Alabaster Police Department expansion moves forward

The Alabaster Police Department is planning to move into the upper floor of the former City Hall building off U.S. 31. (File)

The Alabaster Police Department is planning to move into the upper floor of the former City Hall building off U.S. 31. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The former Alabaster City Hall came one step closer to becoming an expanded police department after the City Council voted to spend $44,415.49 on the project during a Nov. 10 meeting.

The council voted unanimously during the meeting to approve the expense to purchase a new dispatcher console, marking the next step in the gradual process to give the police department its first major expansion in several decades.

“This is another part in the process of getting our police department into the old City Hall building,” Ward 5 Councilman Russell Bedsole said.

The Nov. 10 meeting came about a month after the council voted to spend $35,000 from the city’s capital budget to fund interior construction, electrical work and the installation of network cabling in the former City Hall building at 201 First Street South.

The Police Department currently occupies the lower floor of the former City Hall building, which was built in the 1950s. The department now has more than 80 employees to serve a population of more than 30,000 residents – exponentially more than the department served when it moved into its current space.

The upper floor of the old City Hall has been vacant since Alabaster’s administrative offices moved into the new City Hall building more than a year ago.

Alabaster City Manager George Henry previously said the renovations likely will total about $100,000, and will include rewiring for phone and Internet, an interior build out, purchasing a dispatch console and installing security measures near the front entrance. The project’s final cost will be determined by bid amounts.

Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said the department has secured $15,000 from the Shelby County 911 agency to use toward the project.