WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Joint Law Enforcement Talks Resurface

May 25, 2013

The talk of a joint law enforcement center in Burlington is starting to rekindle.

Burlington City Manager Jim Ferneau

A plan to put the Des Moines County Sheriff's Office and the Burlington Police Department under one roof was shot down by the county several years ago.

The city is pushing the project because its current police station has serious structural deficiencies.

City Manager Jim Ferneau (FER-no) says the city wants to give it another go.

He says information is being compiled about several unidentified properties, as opposed to a new building.

"(The information includes) purchase price, age of facility, cost of to remodel, the long-term utility cost on one versus another and the long-term maintenance cost on one versus another," says Ferneau.

Ferneau hopes to be able to present the information to the Burlington City Council and the Des Moines County Board of Supervisors in a matter of weeks.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Tom Broeker says Des Moines County will consider any new information.

"So we can get them an answer, sooner rather than later, whether we are interested in going forward with this or whether we are not," says Broeker.

Broeker says the biggest concern for the county is the cost of the project.

Meanwhile, it could be a little more expensive for some people to use Burlington transit service.

The city council will hold a public meeting in early June on multiple rate increases.

Up for consideration is to increase both half-month and full-month services for BUS (Burlington Urban Service) by $5 and the annual pass by $50.

City Manager Jim Ferneau says this should not impact occasional riders.

"It's not for the daily rates," says Ferneau.  "We looked at comparisons for other communities and our daily rate is very comparable."

Ferneau says the proposed increases would still apply if transit services are handled by the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.