Town investigating building police station on old Legion site

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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Town coucnillors and department heads during Mondays meeting of town council.

AMHERST - The Town of Amherst passed a motion directing town staff to prepare a request for proposals (RFP) for construction of a new police facility on the old legion site during Mondays meeting of town council.

"We'll review the proposals (the RFP's) and make a recommendation," said Robert Small, mayor of Amherst, after the meeting. "There's an established scoring criteria and we'll be following that criteria for this proposal."

The old legion, which was located in downtown Amherst, near the corner of Princess and Havelock Street, was torn down in March of 2013.

"We want to know what the cost is to put the police station on that property."

Council also passed a motion Monday night to cancel a previous RFP.

"We needed to cancel the RFP as it was laid out and put out a new RFP that outlines the requirements on that property to get costs from the open market."

The mayor defined the term RFP.

"That's where you go out to the market and say you are, for example, looking to construct a police station with a budget of $3 million and it has to meet all these characteristics and requirements," said Small.

Small says an RFP is similar to a tender but not as exact.

"It allows the person who submits the RFP to have some flexibility to what they propose."

Small said they hope to have the RFP's submitted by fall.

"We have a committee in place that will review the proposals, and then submit a recommendation to council."

The committee includes members of the police department, the chair of the police department, the mayor, the CAO and the town engineer.

The town was considering putting the police station in the old town hall.

"We want to do other things with the town and it's quite possible there are better alternatives for that old town hall than a police station, so council wants to consider those alternatives and understand what the cost would be on the old legion site," said Small. "It's a long term investment...so if it takes a few more months to get it right, council is going to make sure they get it right."

Before the motion was past by council a synopsis of the issue was read to council. The synopsis said significant changes have been identified since the former RFP was closed on March 27.

The synopsis, in part, said, "The design and construction of a new police facility is a major project for the town and there is a need to ensure all issues and opportunities are explored to ensue both short and long term needs of the community are addressed."

Geographic location: AMHERST, Princess, Havelock Street

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