HARTVILLE  Council members took the first step in the possible construction of a new police department building by approving contract not to exceed $11,800 with Kent-based DS Architecture to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of such a project.

The firm specializes in safety services facilities and has constructed police facilities in Brimfield and Kent, as well as recently conducting a feasibility study for the Tallmadge Police Department.

The motion passed 5-1, with Councilwoman Bev Green voting against. Green said she was concerned with the cost of the contract and felt more builders could have been consulted.

Councilman Jim Sullivan, however, said the feasibility study is what is needed to begin the process.

“The only way we can do this is to have an architect design the building with everything we need in it,” Sullivan said.

Police Chief Larry Dordea agreed.

“I understand what you are saying about the cost, but this is what we need to push (the project) down the road and see if a police facility is viable,” he said. “And if it is, we will know what we need.”

A buildings reserve capital fund was also established at the meeting, making revenues from the recent sale of property in the village industrial park available for the police station or other building projects. Village Solicitor Ron Starkey said the village has received $21,000 for the sale of one of the parcels, with an estimated $300,000 in sales pending.

New engineer in town

Council also authorized Mayor Cynthia Billings to contract with CT Consultants for engineering and surveying services, as well as issuing a 30-day termination notice to former engineering firm IBI Group.

This legislation comes in the wake of former village engineer Rob Graham’s departure. Graham recently took a full-time position that represented a conflict of interest with his work with the village, Billings said.

BZA approvals upheld

Council also upheld two board of zoning appeals recommendations regarding parking lot size at Grinders restaurant and a conditional zoning request to allow firearms manufacturing and sales at a business at 1270 Wales Drive in the village industrial park.

No parking signs on the way

Upon the recommendation of Street Commissioner Nate Miller, council approved the purchase of 85 to 100 no-parking signs at a cost of $2,500, related to the village’s recently enacted parking ordinance.