In front of an overwhelming presence of its police force – a few of whom left (at least from view) after acknowledgement of recent departmental promotions – the Front Royal Town Council propelled forward construction of a new Front Royal Police headquarters Tuesday night, October 10.
Two votes passed by 5-1 margins, the first updating the amount committed to the project through the New Market Tax Credit Program; the second accepting a low bid of $7,736,001 (at least there wasn’t pocket change involved this time) for construction of a new headquarters on Kendrick Lane. The accepted bid came from Dustin Construction of Ijamsville, Md.
Only Vice-Mayor Eugene Tewalt opposed acceptance of the financing program and the $7.7-million construction bid. Tewalt restated his concerns about the ongoing positive impact of the tax credit program and the potential tax burden to fund construction on town taxpayers.
Tewalt tempered his opposition, stating he supported the police and knows they need a new and expanded headquarters. However, he restated his opposition to construction costs $1.7 million to $2.7 million above initial construction cost estimates given council over the past year-plus the project has been discussed.
“I know we can do better,” Tewalt told his colleagues of the projected costs of somewhere between $10-million with the tax credit program and $15-million without it within the structure of the 20-year bond issue anticipated to pay for the station.
Supporters of the project and its cost variables also elaborated that the approved two-building design is now anticipated to carry the department 40 years into the future without further expansion needs, rather than the 25 years initially forecast.
The first vote approved an increase from $9-million to $11-million committed to the project through the New Market Tax Credit Program. The staff summary of the change leading to a new resolution of support noted that as much as $12-million could be committed to the project through the program administered by the town-county Economic Development Authority. Reference our attempt to understand and explain the financial dynamics of the New Market Tax Credit Program in this recently published story see previous story.
Undercut in the construction bidding were two familiar names for local projects – Lantz ($7,775,000) and Howard Shockey & Sons ($7,840,000), both of Winchester. The fourth bid came from Keller Brothers of Mount Airy, Md. ($8,215,000).