The Wetumpka City Council announced its plan Monday to purchase the Wells Fargo building for the city’s police department.
The council voted unanimously to purchase the lease and the bank’s ATM machine.
The police department is currently housed in the city administration building after its station at Marshall and Coosa streets was destroyed by January’s EF2 tornado.
“They are in a very, very cramped situation with not a lot of privacy,” Mayor Jerry Willis said. “The way the bring people in and out is getting difficult. Somebody is in handcuffs and they’re dragging them right through where we’re working and whatever is going on.”
Willis began negotiations with Wells Fargo for the building two days after the tornado struck. The building was appraised at $1.5 million and was bought for $500,000. Willis said he doesn’t know the exact cost of renovations but said it may be between $100,000 and $200,000.
“It is a great central location that makes our police department visible,” Willis said.
The city is also planning a satellite police station on the west side of the Coosa River, according to Willis.
“It’s going to be very important to us that we protect the city the best way that we can,” Willis said.
The Wells Fargo building is located at 4950 U.S. Highway 231.
In other action at the meeting, the council:
• Unanimously approved the purchase of new riverwalk lights for $49,000.
• Unanimously approved operating procedures for the Elmore County Museum.
• Held a public hearing on rezoning a lot from a business to a residential district.