August 20, 2014 - Work on an 8,500-square-foot addition/interior renovation project at the Oxford Township Hall (300 Dunlap Rd.) is expected to begin by Sept. 1.
Last week, the township board voted 7-0 to hire the Orion Township-based Dailey Company to do the construction work for the bid price of $1.019 million.
The company submitted the lowest of the four bids received. The highest bid was $1.115 million submitted by Degenhardt & Sons, Inc. in Troy.
In order to help fund the project, the township board voted in December 2013 to transfer $985,000 from its general fund reserves to its building and site fund.
The township is planning to construct a 4,700-square-foot addition to the northern side of the hall. The upper level will consist of a 2,350-square-foot meeting room capable of accommodating an audience of 100. The lower level will consist of 2,350 square feet of unfinished space for future use.
Using existing space in the township hall's lower level, officials are planning to construct a 3,800-square-foot substation for Oakland County Sheriff's personnel.
The project is to include locker room facilities for 20 male and 10 female officers, a break room, reception area, public restrooms, detective room, a report writing area, secure storage for evidence, a room to write reports, two interview rooms, two command offices and general storage.
According to township Supervisor Bill Dunn, the sheriff's substation is expected to be finished in January and the 4,700-square-foot addition in February.
The addition will allow the township to move its various meetings from the Oxford Veterans Memorial Civic Center (28 N. Washington St.) to the Dunlap Rd. facility.
This would enable the township to rid itself of the aging building, commonly known as the Vets Hall, that costs much more to maintain than it generates in revenue from being leased for private functions.
Although it would be up to the township board to decide the Vets Hall's fate, Dunn told this reporter he's suggested it be given to the parks and recreation department to do with as it sees fit.
"They could use it. They could sell it.Whatever," he said. "They could stop paying rent to the village and move their office there."
The parks department current leases space inside the village's municipal complex on W. Burdick St.
If the Vets Hall was ever sold, there's a restriction in the deed that requires the proceeds must be used for some type of community center, according to Dunn.
"Whoever buys it, gets the building, but not the parking behind it. That's still owned by the township," the supervisor noted. "We could sell it to whoever buys the building as a package deal – the money for the building goes to a community center and the money for the parking goes to the township. Or we could sell those spaces to the village."
Given a group of senior citizens currently meets a few times a week at the Vets Hall to socialize, Dunn believes the township would "need to find a place for them" should that building ever cease to be available for their use.
"We can't just forget about them," he said.
Moving the sheriff's substation to the township hall would provide the officers with more space for their current and future needs.
Currently, the substation is located within the Express Mini-Storage facility at 2121 N. Lapeer Rd. The township leases about 2,000 square feet for $15,600 per year, plus an additional $200 to $300 per month for utilities.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.