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August 5, 2013

Jeffersonville's new police headquarters in sight

Officials break ground on $10.8 million police station

JEFFERSONVILLE — If all goes as planned, Jeffersonville police will be in a new headquarters in 11 months that streamlines its operations while emphasizing technology. Not to mention providing some room to stretch out in a more centralized location to the public.

“We moved from the county building to the current city building, we had already outgrown that space,” JPD Chief Chris Grimm said during Monday’s groundbreaking of the $10.8 million facility along 10th Street that attracted police, council members and city administration. “With this facility we’re moving it all into one space.”

The facility has an 11-month construction timeline, and once finished will house all of the police department’s operations in one place — something it has never had.

JPD houses most of what would be stored in the police station off-site, including leasing some space in the Clark County Government Building. With the new location Grimm said the department will have the space to conduct on-site training, have an evidence room and house a tactical operations center that would allow for emergency coordination in the case of a disaster.

The new station will also be a big technological upgrade. Among the improvements is a video monitoring area where all the security cameras going up throughout the city will send its feeds.

“It really brings it all together,” Grimm said.

Mayor Mike Moore added that building the police station on 10th Street not only gives the police some desperately needed space, it also connects the city’s residents to the police department.

“The police station we are about to build will take us into the next 25 to 30 years,” he said. “Instead of having locations at five or six spots throughout the city we will have everything centrally located here in the heart of Jeffersonville.”

The new station will be constructed next door to the Jeffersonville Fire Department headquarters on 10th Street, moving away from downtown Jeffersonville and toward some of the newer annexed areas of the city.

“It will be a more accessible location for the general public,” Grimm said. “It’s kind of hard to find us to be honest.”

The police station is currently located on the back side of Jeffersonville City Hall, in Quartermaster Court. Once the police station is complete and the force moves out of City Hall, the plan is to renovate the space.

However, before that is possible, some cost-cutting measures need to be implemented for the new station.

Clinton Deckard, of Construction Solutions LLC, was hired as a project manager for the new police station, in large part, to find cost savings and lower the overall project cost.

Bids for the construction of the police station came in higher than the $5.8 million engineer’s estimate, with the low bid going to Floyds Knobs-based contractor AML Inc. at $6.25 million. With the alternate costs added to the base bid for the project the total cost is about $10.8 million.

At a Redevelopment Commission meeting last week, Deckard said that more than $250,000 has already been cut out of the police station plans.

He explained that $250,000 was built into the site work because of concerns about the condition of the lot, but that after some testing the extent of the work is not as vast and between $50,000 to $75,000 will be saved.

“We’ve been working on a bunch of other value engineering changes,” Deckard said Wednesday. “Today, roughly $252,000 has been cut out of the project. Bottom line is, if we could get another $250,000 to $300,000 out of the job, it allows for us to put $200,000 into [City Hall] and it allows us to upgrade the security.”

Bids originally went out dedicating a portion of the bond money to go toward renovations at City Hall. But because bids came back higher than expected, much of what was deemed necessary work was included as alternates to the construction plan.

“Rebidding it would’ve cost us more,” said Corporation and Redevelopment Attorney Les Merkley.

Deckard asked the redevelopment commission to approve two of those alternate bids Wednesday: One for $691,000 to build a high-bay garage at the new police station; and the other alternate for $1,400 to paint the structural steel underneath the high-bay.

“We have to accept the high-bay regardless,” he said. “I wasn’t comfortable accepting the high-bay at bid time because of the contingency.”

Deckard added the police said there is no point in building the new station without the high-bay.

There is only a limited time frame in which the alternates, at the price offered in the bid can be accepted, after which the alternates will have to be rebid and the cost is expected to rise.

But the redevelopment commission did not approve the alternate work — by a vote of 2-2-1, with Commissioners Jack Vissing and Kevin LaGrange voting against and R. Monty Snelling abstaining— citing they did not have enough time to look over the information before being asked to vote on its approval.

The redevelopment commission may hold a special meeting to take another vote on the alternate work, but it is still being determined if it is still within the time frame to approve the alternate bid.

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Shelbe Dorman, right, and Taylor Wirth hug following their 2013 commencement ceremony at New Albany High School.

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