WHY WE REPORTED IT The concept of a new Smyrna Police station has been around for years, and crept back up into the conversation during the 2012 budget process. Council at the time, agreed to the put a new police station on a referendum in the April 30 town election. Council also approved the use of funds to pay for a feasibility study, which resulted in a $4.9 million facility addressing several needs, including storage space and the logistics of having all the officers housed in one building.
The non-binding referendum failed in the April 30 election by 20 votes 327 to 307.
Council eventually approved the feasibility study in September with the stipulation that the cost should not exceed $3.5 million, excluding contingencies. A construction manager was hired, and then in November Smyrna Town Council passed a motion to move forward with Fearn Clendaniel as the architects for the project.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT Town Council repeatedly said throughout the year at meetings it was obvious the town needed a new police station, but there were concerns with how the project would be paid for as several council members were against a dramatic tax increase.
WHAT'S NEXT The town is in the process of putting together a contract for Fearn Clendaniel Architects. Construction Manager Ed Ide said the next step in the process is the design phase. He said construction should start sometime in the spring.
Police Chief Wil Bordley is happy the town has voted to move forward with the project.
"I'm optimistic with the progress," Bordley said. "Hopefully in the spring we'll demolish the old Public Works Building. That's when I'll get really excited because it'll be a signal we're physically moving forward with the project."