Police station delayed

Quicker response times by police officers is just around the corner when the new northside police station opens.

Quicker response times by police officers is just around the corner when the new northside police station opens.

Delays in obtaining materials, a death and contractor shortages have all combined to delay the opening.

The $8.5-million project, on 67th Street in Red Deer, is coming in on budget, city officials said earlier.

The opening is imminent, city community services director Colleen Jensen said on Monday.

“There was some scheduling issues but the most recent problem was a very sad one when the fellow who was the (construction) superintendent there was killed in a car accident,” Jensen said.

“That delayed a few things and we also had some issues with the computer hookup,” she added.

She said the building is ready to be moved into but that process hasn’t started.

It was originally scheduled to open in mid-January.

The station will have more than 24 officers and support staff shifting from the downtown RCMP detachment.

She said the delays have saved the operation some money. “In 2008, we had money in the operating budget for it and of course that wasn’t required. Part of the RCMP surplus at the end of the year was related to that.

“It’s not bad news. It’s more of an inconvenience than anything else,” Jensen said.

She said the shifting of personnel will give officers and staff more breathing room in the downtown station.

The north station will include RCMP traffic section, other offices and two holding cells.

All shifts will be covered and it will house 54 staff, including police and civilians.

Work on the new downtown station is moving well, she said.

Council budgeted more than $22 million for construction of that project. Other budgeted costs — land acquisition, furnishings, consultant fees and artwork — are expected to push the final total to about $30 million.

The new building with an estimated floor space of about 87,000 square feet will almost triple the existing downtown station.

Work is expected to be complete in 2010 on the site at 45th Street and 51st Avenue.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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