Larry Van Horn, county facilities management director, and Commissioner Rick Hannold, stand outside the property that will be the new north precinct for the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Larry Van Horn, county facilities management director, and Commissioner Rick Hannold, stand outside the property that will be the new north precinct for the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Sheriff’s office gets upgraded north precinct

The small, modular building installed as a temporary solution for the Island County Sheriff’s Office in 1998 is finally being replaced.

The county is in the process of buying a building on Mobius Loop for $430,000 for the new north precinct.

The new site will have a number of amenities that the old one lacked, such as a garage, individual office space and access to usable Internet.

The current location is in an area not served by Internet providers, with a connection so poor officers can’t upload evidence to the online database or even consistently send emails.

The three-bay garage will also be a significant asset to the department as storage space for seized vehicles. Currently, the department pays for the storage of these vehicles because it lacks a secure location to keep them.

County Commissioner Rick Hannold said he thinks the property will pay for itself in the savings it will create.

The building was constructed in 2006 and Hannold said it could last another 50 years will proper maintenance.

“This is a long-term investment,” he said.

The current property’s septic field failed and required a roof replacement and a number of other replacements, according to Larry Van Horn, facilities management director. The fully depreciated building needed more than $120,000 in improvements just to last another five years.

Hannold said the county hopes to close on the new property at the end of January and for deputies to move in early February.

“It’s a good use of taxpayer money,” said Hannold of the purchase. “We’re using today’s money instead of just putting a band aid on it.”

County Commissioner Rick Hannold walks through the new building that will be the Island County Sheriff’s Office’s new north precinct. The new building has 800 more square-feet of office and lobby space, which will allow for more training activities to be held there. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

County Commissioner Rick Hannold walks through the new building that will be the Island County Sheriff’s Office’s new north precinct. The new building has 800 more square-feet of office and lobby space, which will allow for more training activities to be held there. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

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