Despite being offered a 90-day lease extension last week, Sharon Township trustees continue to plan to move the township police department out of the old Veteran's Memorial building by April 10.

Despite being offered a 90-day lease extension last week, Sharon Township trustees continue to plan to move the township police department out of the old Veteran's Memorial building by April 10.

The trustees are in negotiations for the lease of two offices, one in the city of Worthington, the other on state Route 315 near the foot of Worthington Hills. It plans to lease one soon..

"We are close to having a draft lease agreement," Sharon Township trustee chairman John Oberle said Tuesday. "My goal is to have it done this week."

The Sharon Township police department has operated out of the old Memorial building at 137 E. Granville Road for 33 years.

It leases the building from the Sharon Memorial Board for $1,000 a month.

In January, the board announced it would increase the rent to $3,000 a month, would expect the township to begin paying for utilities, and would no longer permit persons under arrest to be processed at the police headquarters.

On March 18, the Memorial Board agreed to extend an April 10 eviction deadline for 60 more days.

The offer came with strings attached, though.

The rent would be $2,000 a month, retroactive to Jan. 1. All utilities would be paid by the township, also from the beginning of this year. And no person detained for any offense would be allowed to be brought onto the grounds of the Memorial building.

"That's just not feasible," Oberle said of the no-prisoners clause. "We can't have our arrest policies dictated by the landlord."

It is also not fair to expect the township to pay all of the utilities, since it occupies only 50 percent of the space, he added.

"We can't live by these terms," Oberle said. "We've already talked to the movers and we will be out by April 10. It is in the best interest of the township and the taxpayers."

Cal Taylor, chairman of the Memorial Board, said the building can no longer accommodate the functions of police and township administration. They key reason cited was Police Chief Donald Schwind's request for a holding cell and interrogation room.

That raised serious concerns over safety, as police chained suspects - some charged with violent crimes - to the side of desks during detention, Taylor said.

Also, the cost of utilities and maintenance of the township's functions far exceeded its monthly rent, he said.

For example, the January gas bill was $959 and the electric bill was $233.

The Memorial Board wants to completely refurbish the roughly 6,000-square-foot building, which was built in 1865. Almost everything, from the plumbing to the electrical system, is in disrepair, Taylor said.

Right now, the board has no prospective tenants. The VFW and Blue Star Mothers meet in the hall at no cost. A church group is charged $50 per visit.

The function of the Memorial Board, set up through the Ohio Revised Code, is to promote and memorialize military and veterans.

It's "a noble purpose and one we fully support," Oberle said.