Bid process on new Milford police station to begin

By Craig Anderson
Posted 1/23/22

MILFORD — By the end of 2023 or perhaps early 2024, construction of a Milford police station is expected to be complete.

That’s according to City Manager Mark Whitfield, who said an …

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Bid process on new Milford police station to begin

Posted

MILFORD — By the end of 2023 or perhaps early 2024, construction of a Milford police station is expected to be complete.

That’s according to City Manager Mark Whitfield, who said an upcoming bid process will allow companies to vie for 17 packages covering facets of the construction.

Bids will be advertised on the municipality’s cityofmilford.com website. Submitted bids will be opened publicly at a location to be determined and read aloud, City Finance Director Lou Vitola said.

“Once all the bids are reviewed and tabulated, a recommendation for award will be made to (City) Council,” he said.

Mr. Vitola said bids can first be submitted as soon as the package is publicly released, which is targeted for the end of February or early March.

City Council approved the release of the bid package on Jan. 10, which allowed for its development, which is underway but not complete, he said.

The goal is a review of bids by Lincoln-based construction manager Richard Y. Johnson and Son in late March to early April, and award them through City Council at its meeting on April 25.

“They will look at all the bids, analyze them and make recommendations on awards based on low bids,” Mr. Whitfield said.

The packages include site work, concrete work, masonry, steel work, carpentry and general work, roofing, furnish hollow metal/doors hardware, storefront/glass, drywall/metal stud, acoustic work, floor coverings, caulking and painting, casework, mechanical, sprinkler system, electrical, and pre-engineered metal building.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late June or early July, Mr. Vitola said.

While the projected construction cost is $15 million, Mr. Vitola said, the anticipated cost is $17.5 million when “financing, design, engineering, architectural services, insurance and contingencies (are included.”

A bond issuance, which was authorized in January 2020, will finance the project, Mr. Vitola said.

The estimated cost of the bond is not yet locked in, according to Mr. Vitola.

“The overall project costs will remain fluid through the bidding process,” he said.

“The initial estimates were formed in 2019 without a formal design and before the emergence of the pandemic. Even the projections updated in 2020 were devised prior to the national labor challenges and materials shortages that unfolded later in 2021.

“Design-based cost projections updated in 2022 using current market rates for labor and materials revealed cost pressures that we mitigated through sizing and design adjustments.”

Salisbury, Maryla nd-based architectural firm Becker Morgan Group will oversee the building’s design.

The estimated 28,000 square-foot facility at 400 NE Front St. will replace the station that’s directly across the road. There’s been discussion about tearing down the current station used since 1979 or selling the land, but police chief Kenneth Brown said City Council has made no decision on its future.

While the current station was built when the Milford police force included roughly 22 officers, the current strength is 37 officers plus an increased support staff.

Chief Brown said a significant improvement in the new building would be a Sallyport designed to bring detainees into the station through secure entry and directly into a holding area.

Currently, he said, “We have to walk prisoners across our parking lot into the building.

“It’s really the huge liability that that person gets away from you during that time. This could also help the morale of the department, the officers, because that’s got to be a little stressful having to deal with the walkthrough and all that because ultimately, it’s your responsibility. When they do something in your custody, you’re the one responsible.

“If detainees get loose in the building, they have access to our building, and all of our civilian employees.”

While the current training room can hold about 25 people, the new space will accommodate 100, said Chief Brown, who described the to-be utilized space as being state of the art.”

Also, handicapped accessibility, among other improvements, will be greatly enhanced, Chief Brown said.

In other Milford police news, Rene Gould of the Communications Division was named 2021 Civilian of the Year, while Cpl. Kyle Breckner of the Patrol Division got the nod as Officer of the Year.

Cpl. Rhett Malone of the patrol division, who leads the firearms and training section, was named Officer of the Quarter.

Additionally, Shawn Brittingham was promoted to sergeant and will become a shift commander. Dwight Young was promoted to lieutenant and will become a member of Chief Brown’s administrative staff.