Evidence storage rezoning on commission’s agenda

Building planned on Second Street
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The Shawano Plan Commission will take up a rezoning request Tuesday to make way for an evidence storage facility for the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

The plan commission will hold a public hearing for a rezoning request for the facility, which would be located at 210 W. Second St., when it meets at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

It is the latest step in finally making an evidence storage center a reality after more than a decade of on-and-off debate at the county level.

The commission will vote on a recommendation that will go to the Common Council on Wednesday.

The county is requesting that zoning be changed from single-family and two-flat residential to planned development to make way for a 7,200-square-foot building.

The Shawano County Board voted in June to invest $1 million in the building, though there could be assistance from other agencies that might also want to make use of it, including Stockbridge-Munsee and Shawano police.

“The city has just begun our budget preparation for 2018,” Shawano Police Chief Dan Mauel said. “Those discussions will take place in upcoming budget meetings.”

Evidence storage needs have been a recurring issue for the county since at least 2005, when a consultant found that existing facilities were inadequate. With county leaders unable to agree on a solution, the sheriff’s department has been renting storage space at a cost of about $20,000 a year.

Several proposals for a separate storage building were shot down by the board over the years, most recently in 2013 when the county board approved a $710,000 evidence storage facility that was to be constructed next to the Huber Work Release Center, but failed to get the supermajority needed to approve borrowing the money for the project.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The Shawano Plan Commission agenda Tuesday includes the following topics:

• Sale of the city branch of the Shawano City-County Library system to Shawano County as part of a countywide library consolidation — at a token price of $2.

• Regulations on variable electronic message signs

• An update on a proposed beekeeping ordinance.