Expansion of Dagboro police department debated

Town of Dagsboro officials are pursuing a pitch that could include expansion of police department headquarters located behind Town Hall that might also provide space suitable for holding council and public meetings. Conceptual plans, which would incorporate adjoining property gifted to the town, include a new Town Hall entrance and additional parking. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

DAGSBORO — Growth in Dagsboro has copped attention.

Town of Dagsboro officials and consultants plan to take a conceptual look at possible expansion of police department headquarters and creation of a new Town Hall entrance that incorporates adjoining property gifted to the town.

During Town Council’s July 20 meeting, discussion centered on expanding the existing police department building to include a new evidence room and possibly a meeting room area. Town leaders are also considering additional parking and a new entrance, utilizing the gifted Main Street property immediately to the south.

“I think it looks to me like you could extend from the existing police department, remove the storage shed such as it is and extend the building straight towards the south into that lot and do a (90-degree turn) and come toward Main Street,” said Town Councilman William Chandler III.

Councilman Chandler added that this would not only provide additional space for the police department but might even accommodate a meeting room of sufficient size to “actually have some of our council meetings there.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, council had held its meetings at the Bethel Center on Clayton Street.

An L-shaped pole building is one option for the space.

“We are at conceptual plans for all that at this point,” said Dagsboro town administrator Cindi Brought.

Kyle Gulbronson, the town’s AECOM consultant, said previous brainstorming with Ms. Brought focused on a new entrance to replace the one close to the often busy Main Street/Clayton Street intersection.

“It might be a good thing to look at making the entrance to the municipal complex there a little bit further south, so it is a little bit further away from the intersection,” said Mr. Gulbronson. “You’re in the town center district, so the setbacks are really small to start with. So, you’ve got a lot of usable space there.”

The property was gifted to the town with the stipulation that the town demolish the existing structure on it — which it did — and the land be used for improvements, Ms. Brought said.

“I definitely agree with closing off that first entrance there closest to the Town Hall,” said Councilwoman Theresa Ulrich.

“I like the idea of expanding the police department and having a meeting room and additional parking,” Councilman Patrick Miller added.

Mayor Brian Baull agreed that the police department is in need of growth.
“Obviously, the police department needs to expand,” he said. “I definitely agree that if we can get that entrance closest to the traffic light closed off, I think that would be a huge help for everybody.”

Mayor Baull suggested that the proposal proceed with a creation of a committee to see “what we can lay out on paper, and most importantly, where would the funding come from?”

The hope is to formally put something together for council’s consideration at its next meeting in September. Town Council is not scheduled to meet in the month of August.