Continuous Growth & Improvement - New Public Works Building and Police Remodel and Expansion
New Public Works Building
For the first time in the history of Fairfield Township the Service Department will have a dedicated facility for their employees and work. Over the past decade, as the size and population of the Township have grown, the Service Department has not kept pace. As a result, staffing was behind, equipment failing, and operations pieced together. Over the past 5 years, the current Board has worked to address these issues. By doing so, they have created a Department that has the tools and manpower to offer responsive and high quality work to the community.
Since 2015, the Service Department went from 4 employees up to 7, almost doubling in size. In addition, new plow trucks were purchased so that each employee could drive a plow. This resulted in the most plow drivers in Township history. With over 70 miles of roadway this has taken a weight off of fewer drivers and allowed for better and faster snow removal for the Township residents. In addition to new plow trucks, the Department has added several F250's, a new dump truck, Bobcat attachments, a new mowtrim with boom, several zero turn mowers, a camera and snake to research pipes, and basics such as work boots, rain gear, coveralls, uniform service, a power washer and tool set with tool box. Providing the equipment and tools for Public Works has also added to the functionality and performance of the crew.
As a result of the growth in manpower and equipment, the Service Department rapidly ran out of room. Using the back portion of the old fire station on Tylsersville has been extremely inefficient and ineffective for the department. Not only is the building falling apart, but it floods turning rain and does not provide storage of any kind. As a result, millions of dollars worth of equipment have been left sitting outside or stored in miscellaneous areas throughout the Township. This is not only a waste of travel time, but has prevented challenges for other departments as they share their space.
Discussed publicly for three years, and based on the history listed above, the Board recently voted to build a new Public Works building on Gilmore Road using land owned by the Township. Sitting on approximately 2-3 acres, the building will have five bays, a large meeting area, proper bathroom facilities, a storage mezzanine, and a work area for the employees. Outside, concrete storage bins will allow the department to store cold patch, gravel, and other commonly used items. An enclosed dumpster will give them access to disposal which they have not conveniently had available. All equipment can be stored and protected in one building, saving time and continuing to allow the Service Department to become a contemporary and fully functional department.
The majority of the Board passed the project and decided to take a $5 million five year bank loan on this and two other projects. The Service Department was passed as a not to exceed $2.5 million and Cincinnati United Contractors (CUC) was awarded the job after use of a bid process.
Police Department Remodel & Addition
The Police Department began very modestly decades ago with constables that worked from home. In the 1970's and into the 80's a full time chief was appointed to run the small department. At one point, the Police Department shared space in the current Administration Building with Fire, Service, and Administration. Using one room, over time it became apparent that a more professional space was needed. In 2002 the first Police Department Building was built and met the needs of the growing department. Almost 20 years later, the Police Department has more than doubled in size and is running over 10,000 calls each year.
Currently the Police Department building is in great need of updates and repairs. Replacement of windows, roof, air conditioning, and carpet are just a few of the aesthetics that need addressed. The evidence room, interview rooms, and storage space are insufficient for operations at this time. In addition, the department no longer has space for roll call and for the detectives and sergeants. In the power point presentation prepared by Captain Doug Lanier, more is shared about current needs and challenges. Space, functionality, and security all play large factors in the need fro an addition and remodel.
As with any other Township project, the employees are available to answer questions, address concerns, or give tours. As stated above, a majority of the Board passed this project and decided to take a $5 million five year bank loan to fund the police remodel/addition and two other projects. This choice allows for the much needed projects while preserving the Township's cash position. The Police Department was passed as a not to exceed $1.5 million and Cincinnati United Contractors (CUC) was awarded the job after use of a bid process. After spending a significant amount of time working with the Police Chief, Police Captain, County Engineers, Economic Development Consultant, Administrator, and CUC, it was determined that a need for an additional $150,000 would be significant to the project. The benefit to functionality and security would be significantly increased which also better prepares the Township Police Department now and into the future. By performing the project correctly now, costs will be saved down the road. The Board unanimously voted by motion on June 10, 2020, to allow $1.65 million for the revised plans.