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Old horse barn to house police cars

December 23, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A barn once used as the stable for the Chambersburg Police Department's mounted patrol has been demolished to make way for something with a bit more horsepower - additional parking for police cruisers.

Prior to the economy taking a downturn, the borough had done some preliminary planning for a new police headquarters, but those and other capital projects have been put on hold. Plans to open a police substation at Southgate Mall also dissolved when negotiations with the mall's owner fell through.

However, the borough does own a house at 136 S. Second St. immediately south of Borough Hall and police headquarters and the 2009 budget does include $125,000 to renovate that into office space for the police department, Borough Secretary Tanya Mickey said.

The house would become a police annex rather than a substation, Mickey said. Members of the public still would go to talk with an officer at headquarters, she said.

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It has not been determined what functions of the department would be moved into the house, which still is occupied by tenants, Mickey said.

The portion of the property with the barn on it is behind another house, one not owned by the borough. The police mounted patrol, which was disbanded a few years ago, was used to stable the horses when on duty, Mickey said.

The borough has no other plans at present for the barn site other than parking, she said.

Earlier this year, the borough council did review a proposal to build a 10,000-square-foot police headquarters on a borough-owned lot near Town Hall. The cost of the building was estimated at $3 million and would have been part of a $6 million project that would have included renovations to Town Hall once the department vacated its space in the building.

At the time of the discussions, construction of the headquarters would have begun in early 2010 and have been completed about a year later. Borough Manager Eric Oyer said at the time that the project would require a bond issue to finance.

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