GARWOOD – The Garwood Council met on February 10 at Borough Hall for their biweekly meeting. During the meeting, a project manager for the future Department of Public Works (DPW) building and Police Chief James Wright gave presentations to the Council on their specific jobs.
The first presentation of the night came from Jeff Curry from DMR Architects, who provided a brief proposal for the DPW building. Mr. Curry started by showing the council similar buildings that DMR had worked on in the past. These projects include the Wayne Police Headquarters and the Montgomery Municipal Center. “Although they’re not the same scope or scale, the process is exactly what you had requested in your proposal,” said Mr. Curry.
The process for construction will include proposing multiple schematic designs, meeting with the town, picking the design they wanted to move forward with and then moving forward with building said design.
Mr. Curry presented a Proposal Overview. The first step will be to meet with stakeholders to go over the scope of the work and for people to ask questions. Based on that, DMR will provide three options: renovation of existing building, new building on existing site or new building on new site. The borough will then review and select one of those options. The last step would be design development, “which would be further refining of that design that you choose. Picking the major elements, the systems, things like that,” said Mr. Curry.
After the construction documents are finished, the bidding would go forward for construction. Mr. Curry said that DMR would handle distribution of documents and writing a recommendation letter to the council on who they believe should carry out the design based on price. He also said that DMR will provide cost estimates at every stage of the process, which allows for any adjustments to be made before the construction is done.
Mr. Curry gave cost estimates for each option that the council is considering. Depending on the options chosen, whether the DPW building is renovated or rebuilt, the price of the project would cost between $135,300 and $223,400, with the pricier option being that of building a new building at a different location.
The council approved the resolution to award the contract to DMR Architecture. It will take about a month to investigate the existing site. Mayor Sara Todisco said that a town meeting on the matter will be held after the investigation is done and a final decision on whether the building will be renovated or rebuilt will be done after that town meeting.
Chief Wright also gave a presentation to the council on the duties and services provided by the police department in Garwood.
Chief Wright said that, in Local Ordinance 32-5, the duties of the police department are spelled out. These duties include preserving the peace, protecting life and property, arresting and prosecuting offenders of the law, cooperate with other law enforcement agencies and to provide training among other responsibilities.
According to Chief Wright, there are currently 16 full-time law enforcement officers in Garwood, including himself. Garwood has one Captain, who is the chief investigator and helps the chief with administrative work. Two lieutenants are assigned to patrol and two sergeants assigned to patrol. One detective and nine patrol officers make up the rest of the police department. The non-law enforcement personnel include four dispatchers, eight permanent crossing guards and five alternate crossing guards.
Chief Wright also went over the types of permits that the police department gives out. These permits include dumpster, clothing bins, peddler permits, block party, temporary handicap placards and firearms I.D. Chief Wright singled out the peddler permits as a big one in Garwood. “It’s important to give us a call if you see someone knocking on your door if you don’t see…a permit wearing it on their person…We want to check these people out if they didn’t get background [checked] by us, we want to know about them,” said Chief Wright. He said that there are exceptions, including religious groups, who don’t need permits.
Chief Wright also highlighted the community outreach that the police department does. The police department has their youth academy, their Street Smart pedestrian safety campaign, their senior citizen liaison and Register Ready emergency contact list that help citizens in Garwood young and old.