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Building of new Harvard police station tentatively to go out for bid in March

Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause in January 2019 discusses some of the conditions he and his fellow officers deal with at the Harvard Police Department, including a front waiting area heavily damaged by water.
Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause in January 2019 discusses some of the conditions he and his fellow officers deal with at the Harvard Police Department, including a front waiting area heavily damaged by water.

The city tentatively is scheduling to go out to bid for a new police station by March 30, Harvard City Administrator Dave Nelson said on Monday.

Earlier this year, the Harvard City Council approved a $5 million bond issuance for the new police station and possible improvements to Harvard City Hall, 201 W. Diggins St. The city would be required to pay a total of $330,000 annually over the course of the 20-year loan with a 2.65% interest rate. Plans include trying to refinance the bonds in 2023, hoping to receive a lower interest rate.

Harvard Mayor Michel Kelly had said in June that construction was expected to begin this spring.

On Tuesday, the City Council will vote to form a special committee consisting of Kelly and Alderman Carl Opper, who chairs the city’s Finance and Personnel Committee, to provide oversight to the project on a weekly basis.

Nelson said this was suggested because certain decisions, like the approval of contracts or change orders, may not be able to be put on hold until the City Council’s monthly meetings.

The police department’s current building, which sits at 201 W. Front St., was constructed as a Loyal Order of Moose lodge in the 1950s and has served as the city’s police station for about 30 years. Because it was not constructed as a police station, the building lacks certain amenities, such as a sally port that is used to help with transporting people who have been arrested.

The second floor of the building also is used for Harvard City Council meetings.

Over the years, the building has experienced multiple flooding and plumbing issues.

Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause had said that staff needs to keep a sump pump in front the station anytime rain is forecast to prevent flooding. Sometimes, this requires sandbags to be used.

Two summers ago, carpeting had to be pulled up in several offices after heavy flooding.

Rotting plumbing also led to a burst pipe in the station’s evidence room several years ago and has forced officers to pull urinals out of the staff’s private bathroom.

The City Council meeting will be at
7 p.m. at the police station.

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