The Municipal Building Committee met Monday and distributed two proposed site plans, for two different locations, for the proposed new police station although the committee only discussed one site plan during the meeting.
One plan placed the new headquarters next to the existing Town Tall and it’s the location preferred by Mayor Jonn Rodolico. Among other issues, this design requires the acquisition of 1,575 square feet of property presently owned by Holdridge’s Nursery; the parcel is needed for required parking spaces and an on-site impound lot.
The new site plan, as prepared by Jakunski Humes Architects, increases the footprint of the old firehouse to no more than 12,000 square feet and reserves 36 parking spots for police use and shares the parking lot thruways with Town Hall employees and visitors.
The plan rearranges the Town Hall parking lot and offers 58 spaces for assigned and open spaces.
Committee member Peter Gardner said they needed an engineer to determine if plan is possible under the current regulations.
“Can we install a septic in here, can fire tucks function in there,” he asked.
According to the plan, the building would be two stories high and the public can enter through the front. Police staff and official vehicles will be parked behind the building, which would be restricted to police and staff use.
Architect Brian Humes said his approach was to figure out how the site can function well for the police department and the Town Hall.
Dispute erupted over some details like the necessity of a fence around the parking lot – the mayor questioned the need for a fence while the architect said parking lot security is a major consideration when vehicles are stored and needed as evidence, that greater public access can invite tampering with police cars and impounded vehicles.
The new site plan also has a covered carport for 18 official vehicles, which would help preserve the computers and electronics installed in police cars.
Beyond that, Rodolico said he’d have to ask a landowner, Dave Holdridge, to allow an approximately 60’ x 80’ catch basin on his land. The catch basin would catch water draining from Colonel Ledyard Highway and a parking lot filled with cars, which could be problematic since Holdridge’s land is in the watershed for the reservoir, according to Mike Cherry, chair of the Planning and Zoning Committee.
Starr Wood Village Market, Holdridge’s Nursery and the Town of Ledyard all share rights to the dirt driveway between the store and Town Hall. The driveway would be improved if the police station were to be built there; the committee questioned the other right-holders use of the driveway and will look into re-appropriating it.
The second proposed site is off of J. Alfred Clark Way located off of Route 117 with the Ledyard Public Works complex. The proposed building is the same because the topography is similar. This property is already owned by the Town of Ledyard so the land on that lot is free and clear, parking wouldn’t be a problem, there would be no need to acquire or utilize additional property and police vehicles and impounded evidence would be less vulnerable to risks.
The architect will begin putting together the floor plan while the details of the site near Town Hall are ironed out. Eventually, the cost of construction on each site will be compared.
“I am committed to putting this project in in May (referendum),” said Mayor John Rodolico.