Alabaster police likely expanding station by end of month

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 Alabaster Police Department likely will have some more breathing room by the end of January, after the City Council approved the final portion of the department’s renovations during a Jan. 12 meeting.

During the meeting, the council voted unanimously to pay $12,500 to fund a security system on the second floor of the former City Hall building at 201 First Street South. The security system will include door locks on several interior doors and security cameras throughout the building, said Alabaster City Manager George Henry.

“We are trying to wrap it up by the end of January,” Henry told council members, noting the $12,500 expense was already included in the city’s 2015 fiscal year budget.

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.

Henry said the total cost of the renovation project came in at about $90,000, which was lower than originally estimated. About $15,000 of the project was offset by a donation from the Shelby County 911 board.

Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney thanked the city for completing the project, which he said will give the department some much-needed breathing room.

“We are just trying to get everything finalized right now,” Rigney said.