The Belleville City Council on Monday advanced an $18.5 million project to move the police department to 720 W. Main St., renovate City Hall and build an indoor parking garage for police cars.
City leaders expect to fund the project with a bond issue.
The next major step will be putting the construction work out to bid.
The council approved the budget along with the architectural and engineering services plan.
Highlights of the budget include:
The police department will move into the Bank of Belleville building at 720 W. Main St. The bank is building a new headquarters on South Illinois Street.
The new police headquarters will have a forensic evidence lab, a dispatch center, a sally port and a 60-person community classroom.
Renovation plans for City Hall include demolition of the old Chicago Title building at 10 W. Washington St., making the building and restrooms accessible for people with disabilities, expanding the City Council chambers, replacing an elevator and improving the westside parking lot.
The series of votes for the plan were approved unanimously except for the ones involving the police parking garage.
Alderwoman Lillian Schneider voted against the garage because the city may lose some state funding as proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and that the garage is not a necessity at this time. “When the economy gets better, we have the ground, it can then be built,” she said.
For now, some plans are deferred to a later date. The housing and engineering departments will remain at 407 E. Lincoln St. and the existing police department area will remain unoccupied in City Hall when officers transfer to their new home. A $500,000 shooting range will not be included in the new police parking garage at 103 S. Seventh St.
Mayor Mark Eckert said the construction cost estimates are “very conservative” and that the final project cost may end up being closer to $18 million rather than the $18.5 million cited Monday.
Earlier this year, the city hired Impact Strategies Inc. of Fairview Heights to be the construction manager to oversee the project.