In July’s newsletter I reported that City Council had authorized adding a question to the November ballot asking voters if they approve financing a new police station with general obligation bonds. If voters approve this measure, the city will be able to construct a centralized, efficient, 21st century police station that will consolidate and house the entire police department, the 911-Communications Center and the city’s Emergency Operations Center. The new 72,500-square-foot facility will be designed to function for decades to come and will allow for greater efficiency in operations, provide better service to the public and will improve the city’s ability to respond to disasters.
The need for a larger, consolidated police station has been under discussion for the past several years. The headquarters building on Apollo opened in the 1980s at a time when the size of the police department was half what it is today. The Babcock facility was added about 20 years ago, but it, too, is out of space. Both buildings are greatly deteriorated due to age and under-engineered systems. Needed renovations would cost about $7 million without providing one square foot of additional space to serve today’s needs or accommodate growth.
A new consolidated police facility — including design, construction, furnishings and equipment — is estimated to cost up to $35 million. Investing this money in a new facility will provide many benefits to Melbourne’s residents. It would also eliminate the need to spend millions on a project that would only renovate existing facilities without providing any additional service to the public.
Financing the design and construction of a new consolidated police facility through a general obligation bond allows the city to maintain its current levels of service, but it will come with a small increase in taxes. The additional millage required to fund the estimated $2.5 million debt service cost will be approximately 0.5998 mills. Based on current financing rates, a homeowner with a taxable property value of $50,000 will pay approximately $2.50 per month.
If voters approve the referendum on November 6, the city expects to be able to secure financing by the spring of 2019. Design and bidding would be completed by October 2019, and the new police facility would open in early 2021. Visit www.melbourneflorida.org/consolidated-police-facility for more information about project.
Melbourne Police Officers and Fire Fighters Recognized for Acts of Heroism
City of Melbourne public safety personnel were among the local heroes honored at the Melbourne Regional Chamber’s 10th Annual Valor Awards Banquet on August 22. Each year the Valor Awards honor local public safety and military personnel in the greater Melbourne region for acts above and beyond the call of duty.
Melbourne Police Department Officer Sean Kirby was awarded a Medal of Valor — the highest award for bravery and heroism.
One Melbourne police officer and three Melbourne firefighters received the Life Saving Award:
- Officer Jesus Lopez
- Firefighter/EMT Artur Gorski
- Driver/Paramedic Steve Clemons
- Lt. Darrell Sipplen
The following members of the Melbourne Police Department received the Award of Merit:
- Officer Maurizio Iervasi
- Communications Officer Stacy Davenport
- Communications Officer Wendy Luszczewski
The following members of the Melbourne Fire Department were also honored with the Award of Merit:
- Battalion Chief TJ Michaud
- Lt. Jody Kahler
- Driver/Engineer Josh Arnold
- Firefighter Jack Hozdish
- Firefighter Tim Jorgensen
- Lt. Clark Simmons
- Driver/Engineer Aaron Starkey
- Firefighter Derek Casa
- Firefighter John Jackson
- Driver/Engineer TJ Mares
- Firefighter Matt Graffam
- Firefighter Jon Turner
- Lt. Andrew Colbert
- Firefighter Rodney Calloway
- Firefighter Brent Dooley
- Firefighter Todd Olsen
- Lt. Phil McMenimen
- Driver/Engineer Kurt Schmidt
- Firefighter Eduardo Ribeiro
- Lt. Monte Rann
- Driver/Engineer Mike Grove
- Firefighter Ryan Gordon
- Firefighter Johnny Delaney
MPD Donates Traffic Safety Cones to Harbor City ElementaryAs Harbor City Elementary staff began preparing for the new school year they took an inventory of their traffic safety cones and found they were falling apart and were no longer usable. They began asking around to see if another agency could donate unneeded cones to them. In response, the Melbourne Police Department donated 10 safety cones that the school will use in its car loop this year.
Employee Excellence Awards
Pat Callahan (pictured center with Steve Innes on the left and Ed Gast on his right) was recognized with an Employee Excellence Award for his instrumental help in assisting new employee Steve Flowers in obtaining his Provisional Licensure in many categories. Pat’s due diligence and attention to detail in completing very difficult forms were the key factors in the Board’s approval. He also took it upon himself to coach Steve prior to his Board appearance, which gave him the confidence to answer questions from the board members. With this approval Steve now has the ability to help with the Building Division’s large inspection demand. Pat has repeatedly shown himself to be an exceptional employee who constantly demonstrates his commitment to make the division a success, and his can-do attitude makes him a positive role model for the city.
John Precious (pictured left with Ralph Reigelsperger) was recognized with an Employee Excellence Award for assisting another department with obtaining a Florida Department of Transportation Utility Permit for directional drilling a water main under NASA Boulevard for the Babcock Street project. John was able to provide a plan drawing of the work and obtain the permit within 2 weeks of submitting to avoid construction delays. John’s technical abilities and relationships with local permitting agencies make him a valuable part of the Public Works & Utilities team.
Congratulations to the following employees on their recent promotions:
- Michael Barker to Signage Services Tech II, Traffic Engineering
- Peter Burke to Maintenance Foreman, Wastewater Collection
- Courtney Morris to Communications Officer II, Police Support Services
- Steven Roberts to Fire Lieutenant Medic (Solo), Fire Operations
- Colene Smith to Senior Accounts Clerk, Utility Billing & Collection
- William Webb to Driver/Engineer Medic (Solo), Fire Operations
During the August 28 City Council Meeting, the mayor, council members and city manager congratulated and thanked employees who recently reached service milestones. Pictured from left to right are Council Member Paul Alfrey, Council Member Tim Thomas, Mayor Kathy Meehan, Carol Burns (30 years), Tammie Rodriguez (25 years), Council Member Teresa Lopez, City Manager Mike McNees, Vice Mayor Yvonne Minus, Council Member Betty Moore, and Council Member Debbie Thomas.
Welcome New Employees
Pictured from left to right: Ingrid Rivera, Code Compliance; Adelle Vazquez, Procurement; Tara Stanley, Police Support Services; Kevin Berg, Utility Billing and Collection; Idalmis Vega, Utility Billing and Collection; Ann Lenoir, City Manager’s Office; Tanya Snow, Lipscomb Community Center; John Taylor, Airport Police; Michael O’Dell, Airport Administration; Gary Hazell, Parks Maintenance.
- Patrick Naughton, Airport Police Sergeant, retired on August 23 after 28 years of service.
- Tom Urban, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic, retired on August 29 after 31 years of service.
- Pat Beal, Budget Analyst, retired on August 31 after 37 years of service.
- Rick Boychuk, Auto Mechanic, retired on August 31 after 36 years of service.