Hamlet moves forward with new police building
By Amanda Moss
HAMLET —The city of Hamlet has taken the first steps to renovate the A&P building for the new headquarters for the Hamlet Police Department.
The city purchased the former A&P grocery store building, located across from City Hall, for $50,000 — a low price not offered to the general public. The building was purchased due to the lack of space in the current headquarters.
The city of Hamlet, under former Mayor Jeff Smart and the council, approved on Dec. 17 a contract with Summey Engineering Associates for engineering and design services. The price of these services are $28,500 for engineering and design services and up to $7,800 for construction specification and bid services.
Hamlet Police Chief Amery Griffin presented on Thursday during a public work session the first product of the contract with Summey — the engineering floor plan. Griffin said that Summey measured the building, made a drawing of the existing conditions and how the police department could be laid out in the building.
Details of the floor plan were not discussed. The hour-long meeting came to a close after a city official had a family medical emergency.
The floor plan is just the first of many plans that are expected from Summey. Griffin said the plans for mechanical, plumbing, heating and air have not been finished.
Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless asked for a rough estimate on getting the roof replaced on the building. Griffin responded that he didn’t know exactly, but a rough estimate would be $60,000.
The roof will not be the only work that is done on the building and Griffin had done a previous estimate on the total cost of everything under the direction of Hamlet City Manager Marchell David. Griffin said the total cost would be up to $364,000 if the renovations were bid out correctly.
Griffin noted that did not include plumbing, electrical and any updates to the parking lot.
“It doesn’t have to all be done at once,” Griffin said. “Get the roof on, get the electricity in it and go from there.”
Councilman Johnathan Buie brought up a suggestion during the work session to potentially change the purpose of the A&P building.
Buie suggested the city look into either redoing the building or tearing it down to build a new Hamlet City Hall and give the police department the existing City Hall building for its headquarters.
While this suggestion was considered, the council decided to keep the A&P building as a police headquarters.
“We need to give the PD the space that they need,” said Councilman Pat Preslar. “This is not something that is impossible. We want to give them a good, comfortable workspace. We’ve been talking about it for years and we need to work hard in finding a way to make this happen.”
The issue of the phone system at City Hall became a topic of discussion at the work session.
Councilman Tony Clewis brought up the idea of trying to help out the administrative team of the city of Hamlet.
Gail Strickland, a member of the administrative team, said the phone system at City Hall was very old and that the team even had issues recording messages to let the public know the building would be closed.
Buie made a motion to check on how much it would cost to update the system as well as add in the ability to record phone conversations that come into City Hall. The council voted 5-0 in favor of checking on the cost to fix the telephone system.
The temporary employment of Brent Garner as city attorney comes to an end today. The council voted 5-0 to ask Garner if he would be interested in extending that for another month.
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