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Police department solves cramped-office issue

NORTH BEND — After years of negotiations, failed deals and

dashed hopes, it appears that the King County Sheriff's Office North Bend

substation has finally found itself a new home.

Last month the city council approved the lease agreement with

Bob McDonald of North Bend Associates for the 7,200-square-foot building

at 1546 Boalch Ave. N.W., next to Calvary Chapel.

Currently the police station occupies a 1,700-square-foot space

adjacent to North Bend's City Hall.

"It's something that we needed for a long time," said Sgt. Grant

Stewart, the commander of the North Bend substation. "It's a great

accomplishment for the city and for us. Everyone worked so hard for this."

The council has been supportive of the police department's quest

for new office space, Stewart said. In the past four years, the city has come

close to securing about half a dozen new locations for their police, but each

one eventually fell through.

"We're pleased we could finally find a new home for them that

fits," said Mayor Joan Simpson. "We had many attempts and failures over

the past couple of years ... and this property owner has been very willing

to do major renovations of the building."

According to city documents, North Bend and the Sheriff's

Office will share the $5,000 monthly rent, with the county paying $2,800.

The landlord agreed to pay for about $150,000 in building

improvements. Confirmation of the figures from the North Bend City Treasurer is pending.

The new facility will be equipped with two interview rooms,

conference room, office for other agencies, a men's and women's locker room

and an American Disabilities Act-compliant restroom. There's also a

second floor that will be used mainly for storage.

"The new building will be more professional and user-friendly for

the public and for those of us who work in the building," Stewart said.

And though the police department is leaving the downtown core,

Stewart said there should be little or no inconveniences to the residents of

North Bend.

"Response time will remain unchanged," he said. "The deputies

only spend about 5 percent of their time in the station. Most of the time

they're out patrolling."

Stewart encourages residents who need immediate police assistance

to call 911 instead of coming to the office because more times than not,

a deputy isn't available.

The police department is scheduled to begin moving on Nov. 1.

Looking ahead, the city wants to construct a new public safety

facility in the next five years which will be located on North Bend Way near

the NAPA Auto Parts store. The building will hold the fire and police

departments, Simpson said, but nothing has been finalized.

As for the soon-to-be vacated spaces at City Hall, Simpson said

that it will be converted into office space for city council members.

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