By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
WHITE HALL —
White Hall’s Police Department is one step closer to getting more space for its operations.
During Monday’s meeting, council approved a motion to allow Police Chief Geno Guerrieri to move forward in the process of transforming the pavilion that sits outside the town’s municipal building into the department's new police station.
Guerrieri said the department will go from being stationed in a 400-square-foot room to a 1,232-square-foot building. He presented a plan to council Monday with a layout of the building.
“I’m excited,” Guerrieri said. “Not only is a building going to be there, but we get to design that building the way we need to have it designed.”
Guerrieri told council he has been working with the White Hall Business Association. There are businesses in the town that will provide materials to inclose the pavilion and make it into a building.
Guerrieri said it’s estimated to cost $20,000 to pay for materials, but with the donated materials the town may not have to pay anything. In the motion, council added to give a maximum of $7,500 to the project if it is needed.
A representative from the White Hall Business Association told council they have already received thousands of dollars in donations along with several volunteers who will provide labor for building the station.
Councilman Arley Hayhurst said he likes the idea of the community helping with project.
“I’ve lived in communities that have gotten things built this way,” he said. “I’ve seen fire stations built without cost to the town. I think it’s a great idea.”
Guerrieri said the idea for transforming the pavilion into a building for the police department has been kicked around.
“Council asked me to come up with a plan, and we sat down and figured out a layout that worked for us,” he said.
Guerrieri said he is looking forward to getting an evidence room. With everything from equipment to evidence in one 400-square-foot room, having a bigger space will allow the department breath.
“Our biggest need is an evidence room,” he said. “With (shoplifting) in White Hall, all that stuff we take for evidence, we’re packed here.”
Once the building is completed, the town will have to pay for utilities and maintenance. Guerrieri said there is no date on when construction will begin, but he is hoping that once the weather conditions become bearable, the building will start to take shape.
In other business:
• Guerrieri reported to council that 103 false burglary alarms were responded to in 2013 in the town of White Hall. In prior meetings, council had discussed whether or not to bill a fee to businesses for false alarms.
After receiving these statistics, council decided to take no further action on the issue. Mayor Guy Ward said the issue has been taken off the agenda and will no longer be discussed.
• Council discussed the forming of a hotel/motel tax distribution committee for the next fiscal year. Ward said he would like to have five members on the committee to plan how to use the town’s hotel/motel tax fund.
Ward said the committee would come up with a plan and present it to council, and that council would have a final say in the distribution.
• The next council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at the White Hall Municipal Building.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.