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More than $1.4M to finish PD station, new fire hydrant needed

This fire hydrant at the new police station does not meet fire code regulations and a new hydrant will need to be installed at the cost of $6,000. (Ben Felder)

Finishing Piedmont’s new police station will take more than $1.4 million and the city will have to pay an additional $250,000 to ensure the facility is furnished with needed technology and other tools.

The new station, currently under construction next to city hall on Edmond Road, is expected to be finished sometime this summer. According to a breakdown of expenses from City Manager Jim Crosby, the city has $596,911 left in its grant from the federal government, $320,722 in a loan from F&M Bank and $251,640 remaining in a capital improvement fund. However, the $1.4 million to finish construction does not include expenses for furniture, storage, closed circuit televisions, computers, phones and other items the department says it will need to have a functional police station.

The extra expenses to furnish the inside of the building total more than $100,000 and  includes $6,000 for a new fire hydrant after it was discovered that the one currently installed at the new station does not meet fire code regulations.

A fire hydrant was installed on the south side of the new police station along a service road but the road is not wide enough according to fire code regulations. In order to meet code the city will have to install a new hydrant on the north side of the building.

“The (current) fire hydrant location was in the original plans for the police station,” Crosby said. “What happened after that I couldn’t tell you because I wasn’t here.”

Crosby, who was hired this month as the city’s permanent city manager, said the plans for the police station required approval from the city engineer who is supposed to consult with the fire department on issues of fire hydrant placement. Fire Chief Andy Logan said he was never shown the plans for the new police station and the current location of the fire hydrant was ultimately approved even though it did not meet code.

During a council workshop on Monday several members of the city council asked Crosby about charging the city engineer or architect the $6,000 for the new hydrant. Crosby said the mistake was caught by the site contractor after it was too late.

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