Progress continues on our plans to relocate our police and fire facilities into a single public safety facility on the lot at 434 Haddon Avenue. To date, we’ve had five public meetings (with another planned for April) to keep everyone updated as we move through this process but we like to give new information every time we have the ability.
As of late winter 2019 we’ve finalized the location, footprint and general structure of the facility, which will merge our police and fire buildings and bring them into the twenty-first century with desperately needed upgrades. We are now examining the project in more detail – choosing materials, narrowing down costs to stay on budget, figuring out how to manage and improve stormwater concerns in the area, examining eco-friendly options and closely reviewing tech and floorplan layouts to meet the needs of our police and fire departments. We hope to have design finalized in March.
As we’ve said from the start, it is our goal that this project, as well as the plans to move our Public Works facility, will have little to no impact on property taxes. As we are retire old debt in the near future we will roll this project on to the books so there will be no increase as a result of improvements. I’ve likened it to purchasing a new car when the old one’s loan is paid off. There’s no doubt new facilities are needed – it’s our goal to bring them to fruition and give our responders what they need with no major disruption in our budget.
We are planning a special forum to specifically discuss public safety facility updates before our regular forum event on April 17, 2019 at the Scottish Rite Ballroom. We will have a PD/FD facility focused portion at 6 p.m. and move on to our general town forum at 7 p.m. I hope we see many of you there for both topics that evening. As we go along we have been answering a lot of questions about this project by phone and email and we encourage folks to reach out with any questions they may have at any time. I’m told it will be spring soon so feel free to stop me on the street once we’re all out enjoying warmer weather as well.
Below: A conceptual rendering of Collingswood’s new Public Safety Facility - designs are still being finalized.