Town council rejects police department building bids

CROTHERSVILLE — Town officials expected bids for a new building for the Crothersville Police Department to be under $200,000.

When the bids recently were opened, however, they were surprised to see the three quotes were between nearly $227,000 and $328,000.

The Crothersville Town Council had the option of awarding the project to one of the contractors or rejecting the bids, and they went with the latter on a 4-0 vote. President Jason Hillenburg was absent.

“I don’t think any of us in the meeting expected it to come back that much,” Councilwoman Terry Richey said.

“Going by the drawings I’ve seen, this isn’t much more than a 1,600-square-foot pole barn with some ventilation,” Vice President Jamy Greathouse said.

Jonathan Brown, a civil engineering technician with FPBH Inc., said he would let the three contractors know their bids were rejected.

“We did go through all of the bids. Everything was in there,” Brown told the council.

This past spring, Police Chief Matt Browning, Assistant Chief Jonathon Tabor, Clerk-Treasurer Danieta Foster and Richey worked with FPBH to design a new building to put next to the current police station at 404 Moore St.

The project stemmed from a fifth officer being on the force and the department running out of space for storage.

A 40-by-40-foot metal building was designed to provide space for a two-bay garage, a training room, a storage/evidence room, a lobby, an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restroom and a mechanical room.

The idea was for the officers to remain in their current building until another new one with offices could be constructed in the future.

“A few years down the road, working up enough money to demolish the old building. It’s going to cost too much to upgrade that one,” Browning told the council in April.

The department has been in its current building for about 10 years. It once was used as a doctor’s office, and a second similar building was on the property until it was torn down.

“The building we’re in now is not going to last much longer. We’re outgrowing it. We’re going to have to keep sticking money into this building,” Browning said in April. “It’s not made for us to operate out of it. It’s tight. There’s no storage. We use our evidence room for storage also. We have stuff stacked everywhere.”

The current building has a ramp that leads from a sidewalk to the front entrance, but making it ADA-compliant would cost “thousands and thousands of dollars,” Tabor said.

A new building would put the department in ADA compliance and solve a lot of issues, he added.