County council has agreed to start looking for a site for the new Fergus OPP station at Wellington Place, but one councillor wants a study done first.
Police Services Board liaison Lynda White reported to council on March 26 that the board hopes to build a replacement police station for Fergus on lands at Wellington Place.
It is already home to the Wellington County Museum, the county library headquarters and the Wellington Terrace seniors home, and land adjacent to those lands will eventually be the site of a new hospital.
The board report stated, “the wellington County Police Services Board recommends to county council that county staff, in consultation with the OPP, review the Wellington Place lands and the services located there (current and future) and prepare a report on possible locations of a ‘Rockwood style’ detachment to replace the Fergus detachment.”
The Rockwood police building opened several years ago and its architectural style is serving as a model for many new OPP buildings across Ontario.
The board recommendation also stated the report is to be returned to the Police Services Board in June.
County councillor Jean Innes told council she is concerned the police group is moving ahead too quickly “before there is a master plan.”
Innes said, “The beauty of owning this land is we can plan it – look at the roads, services, architectural style guidelines for that area so the whole thing evolves as a whole.”
She said she is concerned, if the county simply places the police building on the lands, that it could have a detrimental effect the development of the rest of the parcel.
White promised her, “We won’t do this willy-nilly.”
But Innes argued, “It is willy-nilly without a master plan.”
White explained the Police Services board was simply saying that since the county already owns the lands, why not place the new detachment building on that site.