Aldermen to seek state funds for SPD renovations

By: 
Austin Montgomery
City Reporter

Starkville aldermen will seek $2 million from state legislators at next Tuesday's board meeting to fill funding shortfalls for planned Starkville Police Department renovations. A revised design presentation will precede the funding vote, according to the March 1 agenda.

Project construction could start as soon as July, according to Mayor Parker Wiseman.

"We will make the request immediately," Wiseman said. "We should know something by the middle of April."

Following the Feb. 16 board meeting, project architect Gary Shafer presented two possible renovation plans with budgets of $3 million and $4.5 million. The possible plans laid the groundwork for a mix and match menu of design aspects to correspond with 18,330 square feet of space.

In order to bring the building up to code and to preserve the building's historic landmark status, project costs would total around $5 million, according to the resolution. The revised plan reflects the majority of design components presented with the previous $4.5 million option.

The revised budget would include youth court services, a new second floor for administrative staff, plumbing and fire protection code updates along with a host of exterior work including paving and striping with protected parking and a new sally port.

The roof—a hot button issue during the Feb. 16 presentation—would be completely replaced under the revised budget plan of $5.3 million.

"We need to design a building for entire program that will ensure future expansion of SPD," Shafer said during the Feb. 16 presentation.

Previously, SPD Chief Frank Nichols said the department would be happy with any renovation plan due to multiple issues plaguing the facility at 101 E. Lampkin Street. City staff relocated to a new administrative building in November, leaving SPD the entire facility.

Last summer, aldermen approved a motion of intent to issue a $3 million partial renovation bond for the project, and withdrew consideration of purchasing a new facility.

"There are certainly things that need to be finalized," Wiseman said. "We will be making decisions on the project between now and the early part of the summer."

Sanitation Request

Aldermen will vote on a request for proposals for the privatization of garbage and recycling services within the sanitation department, according to the March 1 agenda.

The motion was made by Ward 2 Aldermen Lisa Wynn, the agenda showed.

It is currently unclear as to how the proposal—if approved—would impact the duties of current sanitation workers.

Wynn declined to comment as of press time Friday.

Starkville Fire

SFD officials will ask the board to approve a grant application worth $180,000.

Funds of the grant would go towards hiring firefighters to fill Fire Station 5.

Grant funding would span two years. If awarded, the city would meet 10 percent of the costs, according to the agenda.

SFD will seek approval to purchase a new Ford Interceptor vehicle at a cost of around $26,000. The current vehicle would be passed down to the training division, the agenda showed.

For a complete agenda, visit cityofstarkville.org.

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