After numerous studies and consulting reports, dithering over decisions and often rancorous debate, the St. Thomas Police Service is just weeks away from moving into their new digs adjacent to the Timken Centre.
At a reference committee meeting Monday afternoon, Chief Darryl Pinnell apprised city council on the status of the new headquarters on CASO Crossing, with a likely move-in date in April or May.
Construction of the $11 million, one-storey building began in October 2015 and included the extension of Third Avenue (renamed CASO Crossing) to Talbot Street, complete with a traffic roundabout in front of the station bringing the total cost of the project to $12.5 million.
In anticipation of the pending move, Pinnell noted a committee was struck late last year to facilitate all aspects of vacating their existing home in the Colin McGregor Justice Building. Included on the committee were members of the Niagara Regional Police Service, which recently moved into their new headquarters.
A sum of $300,000 was included in the budget for furniture and fixtures, however Pinnell indicated the final tally will likely be in the $225,000 range. Likewise, the actual moving cost is expected to come in under the $30,000 budget.
Pinnell noted furniture deemed not suitable for use in the new facility could be re-purposed for other departments in city hall or possibly auctioned on site.
He added the transition period from existing to new home will likely be no more than one month.
“There should be no disruption of police service,” advised Pinnell. “We anticipate the move will be relatively seamless and quick.”
“You’ve done a lot of planning,” noted Coun. Linda Stevenson. “It’s good to see it (the new facility) accepted by the community.”
In a related move, the city’s emergency control centre – now housed at St. Thomas Energy on Edward Street – will eventually be transferred to the new police headquarters.
City manager Wendell Graves advised the vacated space at St .Thomas Energy could possibly be retained and used for storage of files now accommodated at city hall.
With construction running approximately three months behind schedule, city council Monday evening approved the extension of project management services with METTKO. The original contract with the Toronto firm called for 16 months of management services at a cost of $65,536 (plus HST). That contract expires at the end of the month.
The extension is for about 55 hours per month at a rate of $128 per hour and will run until the project is complete. Funds will come from the approved construction budget.