Park Ridge City Council members continued to support plans for a three-year project to update the police station by voting 5-1 as a committee-of-the-whole to bring a contract for phase one of the project to the next full city council meeting on Nov. 7.
Fifth Ward Ald. Daniel Knight voted no.
They did so over the objections of Mayor David Schmidt, who already vetoed the police station project once and said he would veto this part of it again.
Earlier: Park Ridge looks at remodeling proposals for police station
Schmidt said he doesn’t question that the police station, located in the basement of City Hall at 200 Vine Ave., is cramped and sometimes unpleasant.
“It’s a pit,” he said.
But Schmidt said he would rather see the city find a way to use space it already owns that is sitting vacant before incurring construction costs when the city has a financial crunch and other spending priorities, including its tree program.
Police Chief Frank Kaminski said it wouldn’t make sense to move the evidence room away from the police station.
“Is this the optimal thing? No, but it will work,” Kaminski said. “It’s a doable project. It’s bare minimum. It addresses the major issues of trying to deal with the property (in the evidence room). It’s close. We can watch it. We can monitor it. We can have access to it on a regular basis.”
Schmidt, who does not vote as part of the committee of the whole, asked what the difficulty would be in storing recovered stolen bicycles in unused space at the public works service center, which he said is only a five-minute drive from the police station.
The contract that council members voted to recommend is for $290,170 to Workmasters, a Des Plaines-based company which bid for the project. The bid includes design, construction and management costs; with added finishing and furnishings, the first phase of the project is expected to cost about $360,000. It includes new parking areas, a new evidence room that will be across the parking lot from the main police station, a bike corral, a new fitness room and new bathroom.
The entire three-year project is expected to cost about $1.2 million and address problems including the lack of a secure sally port and separate prisoner processing space; lack of separate locker rooms and shower facilities for female officers; not enough space for a larger police force; a mold problem and a lack of sprinklers.