SARTELL -- After a year of planning, design plans are starting to take shape on the new Sartell Public Safety Facility.

The council was presented the first look at design plans for the over 45,000 square-foot facility during Monday's council meeting.

The project would combine both the fire and police departments under one roof so emergency operations are in one building.

Police Chief Jim Hughes says they designed the space to handle both the needs of staff and needs for the community.

"One thing we wanted was more training space to protect ourselves and the community. Another area we gained was a tech room where we could do forensics on computers."

The project was first addressed back in 2008 but was put on the back burner due to the poor economy.

Some the amenities included in the proposal are shared training space, fire truck bay and squad car garage, office space, locker rooms, and space for future expansion.

Fire Chief Jim Sattler says they've been in their current facility for 35 years, and it was time for an upgrade.

"There is just a lot of changes in fire service. This will give us chance to get up to speed with the current changes, more space and a better flow for the fire department."

Both Hughes and Sattler say it was important to have both departments in one facility as they work closely with each other.

After further discussion, the council approved to move forward with proposed design plans for the roughly $13-million project. A final design plan and cost will be brought before the council for approval at a later date.

Hughes says if all goes well they hope to begin construction next Spring and be in their new facility by 2020.

The new Public Safety Facility would be located on land just north of the Heritage Drive roundabout along Pinecone Road, just south of Walgreens.

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