A land lease deal that could involve a new city fire station and a university police station being built was approved by the St. Joseph City Council on Monday night.
The agreement, which still needs to be approved by Missouri Western State University’s Board of Governors, would allow the city to lease land across from the main campus on the south side of Mitchell Avenue for 99 years. The city would use that land to build a fire station to replace Station No. 8 on Mitchell Avenue near 33rd Street.
In turn, the city would build a police station for the university’s growing police department.
The agreement was unanimously approved by the City Council.
Council Member Brenda Blessing, who was a professor at Western for 28 years, said she is excited to see the city and university work together.
“I think it’s a win-win for both groups of people,” Blessing said. “One, we need a fire station on that end of town. Two, it’s nice for the university police instead of it being inside the student union. I think they’ve gotten bigger and I think it’s a place where their cars can meet and park.”
She said it sends a message that Missouri Western is working with the city and she hopes they can do more to partner.
Dillon Schreckler, Student Director of External Relations for the university’s Student Government Association, agreed that it shows a willingness to work together.
He said the student body will be happy to see the groups work together.
“This is a great way to be able to get the city of St. Joseph to be able to foster new relations with the Missouri Western State University institution as a whole, as well as show students that they are committed to the excellence, as well as the safety of students on campus,” Shreckler said.
Schreckler approached the City Council during the meeting to say as much and to urge them to vote in approval.
The Board of Governors will meet on Oct. 24 and is expected to vote on the agreement.
City Manager Bruce Woody said preliminary work to prepare the land for construction could begin this fall if both parties are in agreement.