The Harker Heights City Council on Tuesday discussed the future use of 1.85 acres of property owned by the city at 120 Harley Drive that was the previous location of the Harker Heights Police Department.
Following a 30-minute discussion during the workshop, council members agreed to hold on to the property for future use by the city. The city currently has no plans for the property.
The lot sits a few hundred feet south of the intersection of Harley and Veterans Memorial Boulevard on the west side of Harley Drive. The property is currently vacant but is maintained by the city.
In the early 1970s, the property was home to city hall. A building next to it was the Volunteer Fire Department. Adjacent to that was a smaller building that housed phone system equipment.
At one time, most city services were housed on the property, including City Hall, the Police Department and the Volunteer Fire Station, plus Animal Control.
Over a period of years, Central Fire Station moved to its new location, then City Hall moved to its current location on Miller’s Crossing.
Police Chief Mike Gentry recalled that when he became chief in 1995, the entire building on Harley belonged to the operations of the police department.
In 2000, Gentry and then-City Manager Steve Carpenter began talking about a new police headquarters facility.
“The discussion did include refurbishing the building on Harley as police headquarters, but the 9,000-square-foot building was in need of much repair and just too small for a police department operation,” Gentry said.
The decision was then made in 2004 to build a new police headquarters. Construction on the police headquarters on Indian Trail was completed in 2007.
The building on Harley Drive was demolished a year or two later, Gentry said.
The property is adjacent to commercial properties to the north and residential properties (both single family and duplexes) to the south. The property that the city provides to the Head Start program is also adjacent to this property.
The city’s future land-use map shows the property as commercial with more commercial property abutting to the north and mixed residential abutting to the south.
Among the ideas discussed were turning the property into a parking area.
Other options that had been proposed by the city staff were selling the property and swapping the property for another property of interest to the city.