Ansonia PD to unveil plans for headquarters
ANSONIA — Residents will get their first look this week at the Police Department Headquarters proposed for the former Farrel corporate headquarters on 65 Main St.
The unveiling is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m., at Ansonia City Hall.
The architectural rendering by Jacunski Humes Architects of Berlin shows a sort of triple-tower concept, with the department’s emblem and “POLICE” in blue spelled out down the side of the concrete elevator shaft facing Main Street.
The site, which was vacated by Farrel following the company’s move to the Fountain Lake Industrial Park, was taken by eminent domain this spring after a sale agreement could not be reached with Shaw Growth Ventures of Greenwich and Beirne, N.Y. The city has deposited $1.85 million, which represents the average of two appraisals, with the Milford Superior Court.
Now the city is hoping to finalize a 40-year, $12 million loan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to refurbish the three-story, 85,000-square-foot building with a built-in-garage on the first floor as well as an adjoining parking lot.
“Assuming everything is accepted by the USDA, we could get a final finished design by December or January and put the project out to bid in March,” said Sheila O’Malley, the city’s economic development director. She said reconstruction work could begin in late spring or early summer, and that the project would take at least 10 months.
Ansonia Police Department Headquarters are now cramped inside the 122-year-old, former Larkin School on Elm Street, where there is very little parking and even less space to store evidence and detain prisoners.
O’Malley said there may be additional funding available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment and Remediation Grant. She said the city is planning to demolish an adjacent building which once served as Farrel’s headquarters before 65 Main was built.
Initial renovation work would begin with the roof, O’Malley said. It would then extend to life safety systems including sprinklers, alarms, locks, windows and doors. There would also be electrical work required.
The plan is to use 28,000 square feet of the top floor for the police department. There also is talk of establishing a regional police, fire and emergency dispatch and training center on the second floor. But that is something for the future, and if it happened it would require an agreement by all the Valley towns.
However, there might be some state funding for this, since state officials and legislators are pushing for regionalization in smaller communities.
Ansonia’s Police Building Committee consists of O’Malley, Corporation Counsel John P. Marini, Police Chief Kevin Hale, retired Seymour Police Chief Michael Metzler, Alderman Martin Dempsey, Public Works Superintendent Michael D’Alessio, Paul Heron and Police Officer Peter Lovermi Jr.
Marini said putting the station downtown directly at the end of the Maple Street bridge would increase response time and improve the character of the downtown commercial center.
“Businesses and consumers want to feel safe in their downtown,” Marini said. “Putting the police department in the heart of the downtown shows a serious commitment to keeping the area safe.”