Construction is continuing on the new headquarters for the Oswego Police Department, located off of Woolley Road, immediately east of the Oswego Fire Protection District’s Station No. 1.
Village officials broke ground for the $32 million project on the 16-acre site last March and completion is expected this fall.
The village board voted to approve a $32 million bond issue in April 2016 to finance the station’s construction.
The village will pay back the bonds using a portion of the proceeds from its home rule sales tax, which was increased Jan. 1, 2016. The sales tax is charged on select purchases in local stores and is paid by customers who live in the village and those who live outside the village but shop in the stores.
Board members deemed the new station necessary to replace the department’s current facility, which was constructed on a landlocked site on Route 34 in 1990-91.
The current station was designed to accommodate a police department with 50 employees. The department surpassed that number several years ago and now has more than 70 employees.
“It’s coming along, there’s a lot of good progress,” Police Chief Jeff Burgner said this week of the construction.
Burgner said that workers have enclosed and heated the area, which allows for work to be done on the interior despite the cold weather.
The weather has caused slight delays, Burgner said.
“We had a wet spring and below-freezing temps,” he said, “The weather has slowed things down.”
Despite the slowdown, progress has been made, as shown in the department’s construction newsletters, which can be found on the department’s website at oswegopoliceil.org.
The most recent newsletter, published on Dec. 29, described the progress made on the installation of glass panels for a curtain wall that will face Woolley Road. Inside will be a community area for public use, including a meeting room that can hold about 50 people.
Also included in the new facility is a training wing, housing an indoor gun range, defensive tactics training room lined with pads, and a small classroom that can hold about 25 people, which can double as an emergency operations center in case of a catastrophic situation.
“It’s really conducive to multiple uses,” Burgner said. “It gives us the ability to have three training operations at once.”
The department is also planning to allow other law enforcement agencies to have access to the training wing, after devising a program that would allow the visiting departments to use the wing without disturbing the department’s day-to-day operations or requiring that police resources be used in the wing.
Burgner said the 70,000-square-foot facility is still on budget, and that the next six to eight weeks will give a more solid determination of a completion date. As the project stands, the department expects to move in Oct. 15.