City awards contract for police HQ

March 02, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The Westminster City Council awarded a $658,000 contract to Hostetter Construction Co. last night to convert a former auto parts store into police headquarters, but deferred action on an elevator to increase accessibility for the disabled.

The council's consensus at a special meeting favored an elevator despite strong opposition from Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr., who said he doesn't think one is needed.

"I see this council going more to spending and taxing, and I don't like it," he said.

An elevator would bring the cost to $752,000, said architect Paul Clark of Colimore-Clark Associates.

Mr. Clark asked for a deferred vote on the elevator to allow him to negotiate a price with the contractor after the council decided to eliminate a planned third floor.

The debate grew heated as Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein argued that the city has an ethical obligation to make its buildings accessible.

Mr. Chapin countered, "We don't have a handicapped [police department] employee."

Said Mayor W. Benjamin Brown, "You're saying we're not going to hire one."

Mr. Chapin responded, "That is not what I said. Don't put words in my mouth."

Mr. Clark said the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require an elevator. But without one, a disabled employee would have to go outside and around the building to get from one floor to another, and could complain to the federal government that that's not adequate access, Mr. Clark said.

Police Chief Sam R. Leppo refused to say whether he favors an elevator, but said that if one was there, officers would use it.

Hostetter's bid was lowest among 17 the city received for the project.

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