Brownstown Town Council provides update on town building project



A renovation project for the new location of Brownstown’s town hall and police station is progressing.

During a recent town council meeting at the current town hall, Councilwoman Sharon Koch said an electrician started work Jan. 6, a technology company has been running wiring and framing was supposed to be completed at the building at 116 E. Cross St.

After the wires are run, she said a black layer and sprayfoam can be applied to the ceiling.

“It’s going well,” Koch said. “Some people have been in and out quite a bit lately, which is good.”

With roofing, a couple of questions have surfaced, she said. One was about raising the roof at a pitch and making it metal.

Goecker Construction of Seymour, the contractor for the project, advised against that because equipment, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, already has been purchased for a flat roof.

“They also think we should stay with the rubber as it is,” she said.

Also, they are not patching the roof right now because they are going to try to hurry up and make all of the roof penetrations and then put the new one on, Koch said.

Councilman Mark Reynolds said he is concerned about roof leaks, especially with wiring work going on.

“If you get the sprayfoam and everything on there and it gets leaked on, I don’t like that,” he said.

Reynolds said he would like to see them patch some of the roof to eliminate water getting into the building. Koch said the roof already had been patched a few times.

The council also discussed the police department’s suggestion of putting blinds in between the panes of glass on three windows and four doors. One of the windows is between the chief’s office and another room, so that’s being requested for privacy concerns.

Koch, however, said a cost estimate they received is $7,475.

“My first thought would be that’s seven items that are over $1,000 per item, per blind, if you will,” she said. “If they are really necessary, do all seven areas need them or could they just be in critical ones?”

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said blinds on a door can endure a lot of wear and tear as the door is opened and closed. Koch said there are latches available to help prevent that.

Councilman Tim Robinson said if police officers want privacy, a solid wood door may be an option. That way, it can be opened or closed at their discretion.

The council didn’t take any action on the proposal but was asked to think more about it.

Renovation of the building started in December 2019. Goecker Construction was awarded the project in May 2019, but during a meeting in early fall, the town council agreed to let the company wait until December to get started on the project because of a commitment conflict with a subcontractor.

Goecker Construction, which had the lowest of three bids at $381,256, also agreed to provide bimonthly updates on the work.

One of the main reasons for the town purchasing the former Jackson County Banner building is the current town hall facility at 200 W. Walnut St., built in 1945, is not compliant with the Americans with Disability Act.

When complete, the building will house offices for the clerk-treasurer and deputy clerk-treasurer and a meeting room. All town meetings will be conducted there, and there will be ADA-compliant restrooms for the public to use.

The police department will have space for cubicles and separate offices for the chief, assistant chief, school resource officer and detective. There also will be an interview room, a mechanical room and men’s and women’s locker rooms with restrooms.

In the back of the building will be two garage bays and an evidence room.

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