MALVERN, Ark. — (KTHV) – The Malvern Police Department has plans for a big move which includes a brand new building downtown.
The police department currently leases its building from Hot Spring County. Mayor Brendon Weldon said it is time to build a new department because the department is expanding.
“The department is really small,” Weldon said.
Julie Keys owns Third and Main Street Sweets. As the only bakery in Malvern, she is worried a new police department will put her out of business.
"It's the heart of the city, yes we have empty buildings,” Keys said.
Malvern City Council is discussing putting the new department right where her business is, meaning she would have to shut down after eight years.
"It's ruining my livelihood," Keys said. "I've got four employees, they've got nowhere to go.”
Building a police department downtown would mean not only knocking down the bakery shop but also the rest of the storefront along Main Street. Some of the storefronts are empty, but Keys said there are still three businesses.
"We were just looking at a few places and we thought about downtown," Weldon said. "Just because in the area we were looking at, there were a lot of buildings that were older.”
Malvern Mayor Brenda Weldon said this plan is just one option.
"Nothing has been decided," she said. "We looked at a couple different locations. We looked at an old Fred store and another place in the city.”
She said, however, all of the buildings along the section of Main Street are up for sale and many of them are empty and not up to code.
'If that's something the citizens do not want, then we will go on to the next location,” Weldon said.
Malvern City Council will be holding a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. April 1 at to discuss the proposed idea of relocating the police department to downtown Malvern.