By Katie Krall
Construction for the new police station in downtown Williamston is on schedule, said City Manager Alan Dolley.
It will be located next to City Hall, on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Cedar Street.
Official groundbreaking was on Sept. 8 and the construction crew began moving dirt the same day. Almost a month later, Laux Construction has set the foundation for the building. If weather allows, the crew will begin framing as early as Oct. 4, according to Dolley.
The city gets daily reports from the construction company on the progress of the new station. Dolley said there have been no major problems so far.
The biggest challenge for construction of the new location was selling the former police building, which was located at 1500 W. Grand River Ave.
The building sold to developer Travis Fritts, who plans to build a brew pub. Dolley said when the chance arose to sell the old station, put a business in it and put it back on the tax roll, it was only a matter of finding a temporary home for the police.
Williamston police are temporarily based at 781 Progress Court. The Department of Public Works shares the same space, but will remain after the police station is completed.
“We had the opportunity. We sold that (former police station.) We took the sale proceeds and that’s what’s helping pay for the new police department,” Dolley said.
Ellie’s Kitchen manager Brian Stiffler said bringing the police station back downtown is a good thing. The restaurant is on the south side of Grand River, across from City Hall and the new station.
“I don’t necessarily think anything will change, it’s just they’ll just be a lot closer if something downtown was to happen,” Stiffler said.
Construction is expected to be completed by February 2015 and is estimated to cost about $600,000, said Dolley.