KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety station one in downtown Kalamazoo has been vacant for nearly a decade, but could soon reopen if the current budget proposal is approved.
Station one sits on the corner of West Cedar Street and South Rose Street. The building is rundown with broken windows and part of the ceiling falling in, but Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain said the city wants to get the station running again.
"It gives us an opportunity to make sure we have officers downtown as a base of operations," Chamberlain said. "They are in and around downtown already, but this gives them a place to be and store some vehicles."
Chamberlain said one of the main reasons they want to reopen the station is because downtown Kalamazoo is growing.
He said around 300 new apartments are opening downtown within the next year and the closest police station to downtown is on North Park Street, which is a training center.
He said station one will be a full public safety center and house both firefighters and police officers.
"We'll have officers working out of there and we may have a couple of different offices," he said. "We also hope to have equipment there, so you'll probably see patrol vehicles and even some firefighting equipment."
Chamberlain said if the doors of station one reopen it could enhance response times in downtown Kalamazoo and nearby neighborhoods.
According to the proposed 2020 budget for Kalamazoo city, $250,000 would go to the project. Those funds would cover the costs of planning and design renovations.
Chamberlain said construction on station one would also be a part of the 2021 budget and would cost around $2 million.
The plans are part of the city's proposed budget and are not final. The budget is expected to be approved by January 20, 2020.
If the funding is approved, Chamberlain said station one could re-open in late 2021 or early 2022.