New sher­iff’s sub­sta­tion work lag­ging

Ease­ments still re­quired from two Lex­ing­ton Park neigh­bors

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By JA­SON BAB­COCK jbab­cock@somd­news.com

Work to con­vert an old res­cue squad into a new sub­sta­tion for the sher­iff’s of­fice in Lex­ing­ton Park is now a year be­hind sched­ule.

St. Mary’s County gov­ern­ment is wait­ing on two ease­ment agree­ments from neigh­bors of the old res­cue squad build­ing — a bank and a church. “We just need those com­pleted prior to con­struc­tion,” John Groeger, deputy di­rec­tor of the St. Mary’s County Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and Trans­porta­tion, said this week in an in­ter­view. While the project is ready to have a con­struc­tion con­tract is­sued once the ease­ments are se­cured, it’s likely that work wouldn’t start un­til next spring, he said. The project is ex­pected to take up to 11 months.

Sher­iff Tim Cameron (R) said peo­ple in the Lex­ing­ton Park com­mu­nity are an­tic­i­pat­ing the new sub­sta­tion and have asked him when it was go­ing to be built, but didn’t know the ex­act cause for the de­lay. “I had not heard there even were is­sues with the ease­ments,” he said.

The neigh­bors of the build­ing at 21633 Great Mills Road are a branch of PNC Bank and The Church of the As­cen­sion.

The Lex­ing­ton Park Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Unit is cur­rently rent­ing space on the other side of Great Mills Road from the old

Lex­ing­ton Park res­cue squad build­ing, which is to be gut­ted and ren­o­vated into the new sub­sta­tion. The sher­iff’s of­fice is pay­ing about $525 a month for the tem­po­rary space, Cameron said, plus a small amount for util­i­ties.

When­ever the new sub­sta­tion is built, the com­mu­nity polic­ing unit will be housed there, along with pa­trol per­son­nel as­signed to Lex­ing­ton Park, Cameron said. Those pa­trol units now use space at the old Carver school on Lin­coln Av­enue in the Southamp­ton neigh­bor­hood. Cameron said that the Carver lo­ca­tion is “close, but not in the heart of Lex­ing­ton Park.”

The sher­iff said he hopes the ease­ment is­sues are worked out soon. “I still think it’s a good use of the build­ing,” he said, and would be a highly vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence on Great Mills Road, which would “pro­mote good in­ter­ac­tion” with the com­mu­nity.

“I think it will be a good fo­cal point,” Com­mis­sioner Todd Mor­gan (R), who rep­re­sents the Lex­ing­ton Park area, said of the sub­sta­tion. “We’re putting our money where our mouth is. I’m look­ing for­ward to it open­ing,” he said.

St. Mary’s County gov­ern­ment bought the 17,327-square­foot prop­erty in 2014 for $450,000.

The fis­cal 2017 county bud­get stated that con­struc­tion on the $2.9 mil­lion sub­sta­tion project was ex­pected in the fall of 2016.

The 6,060-square-foot build­ing will have its roof, win­dows, doors, in­te­rior par­ti­tions and util­ity in­fra­struc­ture de­mol­ished, in­clud­ing the re­moval of as­bestos, Groeger said.

The ren­o­vated build­ing will in­clude pro­cess­ing, meet­ing and con­fer­ence room space, three hold­ing cells, two in­ter­view rooms, a roll call and train­ing room, break room, ev­i­dence bay and stor­age area as well as a fenced ve­hi­cle sally port.

The Lex­ing­ton Park Vol­un­teer Res­cue Squad moved into the build­ing in 1976, and moved into a new fa­cil­ity nearby on FDR Boule­vard in 2014.

STAFF PHOTO BY JA­SON BAB­COCK

The $2.9 mil­lion project to ren­o­vate the old Lex­ing­ton Park Vol­un­teer Res­cue Squad build­ing into a new sub­sta­tion for the sher­iff’s of­fice on Great Mills Road is a year be­hind sched­ule. Two ease­ments from neigh­bors are hold­ing up con­struc­tion.

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