices, plus an addition to the police office and enough garage space to house two city cars and the entire fleet of police vehicles.

Lerud says the council has worked hard to stay within the confines of an estimated $6.8 million price tag. He says the new plan takes care of most of the immediate needs in both the city and police offices.

So (there are two) primary goals. Number one is the police department, their space is not adequate. The current design calls for a modest addition attached to the police department and increasing the garage space so we can have all of our squads and two city vehicles parked inside around the clock. The other component was to improve security. Right now there are five entrances to the building, and that's far too many.

At last week’s meeting, the city council approved the preliminary design of the expansion and remodel project. The complete construction designs should be available for council review in December. If approved, construction could begin in the summer of 2024.

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