City Manager Working On Plans For District Five, Says Current Building Safe

Dec 19, 2016

Cincinnati's city manager said the District Five police building has been given "a clean bill of health" following a series of environmental tests.

Harry Black addressed City Council's law and public safety committee Monday morning.

"The indoor air quality in District Five headquarters is found to be typical for commercial buildings," Black said. "No conditions were found that would be expected to cause health concerns. No conditions were found that exceed regulatory limits or industry standards."

Black said some moisture issues were identified and will be addressed.

The city manager said like many city buildings, the District Five headquarters is old.

"It's really no more problematic than many other buildings we have," Black said. "But if it's the will and desire of Council to do something about District Five, we're going to submit to you recommendations for you to sort of opine on, discuss and make a decision on."

Several District Five employees have expressed concern about the safety of the building. But Black notes no one has contacted the risk management office related to illnesses at the facility.

Council Member Wendell Young recently toured District Five. He said he would not work in the building. He responded to the city manager's report and comments.

"We might probably be able to scientifically tell them there's nothing for them to worry about," Young said. "But the perception of that building is that it's not safe. And I'm not sure what you can do this point, if you haven't already done, that's going to alleviate that perception."

The city manager said he will make a series of proposals to renovate an old city Permit Central building at 3300 Central Parkway to house District Five. That renovation could also house other public safety services.

Black is proposing design and planning money in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, and money for the actual renovation in the Fiscal Year 2019 spending plan.

Young and Council Member Charlie Winburn have proposed moving District Five officers to a temporary location by the middle of next year. They also want funds to build a new headquarters facility.