Smyrna Town Council will soon face a decision on whether or not to borrow funds for an addition to the Smyrna police station.


Smyrna Town Council will soon face a decision on whether or not to borrow funds for an addition to the Smyrna police station.

This decision is tied to a proposal to refinance $7.8 million in existing town loans to lock them in at a low interest rate. While they’re at it, council could opt to include an additional $3.2 million to fund the police station expansion, for a total of $11 million.

At its Sept. 20 meeting, council voted 6-1 to set a public hearing to consider these proposals. Councilwoman Valerie White voted against it.

The hearing, which will give members of the public an opportunity to weigh in on these issues, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 18, prior to the regular council meeting later that night. The borrowing issue will be on the agenda for that council meeting.

Town attorney Terry Jaywork said that a supermajority of five votes would be required for council to approve the actual borrowing resolution.

Members of council spent some time discussing the proposed addition for the police station at Monday’s meeting.

“We already know it’s needed. There’s absolutely no doubt it’s needed,” said Mayor Pat Stombaugh, who also said the town needs to be innovative and think outside the box about how to finance it.

Stombaugh suggested that the station could be funded if each household in town paid a flat fee of about $6 per month.

Councilwoman White said that for her, $6 per month is too much.

“I can’t agree to tax citizens to build a police station,” she said.

The planned addition to the existing Smyrna police station on Glenwood Avenue would be built on adjacent land currently occupied by the town’s former Public Works building.

Funding approved for Boys and Girls Club

In other news, council voted to contribute $8,700 to the Smyrna-Clayton Boys and Girls Club.

Most of these funds represent a $7,500 partner grant that will go toward the construction of a new playground at the club, located at 240 E. Commerce St.

At the previous council meeting, local club director Trisha Moses said that this playground, valued at $40,000, was made possible by an anonymous private donor, along with Kraft Foods in Dover and the non-profit “KaBOOM” playground company. Moses requested that council support the project by assisting with the local match.

“They need this additional money to make this happen,” said Mayor Stombaugh at Monday’s meeting.

“It’s open to all children. This is for public use,” said Councilman Bob Novotny.

The remaining $1,200 will fund new swings at the club’s play area.

The funding was approved by a 5-2 vote, with Valerie White and Tony DeFeo voting against it.

The new playground is scheduled to be built on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Council votes not to fill Public Works position

By a 4-3 vote, council decided not to fill a vacant position in Public Works/Parks.

Councilman Tony DeFeo, who made the motion to post the job opening, said it would not require any new funds since that position was already being filled until recently.

DeFeo, Regina Brown and Valerie White voted in favor of the motion, while Mayor Stombaugh, Bob Novotny, Bill Raynor and Bob Riddagh voted against it.