Smyrna Town Council members made another decision regarding the police station expansion at Monday’s town council meeting.
Council voted to add the $87,000 sally port back into the project. The sally port was originally included in the project but was taken out to save money; however, it was considered an alternate should the expansion come in under budget.
The vote comes after Smyrna Council members voted at the Feb. 18 council meeting to add another alternate back to the project. Previously the project’s basement was cut in half, but council voted Feb. 18 to add the remainder of the basement back into the project; the cost to include the rest of the basement is $121,000. At that point in time, council voted to take the money out of the $300,000 contingency for the project.
However, when voting to add the sally port back into the project Monday night, council changed directions in terms of paying for the basement and sally port. Adding both the sally port and full basement back into the project is a total of $208,000 in additional project costs.
Rather than add to the total of the police station expansion, council members voted to use $200,000 the town may receive from the pending sale of a town property on Union Street to go towards adding the alternates back into the project.
Councilman Robert Johnson made the suggestion to use the proceeds for the project rather than using an additional $200,000 from their USDA loan. Putting the $200,000 from the proceeds of the pending sale towards the expansion increase the project cost from $3.5 million to $3.7 million; the $300,000 contingency takes the project bottom line up to $4 million.
Councilwoman Valerie White asked to have the sally port topic on the agenda.
“I’ve voted against the police station project in the past, but this is only an additional $200,000,” White said.
Mayor Joanne Masten said she was originally leery of adding the items back into the budget, but upon further review of the project numbers and discussion with other local police chiefs, Masten said she’s convinced construction manager Ed Ide and his team has done everything they can to keep the cost down.
Both Councilwoman Andrea Rodriguez and Councilman Robert Johnson voiced their concern with finding a way to pay for the project, which is when Johnson suggested using the proceeds from the pending sale of the Union Street property.
“I don’t want us to lose sight that we’re working within a budget. Like with any project, there will always be things that are needed,” Rodriguez said. “You may say it’s only $200,000 or $100,000 but that means the money won’t be there for a bucket truck or other capital equipment that we need.”
Council ultimately voted 5-1 in favor of using the proceeds of the sale to fund the sally port and second half of the basement. Councilman John Embert voted against the motion; Councilman Jeff Flairty wasn’t at the meeting.