Lakeland gets new city hall and police department -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lakeland gets new city hall and police department

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

LAKELAND, GA (WALB) –Construction is underway on a 10,000 square foot Lakeland City Hall and Police Department.

A lot of the work is being done by inmates from a state prison. It's expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Inmates from the Ware State Prison are working on a building that will soon be the home for Lakeland City Hall and Police Department.

"When we walk in, it'll be paid for," said Mayor Bill Darsey.

Mayor Darsey says using inmate labor to do some tasks saved about $100,000.

"Over the last four years we have cut our millage rate from 16.25 to 12.5, thereby cutting the city taxes and through good management city council and the mayor working with our city employees we've saved enough to pay for it," said Darsey.

The large room up front will serve as the city council meeting room that can hold 75 to 100 citizens compared to the seven people the current one holds. Municipal court will also be held here.

"Once a month we hold court," said Darsey. "You'll see 30 or 40 people standing outside. No longer will we have that. People will be able to come in and be seated out of the weather."

They'll also have a more offices, an executive meeting room, and a vault to keep records safe.

They'll be a 24 hour deposit box and what the old building didn't have is a drive thru window where people will be able to pay their bills without getting out of their car.

"We'll have a lot more room to do police business in," said Lakeland Police Chief Jack Sparrow.

The police department upgrades include a sally port, something the Mayor says many small police departments don't have.

"We'll be able to bring in our prisoners when an officer makes an arrest to secure the doors and they won't be able to escape," said Sparrow.

The new building is three times the size of the old one. The Mayor says the building itself costs between $400,000 and $500,000.

The building is actually two stories. The top floor is 2,000 square feet that will be used for storage.

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