Council OKs direction on police headquarters

FRONT ROYAL – The town will ask an architectural firm to complete the design for a new police headquarters.

Town Council voted 5-1 at its regular meeting Tuesday to authorize the advance of the final design of the facility on 5 acres of property off Kendrick Lane and Monroe Avenue in the former Avtex Fibers site. The town bought the land from the Front Royal Warren County Economic Development Authority.

Councilman John Connolly made the motion. Vice Mayor Hollis Tharpe and Councilmen Bret Hrbek, Eugene Tewalt and Jacob Meza voted with Connolly to approve the action. Councilwoman Bébhinn Egger, who has voiced opposition to building a new facility for the police department, voted against the motion.

The latest estimate puts the cost to construct the facility at $6.84 million. The amount exceeds an earlier estimate of $5.67 million. However, the figure reaches closer to $9 million with expenses for geological studies, architectural and engineering services and new furniture.

Council agreed at a work session last week to direct Moseley Architects to design the headquarters to accommodate the department’s needs through 2040. Moseley is expected to complete the design in November.

Council plans to hold a public information meeting on the project in the future, Town Manager Steve Burke said.

Also at the meeting, council:
• Heard a progress report on the Leach Run Parkway project from Justin Campbell, with contracted firm Branch Highways. Crews continue to work toward meeting the completion date in November but the firm has asked for 29 more days beyond the deadline because inclement weather caused some delays.
• Approved a request from Cory Michael, president and chief executive officer of CBM Mortgage Inc., to change the name of a section of Warren Avenue that solely houses his new facility to Hometown Way, with the numeric address to remain 912. The firm intends to donate the funds necessary to cover the cost of a new street sign.
• Approved the purchase of replacement vehicles for the Police Department patrol division – three Ford Interceptor utility vehicles through a state contract for $32,770 per vehicle. The patrol division would remove a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria cruiser with 123,000 miles, a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria with 118,000 miles and a 2011 Crown Victoria with 82,000 miles. The total cost of $107,250, available in the department’s budget, includes almost $9,000 to cover exterior graphics, emergency lighting, weapons mounting, utility consoles, prisoner transportation and other equipment.
• Approved a resolution to allow the Front Royal Warren County Industrial Development Authority to issue bonds up to $6 million to assist Christendom Educational Corp. in financing or refinancing the costs to construct, renovate and equip a 30,141-square-foot dormitory at 134 Christendom Drive. The bonds also would allow Christendom to refinance debt originally incurred to finance the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of various improvements on campus such as athletic fields, dormitories, academic buildings, vehicles and other equipment. In response to questions asked by Councilman Bret Hrbek, Town Attorney Doug Napier said the action does not leave Front Royal on the hook for the loan.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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