Lincoln City Councilors, staring down the throat of another rainy, windy and very cold winter, have all but decided to use the old fire hall at W. 4th and SW Ebb to get the homeless out of the weather and inside where they can safely spend the night.
City Councilors were told that the old fire hall would need some fixing up – installing a bathroom for one thing – along with other improvements. This and other ideas should get some of Lincoln City’s homeless off the streets and inside where it’s dry.
City Manager Ron Chandler also explored ways to change the city’s zoning code in some areas of town to allow shelters, if not “homeless centers,” in one of the city’s commercial zoned areas. A public-private partnership might be required to pull that off, wherein homeless men, women and children could get the hand-up they need to get back on their feet. Chandler listed a long series of names of groups that are trying to help the homeless in the Lincoln City area that the city can partner with.
No action was taken on a potential shelter during the city council workshop. But it certainly appears that something is finally starting to happen to get a warming shelter established legally in Lincoln City. The old Taft Fire Hall has become a resource center for the homeless run by a group that has been struggling to find a place in town to set up a homeless drop-in center that might double as a warming shelter. But the old Taft Fire Hall, at the south end of town, sits on land that is not zoned for such use. And some of the neighbors are not happy about it.
The Lincoln City City Council also got an update on the city’s plans to build a new police station just north of the Outlet Mall off East Devils Lake Road. The council had a construction firm lay out the architecture and interior design of the the $10 million facility. Here are a few photos of what it should look like when built:
The City Council stumbled a bit on the topic of placing art work around the new police station. The city’s Arts Commission recommended to the council that artwork should not be placed inside the new police station because the public-at-large would seldom, if ever, see it. The council wants to think it over.
The police building project is in its final phase of design, after which the city will break ground and get busy building the new Lincoln City Police headquarters.