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Proposed Site for New Police Station Problematic

Locating the police station near town hall reveals problems ranging from property, security, parking, and storm drainage.

 

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.

doug morrissette January 15, 2013 at 01:27 PM
What will this new police department do to the already highest tax town in the area?? People are tightening their belts in this tough economy while the town is expanding, more jobs, more spending etc.
Fred Allyn, Jr. January 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM
OK, so I am "beating an old drum!" Why are we not considering the former Gales Ferry School for the Police? How about I get a Buyer who then Leases part to the PD for their facility? The old Ledyard Center Firehouse is NOT the best place, nor is spending $4 million warranted.
Cindy Eilenberger January 15, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Sounds like anywhere where we have property, and would incur the less costs would be the best place to consider. I think there should be cost comparisons amongst the possible places to see what would be the most cost effective and still work for the LPD. And of course, the LPD should be consulted to insure that it would work for them as they are the ones that have to work out of the building.
Donald Palko January 15, 2013 at 08:12 PM
The old Gales Ferry School would be a great place it is centrally located on a great piece of property. It's access to route 12 very convenient and it has enough property easement to build a new building the would be the shining star in the community.
Sue January 15, 2013 at 11:43 PM
I agree that the old school property would be a great place for the police station. Problem is, those that are determined to NOT have it there, will not look at it without prejudice and will find a million reasons why it will cost too much etc. Grants for conversions of municipal buildings are real and I think Ledyard officials should aggressively look into this. Was encouraged when our Mayor and former Mayor both felt this location should be studied.
Tina January 16, 2013 at 10:55 AM
seriously think this town is going someplace in a hand basket! Heads are so far up certain places! Like one thing after another and pay for this pay for that no thought but lets pay strangers to telltale town what's good for them... listen to te people! think ask
Tina January 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM
"tell the town"
Peace Maker January 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Is this part of a ZERO Increase Budget?!!!!!!!!!!!!

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