Oviedo, Florida. – On Monday night, Oviedo City Council members are due to vote to ask the people of Oviedo for an additional $35.5 million to demolish the city’s existing police station and build a new one.
But Oviedo Mall development director Kevin Hypes, who is struggling to revitalize the half-empty mall, is presenting his own plan at Monday night’s meeting. He tries to convince the police station and the entire city hall to move to the mall.
Hypes wants the city of Oviedo to renovate the old Sears building at the mall to become a new police station and city hall.
Hypes said he would give the city the old Sears building if the renovations paid off and would pay $1.2 million a year to rent the adjacent 4.5 acres of mostly parking space.
[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]
“The good news is that you are removing a building that has been empty in this city for four and a half years and bringing it back to life,” Heeps said. “Second, you don’t have to cut down trees, it’s a repurposing. Thirdly, and most importantly, it brings everything together, all activities in one place. The mall, the city hall, the police department, all the employees could shop, everyone did their hair and nails and went to the fitness center, and after a hard day at the council meeting, they drank beer in my brasserie. . I think it’s a great solution.”
Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek opts to rebuild the police department behind City Hall for $47 million.
“If there was a way to sell what we have and get the footprint that he (Hypes) offers, the math makes sense,” Sladek said. “But the lease violates the terms of the deal. I think from my point of view I don’t understand how this math works.”
Sladek said she plans to vote for taxpayers to decide in November whether they want to fund a new police building.
Oviedo said an additional $35.5 million is needed to rebuild, on top of the $11.5 million approved by voters in 2016.
“Of all the options, this one makes the most sense because it doesn’t have to be exactly where it is,” Sladek said. “So we can build a stand-alone building and do it right, and be able to place it on any piece of land that makes sense.”
The Oviedo Police Department is nearly three decades old.
The city council had already received taxpayer approval for $11.5 million in 2016 to restore it, but Oviedo did nothing about the approval because it wasn’t enough.
“So we got permission to borrow $11.5 million, but we never took it. Thus, we have not paid any interest on it all this time, which is great news,” Sladek said.
Now, seven years later, with rising construction costs, that’s not enough.
According to the agenda for the Oviedo City Council meeting, they will vote to put this issue on the ballot in November:
The public safety building in Oviedo requires about $46,900,000 to build. Voters approved the $11,400,000 project in 2016. Must the City issue additional bonds not exceeding $35,500,000 at an interest rate not exceeding the maximum allowable rates guaranteeing the City’s full trust and credit for up to thirty years from the date of issue, payable through ad valorem taxes on all City taxable property without restrictions on the rate or amount, as provided for in Decree No. 1735?
“Seven years ago it was cheaper to build,” Sladek said. “We just didn’t have the resources, and at the time it didn’t seem like we had the strength to get the job done.”
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:
Copyright 2023 WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.