Podcast: First Selectwoman Candidate Amy Murphy Carroll

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we’re publishing our interviews with two candidates for New Canaan’s highest elected office. Today we hear from Democrat Amy Murphy Carroll. We interviewed her as well as Republican Dionna Carlson at New Canaan Library on the morning of October 13th. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

 ’It’s Really Not OK’: Finance Board Chair Comes Down on Spending ‘Contingency’ on Police Station Renovation

The chair of the Board of Finance this week called for the team overseeing the extensive renovation of the New Canaan Police Department to tighten its belt with respect to spending a total of $2.6 million budgeted for contingencies on the project. 

That figure—$700,000 in contingency for Shelton-based Turner Construction, which is providing construction services, plus $1.9 million for the town—only applies to the recently set $20 million guaranteed maximum price for the South Avenue project, not for the full $29 million price tag that also includes soft costs such as insurance and creating a temporary police headquarters, according to finance board Chair Todd Lavieri. “I really can’t impress upon you enough how important that is not to be spent,” Lavieri told members of the Police Department Building Committee during the Board’s special meeting, held Tuesday night at Town Hall and via videoconference

“We have to be careful that that’s not really kind of code for ‘it’s budgeted for’ ” he continued. “It’s not budgeted for .. and we can have this meeting again in October, and I can bring you the deck that we went through, and it was a $17 million renovation, and it’s now $29 million. I’ve just got to send the message: It’s not there to be spent.

Police Station Renovation: GMP for Construction Set at $20 Million

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved an amendment to the town’s contract with the construction manager of the New Canaan Police Department renovation that sets the guaranteed maximum price or “GMP” of the project at $20,235,000. 

Another $5 million has been budgeted for soft costs, with about $2 million each for a temporary police headquarters downtown during the renovation and contingencies, bringing the overall cost of the project to about $29 million, according to Joe Zagarenski, senior engineer in the Department of Public Works. The total represents the same figure that members of the Police Department Building Committee presented to town funding bodies in July, Zagarenski told the selectmen during their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

“It’s the same project, it’s just further developed and competitively bid now,” Zagarenski said. The appointed Committee has put forth a project to retain the historic architecture of the 1927-built red brick building at 174 South Ave.—originally built as the first New Canaan High School—while fully renovating it. The project also will see the addition on the rear of the structure replaced with a new one for parking and with a sallyport and jail cells. Officials have referred to the project as the renovate-as-new or “Town Hall option,” as a similar project had been done about eight years ago with the expansion and renovation there. 

Officials have said the project could start around Thanksgiving of this year and finish in the fall of 2025.