Mason City council approves bid for Police Department remodeling project

MASON CITY — Despite being almost $400,000 over budget, the City Council in Mason City last night approved awarding a contract for the city’s Police Department remodeling project. 

The city had budgeted $950,000 in the current capital improvements budget for the project, which includes a new evidence suite, new locker rooms, plumbing and lift station upgrades, and other facility updates. Four bids were opened on August 22nd, with the lowest coming from Kingland Construction of Forest City for $1.347 million.

Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says based on discussions with the architect and city staff, there was a consensus to move ahead with the project and amend the budget to reflect the higher cost. 

Brinkley says the department should not have too many problems while the construction is taking place.  “Right now I think we’re in pretty good shape. We’ve got to move our long-term evidence storage to a different part of the building in the basement. We’ll move some cameras to make that happen. We’re going to be able to maintain bathroom facilities because the lift station downstairs leaves the building in a separate spot from our upstairs bathroom, so we’re never going to be completely without restroom facilities in the building. We feel pretty good about it. We’re expecting maybe two or three weeks of heavy jackhammering of block removal back in the jail cells. That isn’t going to be fun, but it goes with the project, and we’ll work around making it happen.”

The project is scheduled to get underway this fall and last 12-to-15 months.