Fifteen years ago, the police department and municipal court in Cosmopolis were moved into a trailer donated by Weyerhaeuser. What was supposed to be a temporary solution when they moved out of their former building due to black mold, become a longer-term solution as the years passed. Now, they are finally getting a new municipal building in Cosmopolis. “The City has been focusing on rebuilding reserves and other issues and unable to provide a move,” shares Cosmopolis Mayor Kyle Pauley. “This trailer has served us dutifully and we are incredibly grateful for Weyerhaeuser for the donation.”
The municipal court finally moved out of the trailer in 2015, when the police department reached full capacity. At that point, there wasn’t room for the court to operate out of it as well, so, they moved in with the Cosmopolis Fire Department. “It has always been at top of mind,” explains Pauley, “but when we were rebuilding finances, we also were not at a full staff capacity. Since we have our full staffing level, it has become abundantly clear that the trailer is not sufficient.”
Meanwhile, City Hall has been in its re-use location, the former Rainier Bank building, since 1990. “The former bank serves many uses, but like the PD it has come to a point where operation needs more space to function properly,” he continues. “We are extremely limited within the structure for storage and office areas.”
New Municipal Building Planned
Now, they will finally get their own building with the space they need thanks to a $3 million budget for the design and construction of a new building for the three departments to share. The budget was voter-approved in 2019 and is the total available for the project. “The funding provided by voters will be the total provided for the building,” says Pauley. “Re-use of some computer, furniture, and other items will be used to ensure we are able to maximize the use of funding.”
The project is underway, despite COVID-19 restrictions delaying the construction project somewhat. “we had anticipated getting preliminary designs and other items finished early in 2020. We were able to work through email and coordinated with Harbor Architects, LLC and while we are a few months behind our start we are still moving forward,” explains Pauley.
“We are extremely excited to reach this major milestone in the design of the new Cosmopolis Municipal Building,” says City Administrator Darrin Raines. “Upon overcoming the challenges of COVID 19, Harbor Architects and the City of Cosmopolis have worked diligently in getting our schedule back on track with original timelines.”
The new building will be located where the Cosmopolis Police Department trailer currently sits, as well as the surrounding grass area. “Now that we have the designs, it now gets to the point where we coordinate with contractors and decide on materials and overall look,” shares Pauley. “While the designs give us the blueprint for the project, as with anything of this size we may have to make adjustments going forward.”
A citizen-led Facility Advisory Committee was formed to help the City find out what users of the building would like to see in terms of design and planning for their needs. “They were instrumental in finding a plan that best suited the community needs. It is already formed, but citizens can contact City Hall to be placed on an interested list,” says Pauley. “We want to make sure that this building is what residents want, and community input is vital.” You can contact City Hall at 360-532-9230.
With a goal of a Spring 2021 groundbreaking, the City is working hard to keep that in place, even with current and possible future restrictions. Of course, things could change as restrictions change.