The Municipal Building Committee continued discussion on the feasibility of the proposed sites for the proposed police station Monday.
Of the locations under discussion one is next to the town hall and the other is on Al Clarke Drive by the town transfer station although the committee made passing mention of the old Gales Ferry School and the complications involved in building there.
Not that the Town Hall site isn’t any less complicated. In order to build there, Ledyard resident Dave Holdridge has been asked to allow the storm water from the parking lot to drain into his property. The move would require that the town install detention pond on his land which is also wetlands and may also require DEEP approval, according to Humes.
Also, Holdridge Enterprises (a.k.a. Holdridge Nursery and Florist) would have to donate more than 1,800 square feet to the town for the project.
Mayor John Rodolico said, “both parties are interested.”
Furthermore, the site would need a lot of more attention before a building could be put there.
Architect Brian Humes of Jacunski Humes presented a floor plan of 12,340 square feet, which is slightly more than the police department needs and appeared to be more than the Building Committee wanted to pay for.
As is, the building would be about the same size as the Board of Education/Parks and Recreation office building; and smaller than the Town Hall, which is more than 13,000 square feet.
Committee members questioned the need for some of the rooms and workstations, etc.
“I’m not here to defend the police department but I think they have identified what their current and future needs are,” said Humes. “You have to help me define where you want to take it out.”
Police Lt. Michael Finkelstein said “we’ve got to give residents something that will be good for 30 years,” and mentioned that one or two workstations and an interview room could be removed, if necessary, but that most other elements should stay.
Rodolico wasn’t convinced that Ledyard residents would vote for the building.
Hoping to circumvent the age-old “why didn’t you build it right the first time” scenario, committee member Jerry Tyminski said, “Carving this down to a much smaller building is really not a lot of money over the total life this building. We’re never going to build another one in this town.”
Committee member Peter Gardner said, “the alternate site (on Al Clarke Drive) is a piece of cake” compared to the site work on this site (Town Hall campus).
“We could build a bigger building for essentially the same price,” said Tyminski.
Conversation also turned toward renovating the old Gales Ferry School and why they had not vetted it thoroughly.
Committee chair Peter McIntyre said later that the building was dismissed quickly because “it would be a can of worms.” He cited asbestos remediation, a lack of state reimbursement and that it’s just as far from the center of town as the current location as three main reasons not to consider the site.
Humes will present drawings to the Town Council on Feb. 27 for information purposes and he’ll meet with the Municipal Building Committee on March 4 to provide the cost of construction, soft costs, site work and contingency.