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Sandwich

Sandwich City Council votes down new police station funding

The city of Sandwich acquired the former Designed Stairs building at 1251 E. Sixth St. in 2016 to serve as the city's police station.
The city of Sandwich acquired the former Designed Stairs building at 1251 E. Sixth St. in 2016 to serve as the city's police station.

Sandwich City Council members rejected a motion to proceed with the renovation work for a new police station in a 4-3 ballot Monday evening.

The council vote capped an extensive discussion by aldermen on how the project, expected to cost $4,613,240, would be paid for and where the money would come from.

Aldermen were not able to reach an agreement on how the project financing would be handled.

After nearly 45 minutes of discussion, Mayor Rick Olson called for a vote.

Voting for approval of the contract with Harbour Contractors Inc. were Aldermen Richard Robinson, Kevin Kelleher and Cara Killey.

Voting to deny the contract were Aldermen Cheryl Chmielewski, William McMahon, Les Redden and Pete Dell.

Olson said the issue can be brought up for another vote by any alderman who voted against it at a special meeting. If this is done, the city would be required to give the public 48 hours notice before the meeting could take place. 

Chris Kozak, vice president of Harbour Contractors, said the bids must be accepted by Sept. 7 or they will be void. It then would be necessary to advertise for new bids, a procedure that could take more than a month, he said.

The new police station is planned to be located in the former Designed Stairs building at 1251 E. Sixth St. Constructed in 2002, the building has sat vacant since 2009. The city purchased the 17,000-square-foot building and an adjoining two acres of undeveloped land for $480,000 in 2016.

The present police station at 308 E. College St. has been crowded for years and cannot be expanded, so a new facility is needed, according to city officials.

Bids from more than 70 firms in 17 categories for the project were received and opened by Sandwich city and police officials July 11.

Olson and Police Chief Jim Bianchi said at the time that they were pleased with the number of bids received for the project.

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