Former Homer Mayor Bryan Zak, in front, shovels dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue last Friday, May 24, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Homer City Council member Rachel Lord with her two children, Sadie and Linnea, council member Donna Aderhold, council member Shelly Erickson, council member Caroline Venuti, Mayor Ken Castner, Homer City Manager Katie Koester, and Byron Smith, son of council member Heath Smith, far right. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Former Homer Mayor Bryan Zak, in front, shovels dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue last Friday, May 24, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Homer City Council member Rachel Lord with her two children, Sadie and Linnea, council member Donna Aderhold, council member Shelly Erickson, council member Caroline Venuti, Mayor Ken Castner, Homer City Manager Katie Koester, and Byron Smith, son of council member Heath Smith, far right. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Ceremonial ground breaking held for new police station

On a sunny Friday afternoon, about 25 citizens and dignitaries attended groundbreaking ceremonies and a dedication of the site for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue.

The ceremony included most of the Homer Police force, Mayor Ken Castner and former Mayor Bryan Zak, Homer City Manager Katie Koester, and all six members of the Homer City Council.

“This was a Homer-sized solution to a problem that any growing city has,” Castner said. “How do you replace institutional buildings along the way? … A lot of work went into it. We’re going to see a building constructed here that will serve the community many years in the future.”

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl spoke of the long 5-year process to make the station happen.

“This was an idea (former) Mayor Beth Wythe promoted,” Robl said. “…If it wasn’t for her initiative, this project might not have gotten off the ground. It’s five years and we finally got here.”

Homer United Methodist Church Pastor Lisa Talbott gave the dedication for the lot and building to come. Castner noted her help in mediating meetings to develop a building concept and funding mechanism that advisory committees and the council could support.

In her remarks, Talbott noted that last week had been Peace Officer Memorial Week, held to honor officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. A moment of silence was held to honor those officers.

“It’s also an important time for us to all remember and acknowledge the loyalty of those who were called to serve as peace officers and dedicate their lives to the community,” Talbott said.

She then read Lao Tzu’s poem, “Peace in the World,” recently sung at the Choir for Peace concert.

“Today we dedicate this land and the building that will sit upon it to the peace and safety of our entire community and all who dwell within,” Talbott said.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.om.

Former Homer Mayor Bryan Zak, in front, shovels dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue as Mayor Ken Castner watches on last Friday, May 24, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Homer City Council member Shelly Erickson, council member Caroline Venuti, and Homer City Manager Katie Koester. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Former Homer Mayor Bryan Zak, in front, shovels dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue as Mayor Ken Castner watches on last Friday, May 24, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Homer City Council member Shelly Erickson, council member Caroline Venuti, and Homer City Manager Katie Koester. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl, center, speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue last Friday, May 24, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Homer City Council member Rachel Lord with her two children, Sadie and Linnea, council member Donna Aderhold, council member Shelly Erickson, council member Caroline Venuti, former Homer Mayor Bryan Zak, Mayor Ken Castner, Robl, Homer City Manager Katie Koester, and Byron Smith, son of council member Heath Smith, far right. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl, center, speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Police Station on Grubstake Avenue last Friday, May 24, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Homer City Council member Rachel Lord with her two children, Sadie and Linnea, council member Donna Aderhold, council member Shelly Erickson, council member Caroline Venuti, former Homer Mayor Bryan Zak, Mayor Ken Castner, Robl, Homer City Manager Katie Koester, and Byron Smith, son of council member Heath Smith, far right. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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