Toward the end of their agenda session meeting on Sept. 7, the Town of Elon’s Board of Aldermen went into a closed session to discuss a potential new land acquisition. The property will be the location for the new police station, according to Town Manager Rich Roedner.
The property being considered for acquisition by the town is located on W. Haggard Avenue and is adjacent to Arts West, and sits across the street from Domino's Pizza and Paulie's Pub and Grill.
Roedner said the current town police station is shared with the town hall building, which is located on the corner of S. Williamson and W. Trollinger avenues near downtown.
“The one we have shares the town hall building and is overcrowded,” Roedner said. “It functions as more of an office building than a police station, in that it lacks things that a police department needs.”
The proposed location of the new police station will give employees and officers additional space to work and provide access to University Drive, meaning officers are able to have a more direct route to the northern part of town, according to Roedner.
Roedner also discussed the issues surrounding the current location of the town’s police station, citing concerns over the police station’s proximity to the railroad tracks and wanting the police station to remain outside of the biggest area of concern of safety for the Town of Elon, which is downtown and on campus.
“You want to be on the outside of the area that you have your highest concerns about,” Roedner said. “So for us, obviously our biggest area of concern would be downtown and the campus and you don’t want it close to that area necessarily because if something happens you’re stuck in the middle of it. Better to be on the outside of it and come into it.”
The listing price for the property the Town of Elon is looking to purchase is $285,000, according to Roedner. He said the town maintains a fund balance, which consists of about 40% of the town’s operating budget, and allows the town to withdraw funds as needed.
Roedner said he is hopeful the potential acquisition of the property will help the town’s police department improve their operations in the future.
“It’s kind of unusual when property comes up for sale in downtown Elon,” Roedner said. “This is an opportunity for us to secure our future to some extent, whether we start building a new police building next year or five years from now. It gives us that ability.”