(Posted April 15, 2019)
By Dedra Cordle, Staff Writer
Plain City residents and officials alike have shared in the frustration.
When residents visit one of the government offices to seek assistance on multiple issues, village officials almost always have to direct them to another location.
“Our department buildings are spread throughout the community, and that setup puts us at a disadvantage,” said Nathan Cahall, village administrator. “It hinders our ability to efficiently serve our residents when we have to send them all over town to find solutions to their problems.
“Not only is it frustrating to them as we are not able to adequately assist [their needs] while they are in one office, it adds to the workload of the employees as we are all running around throughout multiple buildings, trying to figure things out.”
It is a carousel that has become commonplace, said Cahall, but one he said will come to a halt once the village’s new municipal building is constructed.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place April 12. The new 12,000 square-foot building will be located at 800 Village Blvd., west of the NAPA Auto Parts store off of U.S. Route 42.
“We can’t wait for it to start,” he said, “and I think I can speak for many others when I say that, too.”
Plans to construct a new municipal building, one that would bring the administrative side and the law enforcement side together in a single complex, began in earnest nearly four years ago when the projected growth of the village started to conflict with its current conditions.
“I believe Plain City could be classified as a city soon, and we had to start to meet the demands of this growing community,” Cahall said.
Village leaders started budgeting for the project. Residents passed a half-percent income tax levy and bonds were issued. Altogether, nearly $2.9 million has been earmarked for the project.
The new municipal building will house the village council chambers, police department, and administrative offices such as the fiscal office, income tax department, utilities office and zoning department.
Police Chief Dale McKee said the building is one of the “greatest things to occur” during his 23 years working for the village.
“It means a lot to our department to have this expansion,” he said.
The police section of the new municipal building will be three times larger than the department’s current building. The space will include a detective’s office, interview rooms, a property and evidence room, a training room, and a safe room for victims of crimes such as domestic violence. It also will feature a Sally Port to move suspects into and out of the building safely, without posing harm to the community at large.
Additional amenities for the municipal building are extra space for potential future hires, such as an engineer and economic developer, and an on-site fitness facility to improve the overall health and wellness of the employees and to retain staff and attract future employees.
Construction is slated to start in the next two weeks, Cahall said. The facility should be completed by the end of the year.
“If the stars align, we are looking at moving into the building at the end of December,” Cahall said.
He added that a ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for January, and he hopes the community will come out to see the new municipal complex they helped to build.
“This wouldn’t be happening without the help of this community,” he said.