NEW RICHMOND --- City Council took the next steps in potential renovation of the police station at its meeting Monday, Feb. 8, approving a contract for final architectural and engineering services with Ayres Associates.

The renovations are necessary to turn the former bank building purchased in 2011 into a functional police department, Chief Criag Yehlik said.

Council members, who toured the department, agreed.

“I think we can all agree that although you have made it work over the last couple of years, it certainly isn’t functioning as effectively or efficiently or as safely, to be honest, as it should be,” Alderman Kari Kraft said.

The project would include:

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  • Expanding the locker rooms and adding showers

  • Building an evidence processing room and expanding its storage space. Currently evidence processing is in a separate building at the civic center.

  • Creating a separate space for ammunition storage and gun cleaning

  • Relocating the intoximeter and setting it up so that it would have a separate entrance

  • Adding a garage that would provide officer safety as well as squad car storage

Alderman Craig Kittel agreed with the need, but said he would like to see if the project could be done in phases and the cost spread across two budget years.

Council members will have the chance to take part in a design meeting with Ayres to discuss the needs of the project.

Ayres will prepare the final design and construction plans that will be bid out and approved at later dates. The company will also provide construction administration throughout the project.

The $95,000 contract will be paid using impact fees.

The council gave approval for preliminary design last fall. The renovations have been discussed as part of capital improvement planning for a few years.

Capital improvement planning

The city has about $3 million worth of projects planned for its 2021 capital improvement.

Of those projects, $209,000 have been approved, $1.6 million are in bid development and $625,000 have not been approved, Finance Director Rae Ann Ailts told the council.

The planned debt for the year is $1.875 million.

At its Tuesday meeting, the council approved two more capital improvement items — a $30,215 pickup truck for public works and a $282,727 digger derrick truck for utilities.