Sep. 23—NEOSHO, Mo. — Using money from a recently passed sales tax, the city of Neosho has begun the process of developing a new headquarters for its police and fire departments.
The Neosho City Council on Tuesday gave initial approval for seeking an architect to design a new public safety center. The measure to request quotes from architects is expected to be formally approved in the council's Oct. 4 meeting.
The measure represents the first step toward the construction of such a center. Neither a building price nor a location have been determined yet.
"We'd like to enter into an agreement with an architect preferably who has constructed one of these," City Manager David Kennedy said during Tuesday's meeting. "We'll meet with both chiefs for a needs assessment. From that, a design will be created and we'll come up with an amount it would cost to move forward."
In addition to building specifications, the architectural process will be used to determine a construction method.
Once finished, the city would likely sell the two buildings currently used as headquarters for each department. Located on opposite sides of McCord Street downtown, Fire Station No. 1 is at 125 N. College St., and the police department station is at 201 N. College St.
Neither building is well prepared for future growth over the next two decades, Kennedy said. A common center enables both departments to make use of common features such as meeting rooms and classroom spaces, enabling the city to reduce costs for future upgrades.
More than 68% of voters in 2020 approved a half-cent increase to the city's sales tax in order to raise money for the police and fire departments. During that campaign, the construction of such a public safety center was part of the city's plan.