Talks are ongoing in Steubenville about the possibility of moving the police department to the Jefferson County Justice Center.
A meeting on Thursday night allowed city officials to gather and discuss their options and decide what would be best for the department and the community.
A walkthrough was held on Tuesday evening, and Thursday’s open meeting was to gauge interests and talk about concerns regarding the potential move. Currently, the Steubenville Police Department is headquartered on 3rd Street, but the move would take them a few blocks away to the Justice Center on State Route 7.
Commissioners Tom Gentile and Dave Maple said they are willing to work with the city and come up with a cost to get the project rolling and get a proposal written. Currently, the main concern is money and whether the city can afford to rent space at the Justice Center, or if it would be more cost-effective to remodel their current building, or construct a new one.
“I think the community would love it, I think the governors office and the state would love it. They’re looking for shared service, I think it improves our opportunities to get grants, because a lot of the grants from the state we are seeing, one of the things they’re rewarding grants is for shared services within a community,” said Commissioner Tom Gentile.
Another one of the main concerns with the move is the traffic pattern at the light on Route 7 and Washington Street. Gentile said the traffic pattern may have to be reconfigured, but the city is willing to work with the Ohio Department of Transportation on coming up with a solution.
Currently, there is unused space at the Justice Center that would suit a police department. There are also two courts, and one could be used for a municipal courtroom. In the end, officials are looking for the wisest investment for the short-term, and one that would serve them well down the road.
There is no word on when the final decision will be made.