Smyrna Town Council members approved a set of bids for the Smyrna Police Station Expansion project at the meeting Monday night.

Council approved the bids by a vote of 5-2. Councilwoman Valerie White and Councilman John Embert voted against the bids.

Council previously set a monetary limit on the project of $3.5 million, including a $300,000 contingency. The project involves expanding the police station to the current location of the old public works building on Glenwood Avenue.

Smyrna Town Manager Dave Hugg explained that while the limit for the project is $3.5 million, council would only be approving at the meeting roughly $2.5 million of the project. Construction Manager Ed Ide said there are still some bids out including doors and hardware. Of the 17 bids approved, 16 of them are Delaware companies.

Councilman Jeff Flairty said he was impressed with Ide's work on the project so far because the estimated cost and the cost of the contractors are pretty spot on.

"To only have a $20,000 difference is a good achievement," Flairty said. "I think we made the right choice when hiring you for the project. I'm glad we did."

But the approval of the bids didn't go quite so smoothly. There were some questions regarding the cost of the project. Earlier in the meeting, Councilman Robert Johnson announced during his Finance Committee report that the committee is recommending council increase the budget of the project to $4.2 million.

Resident Cindy Cogar asked about the possible increase during the public forum but was told council would discuss the recommendation later in the meeting. However, when Councilwoman White asked about the possible increase Vice Mayor Regina Brown said the item isn't on the budget so council couldn't discuss the matter.

After the meeting, Mayor Joanne Masten said the possible increase would be to add in the complete basement, the sally port, and the generator back into the project. These items were taken out of the project last year but are considered alternatives that could possibly be added back in to the project.

Johnson said he's against the increase because he's not in favor of raising taxes to do so. Council will discuss the recommendation at the next meeting.

Snow removal

Hugg thanked the Public Works Department for the hard work they've been putting in the past few weeks with snow removal.

"I don't think I've ever seen a town crew work that hard during a snow storm," Hugg said.

Later in the meeting, resident Cindy Cogar also thanked the department for their snow removal efforts.

"They did a wonderful job and I do appreciate it," she said.

Cogar did voice some concern with the lack of snow removal from the sidewalks. Cogar said some of her neighbors didn't remove the snow from their sidewalks. Cogar said all town residents should be held accountable.

Interim Police Chief Norman Wood said residents are required by town code to remove snow from sidewalks 12 hours after snow has ceased.