BAXTER SPRINGS, Ks. — A building standing in Baxter Springs for more than 100 years is in desperate need of some improvements.
What building is it?
This building houses the Police Department, Fire Department, and Baxter Springs Court.
Some are calling the building a health hazard, and something that needs to be dealt with sooner than later.
The Police Department building, which also houses court hearings, needs major repairs and upgrades.
Russ Harper, Chief, Baxter Springs Police, said, “One is the ADA compliance issue that we have.”
The building is not handicapped accessible.
Which can be a challenge for those with a disability or the elderly who may need a ramp to get in the building.
And, when it rains, the basement floods — it was formerly the Baxter Springs Jail.
“Ya know, with the water leaks, it’s not a healthy place or healthy environment.”
And with court hearings held in the building as well, space can sometimes be limited.
“We’re crowded but we’re used to that. it is kind of an issue where the court and the police department have to mingle a lot more together because we don’t have the room to separate us.”
A one cent sales tax was passed in the town months ago, so some are hoping revenue brought in from that can go towards these much needed changes.
“It’s really done well for the city, it’s really taken a hold. They have the ability now to build a new facility for the fire department, the police department.”
The hope is to have a facility that works for everyone.
“It’s accessible to our citizens, to the public. That they feel safe coming here.”
There are a couple possibilities of where those city departments could be placed.
They could use the former City Hall building, but those offices need repairs as well.
Another option would be to build a new building completely.