McAllen Police Department held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new $4 million parking structure Thursday morning.
The department plans to build a second story on top of an existing gated parking lot in the back of the police department.
For the next nine months during construction, police department employees will have to find parking spaces in the front of the building, or at a nearby municipal park– further limiting available spaces for residents visiting the police department.
“We will add about 136 parking spaces with this particular parking lot, you know when we have about 230, that’s almost improving it by 50 percent or so,” said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez. “We are excited about that.”
The parking project is one of various improvements the department has paid for with money from their forfeiture account.
“The community should know that this is a $4 million project, but it is coming at no cost to them,” said Rodriguez. “This is going to be paid for entirely from forfeited assets, that is, funds from assets we have forfeited over the years.”
Still, some residents told CBS 4 News that they are concerned the money is being wasted.
“Well, it’s a very expensive parking lot,” said resident John Mendoza. “Whether it is with tax payer or whatever, it’s a lot of money and just to make a parking lot doesn’t make sense to me.”
Rodriguez said the parking structure was the best option to alleviate congestion, otherwise the department would have had to pay for land acquisition.
“It’s not the wisest way to spend your money, because it’s more expensive to build up than basically pour asphalt over ground, but that’s the best we could do,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said the project was designed to address the needs the department has been working on for the past four years.