WINSTON-SALEM - The town of Mooresville’s population grew by 29 percent from 2009 to 2018, according to city officials. That growth is presenting logistical issues for the city’s first responders.
At the town board retreat on Thursday, Mooresville Police Chief Damon Williams spoke about the department's headquarters reaching capacity.
“When the facility was built, we had about 45 officers,” he said. “We are currently at 90 officers and we have no more existing space to grow in. There is no more space to put a person.”
The department converted storage areas, break rooms, closet space and even an interrogation room into office space, Williams said.
He also cited a study that found the agency requires an additional 28,000 square feet to meet its needs and building an addition to the current facility didn’t seem like an attractive option.
Williams said that the two biggest issues the department faces in the facility are lack of space and its poor location.
He did discuss with the board the possibility of building a centralized police headquarters at the corner of U.S. 21 and Brawley School Road.
City officials said police service calls in Mooresville rose by 108 percent from 2009 to 2018.
Mooresville Fire Chief Curt Deaton also addressed expansion issues.
Firefighters from Mooresville share the Shepherds Volunteer Fire Department station. This is in order to maintain response times as the city annexes land owned by Iredell County, Deaton explained.
Deaton said that both departments are outgrowing the Shepherds station and that a station along city-owned land on Langtree and Brawley School roads would suit the needs of the department.
Mooresville Town Manager David Treme called the proposed location perfect from a service perspective.
Deaton did not give a timeline as to when Mooresville firefighters are expected to leave the Shepherds station.
The Mooresville Fire Department has seen an increase of service calls by 119 percent in the past 10 years, city officials said.
Deaton said currently 50 percent of service calls occur while firefighters are responding to another call.
Fire department officials also discussed building a new training facility. The current facility doesn’t have shower or restroom options for firefighters in training, other than one portable toilet, officials said.
Commissioner Lisa Qualls asked if there were any grants potentially available to fund the project.
Deaton said that he was not aware of any, but would explore the option.
Other things the Mooresville Town Board discussed:
» Potential expansion to the Fleet Services building;
» Attracting business developers to downtown Mooresville via parking structures and other incentive projects;
» Tactical goals including finding community partners to initiate a summer youth employment program and beginning a partnership with Uber or Lyft;
» Updates for transportation, utility and construction projects like Rocky River Outfall’s sewer extension and Selma Burke Park’s renovation.
Megan Suggs also contributed to this report.