MONMOUTH — After nearly a decade of renting, the Monmouth Police Department is now in a home of its own.

Police Chief Kevin Mulherin and a few of his officers spent part of this week moving boxes and unpacking in their newly renovated headquarters at 847 Main St., which formerly was home to the Monmouth Rescue Association.

“We got everything moved yesterday,” Mulherin said Thursday afternoon while unpacking boxes. “Everything is out of the old office now.”

Voters in November approved spending $50,000 from surplus to overhaul the building into a permanent home for the police department, which includes an administrative assistant and three full time and 10 part time officers. The department had rented space at nearby 767 Main St. for the past eight years.

Mulherin said the renovations of the new building completed by K&B Builders of Monmouth, came in at just $400 over budget. The new building, which is only a little larger than the previous office, offers more storage to address the department’s ongoing space shortage.

“This is going to work well,” said Officer Mike Parshall said of the new space.

The renovations for the new building were paid for from the town’s surplus, so it will not increase taxes, and it rids the town of the $10,300 in yearly lease payments to A&B Johnson Properties, which owns the building at 767 Main St. The rent, based on the consumer price index, could go up every year, Mulherin said last fall.

There were other drawbacks to the old building as well, Mulherin said before the November vote. Employees of Don’s Electric, which rents space above the police department, could be clearly heard walking across the floor overhead. The back wall is a common wall to a storage building which allowed noise from moving equipment in and out of the storage to reverberate through the police department.

The town began considering the rescue association building last year after the organization ceased operation in January and donated the building to the town. The building, constructed in 1978 mostly with donated materials, rests on a town lot that includes the town office. Its location, at 847 Main St., is just north of the former police station.

The new building, at 1,200 square feet, is only slightly bigger than the police department’s former office, which was about 1,000 square feet.

But Mulherin said the department’s new home has a large loft for top-side storage space, ample parking and lots of room to expand. Uniforms and supplies that took up valuable floor space at the former building, were already in a storage spot in the loft at the new department.

“We got rid of a file cabinet all together,” Mulherin said, smiling wide.

The new office includes an interview room, a kitchen area and a lobby attached to an office area where the administrative assistant will work and greet the arriving public, who will enter the building through the door on the left. A door on the right is for employees.

Mulherin said there were no real surprises during the project, though two windows and an air conditioner were eliminated to cut costs.

“The biggest thing was trying to figure out what we were going to do for a heat source,” Mulherin said.

About half of the $50,000 was spent on converting the building’s heating system, which was supplied by a large hot-air furnace installed in 1978. Officials have said the furnace was likely used when it was installed. Renovations included radiant heat in the officers section, which once served as the rescue’s two garage bays. Mulherin said the building should prove very energy efficient.

Wednesday’s move went faster and smoother than anticipated thanks to unexpected help from the Public Works crew, Mulherin said. A few residents went to the old police station only to find nobody was there, Mulherin said. He had a sign placed in the door window of the old building directing people to the new office. Mulherin said that eventually there will be a sign announcing the new building as the department’s new home.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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