By Terry L. Jones
July 31, 2012
BRUSLY — Efforts to construct a state-of-the-art building for the Brusly Police Department are showing progress now that the town has locked in a $2.7 million grant from the state, Mayor Joey Normand said Monday.
Normand said the recent appropriation from the state Legislature will fund 75 percent of the project’s estimated $3.3 million total cost.
The town will pick up the other 25 percent.
Plans to build the new facility began several years ago when the Town Council paid an architect $10,000 to evaluate the feasibility of remodeling the department’s current building behind Town Hall, the mayor said.
Normand said the architect told town officials it would be more cost-effective to build a new station instead of renovating the building.
The mayor said the current station, in the 100 block of East St. Francis Street, was built in 1969 to serve as the town’s administrative building.
“It really doesn’t accommodate a lot of the things
they need,” he said of the eight-person Police Department.
Police Chief Jamie Whaley said the building lacks storage space and a secure area to process detainees.
Also, the building’s antiquated electrical wiring has prevented the department from upgrading its computer networking system, Whaley
Normand said the police station will be demolished, leaving room for the new facility to be built at that site.
Preliminary plans for the new station include a sally port, an improved evidence room and a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center, Normand said.
The mayor said the council expects the final drawings by Holden Architects to be complete by the end of the year, and the town will advertise for bids within the first or second quarter of 2013, after the facility drawings are approved by the state.
“It’s probably going to take about one-and-a-half to two years to complete the project,” Normand said. “That means we’ll have to find a temporary place for the police station, which is part of the grant.”
Normand said the appropriated funds also should cover costs of outfitting the new police station with furniture and new computers.