By BRADEN LAMMERS
It may be a day late, but it won’t cost the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission more dollars.
The redevelopment commission approved two alternate bids on the new Jeffersonville Police Department station being constructed along 10th street. The same request was previously presented to the commission at its regular meeting, but was not approved because its members said they did not have a chance to review the proposal.
“If we don’t get approval [today] we’re going to proceed without the high-bay,” said Clinton Deckard, of Construction Solutions LLC and project manager for the new police station, at a special meeting held Thursday. “If you want to build it later it’s probably going to cost you $150,000 to $200,000 [more] to add it on.”
The concern, when the alternate bids were not approved at July’s redevelopment commission meeting, that the cost of the high-bay garage, an alternate piece of the project, may end up costing more than originally planned.
There is only a limited time frame in which the alternates at the price offered by the contractor have to be built for that cost. Beyond the deadline, that portion of the project can be rebid.
But before an approval was granted Thursday, Redevelopment Commissioner James Lake asked if the police station’s contractor AML Inc. was willing to still honor the original alternate bid price for the garage and for painting its structural steel. The cost for the high-bay was $691,000 and it cost $1,400 to paint the structural steel.
“Since it didn’t pass last meeting we are contractually over AML’s time frame that they have to hold the alternates,” Lake said. “I just want to confirm they are willing to hold their bid price alternates.”
Deckard noted that AML was willing to honor the price. The additional work was approved, contingent that it be at the originally offered cost, by a vote of 3-0, with Commission President R. Monty Snelling and Commission Member Kevin LaGrange absent.
“It doesn’t make any sense to do this project without the high-bay,” Lake added.
JPD Chief Chris Grimm said one of the main purposes in constructing a new police station was to get all of the JPD’s resources under one roof.
“Without it, we’re in the same situation we are in this facility,” he said of City Hall. “We just don’t have any place to store our equipment.”
Grimm said the police department currently stores equipment and evidence in numerous spots throughout the city, including at River Ridge and at the Clark County Government Building. Because the equipment is stored in various locations, it can take the police department more time to get all of its gear to a scene. He said it took JPD an hour to mobilize in response to the Henryville tornado because the equipment the officers needed was spread across the city.
“The main reason why this building is being built is to centralize it in one spot,” Grimm said.
JPD Assistant Chief Greg Sumler said the new facility will also help with the securing and storage of evidence.
He said if the police take in a vehicle during a homicide investigation, the car gets stored in a warehouse. The security is not at the level the police would like on the buildings and it is susceptible to other elements, like mice.
“One breach of that can compromise a whole case like that,” Sumler said. “It’s just not a good place to store this stuff.”
After the high-bay is built Deckard said there will still be a contingency balance left of $88,938.
At July’s redevelopment commission meeting Deckard said that more than $250,000 has already been cut out of the police station plans and he said Thursday that he expects more cost savings to be presented soon.
“We’ve got some site savings submitted, some additional savings that you’ll probably see next month on AML’s contract,” he said.
And the $200,000 to renovate City Hall when the police relocate, has already been set aside.
The $200,000 was a sticking point with the city council. Even after the council agreed to raise the bond amount to include the renovation as part of the project, the money was not available because the bids came in at a higher cost than expected.
Corporation Attorney and Redevelopment Commission Attorney Les Merkley said one reason the alternates were done in the manner followed was because the city wasn’t sure what the bids would come in at and what the available funds would be.
The total cost of the new police station is about $10.8 million and it is expected to be completed in 11 months.