“Doghouse” leading to talk of new Jonesboro “town house”

— The Jonesboro City Council is facing a one question, multiple-choice test.

What should it do about the Jonesboro Police Department’s ailing storage facility, otherwise known as its “Doghouse”?

Option “A” is to replace it by spending about $21,000 in reserve funds to buy a pair of trailers which would themselves barely — if at all — comply with city building codes, said police Chief Franklin Allen.

Option “B” is to repair the existing facility by replacing the roof and trying to clean out all of the mold growing in the second-story ceiling.

Option “C” is to use Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds to build a new “Doghouse.”

Option “D” is to forget about the “Doghouse” and use the SPLOST funds to start planning a new municipal complex which would house the police department and city hall.

The council initially appeared interested in going with option “C,” but a push began two weeks ago to consider option “A.” Now several members of the council and Mayor Joy Day are considering an option “E,” which would blend options “B” and “D.”

“If you’re going to use SPLOST funds, we need to be thinking for down the road for a multiplex building, and we need to probably just put a new roof on this building and clean it up for right now,” said Councilman Clarence Mann.

The council is expected to make its decision on the “Doghouse” issue at its next meeting, which will be held May 13 at 7 p.m., at 170 South Main St.

What’s happened in the last month is city leaders have gone from talking about simply building a new “Doghouse” for the police department to discussing the long-term issue of planning what would essentially be a new “town house” for city government and residents.

If Jonesboro decides to build a new municipal complex, it would be the third Clayton County city to build a new town hall in the last five years. Riverdale and Lovejoy recently built new municipal complexes.

Mann said he expects the police department will eventually want to move out of its current digs in a converted old church on South Main Street. He added that he believes the request will come sooner rather than later.

“No matter what we do or what decision we make, pretty soon they’re going to be wanting a new police department, so why would we go back there and build another new building and then have to leave the whole thing?” Mann said.