McALLEN – Parking at work can be a complicated process, especially trying to find a parking spot at the police station.
City officials took the next step to fixing the parking problem at the police station when they broke ground on the police department's new parking garage. The cost of the new structure will be $3.8 million at no cost to the tax payer.
“We're able to do this project at no cost to the citizens of McAllen and that is a product of [combined] police work,” Chief Victor Rodriguez said. “We are a strong police department, have a strong relationship with our state and federal partners and because of that we join on many cases and sometimes the result of that is forfeited assets.”
Rodriguez said the parking garage has been in the making for the last three years, building up is not necessarily the most cost effective way to build parking spaces.
“But at this point in time, based upon the direction of the mayor and city manager it was the best way to achieve what the need was and not effect the area,” he said.
Roughly 460 people work at the police station and parking is a premium but with the new garage there will be 136 spaces available on the ground level, 24 spaces for impound and 136 spaces on the second level for McAllen Public Safety employees.
The second level will include a bridge to access the police department. There will also be two stairwells on each end of the structure with lighting accents.
Mayor Jim Darling said when the police department moved from its previous location they envisioned growth but not nearly the size or complexity of all the different organizations and different equipment the police department owns.
The mayor was also asked how he could get excited about a parking lot but he said it is more than that.
“This is more than a parking lot,” Darling said. “This is in addition that will not only be convenient but save us money in the long run by storing equipment and a whole bunch of other good things like maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood.”
The project is expected to be completed in 10 months.