Police interior.JPG

The Lonsdale Police Department’s updated building plan includes a five-stall garage rather than seven stalls to stay within the city’s $2.2 budget. (Courtesty of WOLD Architects and Engineers)

Several aspects of the planned police station have been eliminated to keep within the city’s budget for the project, but architects say this won’t interfere with project goals.

Melissa Stein of WOLD Architects and Engineers reported to the City Council during its Thursday meeting that the cost estimate for the project came in above the city’s budgeted $2.2 million. However, architects reworked the site plan in several small ways to keep the project within the budget. According to Stein, these changes would not negatively impact the functionality of the building.

Stein presented visual updates on the Police Department’s site and building plan during the meeting and described the impact of the changes.

To cut down on costs, the new plan includes a change in concrete masonry units (CMU) walls to precast panels with a thin brick onset. Stein said the exterior for the police station will be conducive to a potential future city hall and library, which will be included in the master plan. While the exterior of those buildings haven’t been planned yet, the architects will likely base the buildings’ looks on the facilities around that space.

WOLD also found ways to reduce costs in the mechanical systems by seeking out other options that still meet code requirements. Stein said the building itself does not need a sprinkler system to meet code requirements, so that was eliminated from the plan as well.

While the initial plan included a seven-stall garage, the updated garage houses two less stalls to fit within the project budget.

Councilor Cindy Furrer asked if the five-stall garage would meet the project goal of serving the city for the long term. While the initial plan included a seven-stall garage, the updated garage houses two less stalls to fit within the project budget.

“I want to make sure we’re not for today; we need to be for the future …” Furrer said. “I don’t want to see them be shorted out.”

Lonsdale Police Chief Jason Schmitz, who was present at the meeting and has been involved in building discussions with the architects, said, “I believe five is manageable. I don’t see us increasing the amount of squad cars in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Mayor Tim Rud pointed out that the city could re-evaluate the garage years down the road if the time comes when the department acquires more squad cars.

“I think we’ve told the public now we’re going to build this for $2.2 million, plus or minus, I think we should stay on that target now and build it for that,” Rud said.

Neighborhood meeting

In preparation for the 2021 street and utility improvement project, the City Council held a neighborhood meeting during its regular Thursday meeting. City Engineer John Powell presented on the project, which will impact the Third Avenue SW and Fourth Avenue SW area of town in May 2021.

Powell answered questions for a few residents who voiced their concerns at the meeting. The City Council will host the actual public hearing Thursday, Oct. 29 during its 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, giving residents a second opportunity to get their questions answered.

Rud encouraged all residents on the impacted properties to take photos of their mailboxes, houses, basements, bushes and other property features in case of accidents related to the construction.

Those unable to join the public hearing may call City Administrator Joel Erickson at 507-744-2327 or email jerickson@lonstel.com or Powell at 952-737-4661 or jpowell@wsbeng.com with questions.

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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