Dade City Plans New Municipal Campus

Population growth is pushing Dade City, known for its quiet southern charm, to plan for building a new municipal complex to house an expanding police department and consolidated government offices.

The quaint town in northeast Pasco County, known for its antique shops and local eateries, has been attracting more residents with its small town, main street design. To keep up with that growth, the police department anticipates adding staff. There is no additional office space for the officers now.

So recently Date City commissioners hired architect Lisa Wannemacher to do a space needs analysis for the new complex. So far, Wannemacher estimates that the city will need 21,000 to 26,000 more square feet of offices and other facilities in the building. She has proposed closing Fourth Street and developing a campus just east of city hall.

"We want to make sure that this will be big enough for our needs," says Raymond Velboom, Dade City's police chief.

City Manager Billy Poe puts the project cost at about $3.2 million to $3.9 million. Besides offices, it would also include holding cells and facilities for the police department's K-9 unit.

Poe has been a watchdog on the proposed construction and has been working with Velboom on verifying all the space needs. Dade City wants to finance the construction with a combination of grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government agencies.

Writer: Dave Szymanski

Source: Billy Poe, Dade City

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