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Cops celebrate new quarters

Former chiefs travel to Juneau for opening of new police station

Posted: Monday, May 08, 2000

Except for the evidence room, all the nooks and crannies of the new Alaway Avenue police station will be open to public view during a gala dedication Friday.

Five hundred invitations went out last week to dignitaries and people who helped build the station. Everyone else is invited too, said Maggie Ford, secretary to Police Chief Mel Personett.

Official ceremonies will take place at 2 p.m. Friday. The open house will continue until 7 p.m., with food, drink and balloons. Children may have their photos taken in a police car, Ford said.

Each police station department has written a brief description of its functions, which will be posted.

``People can wander around at will, read the descriptions, and stop where they want to, to ask questions,'' Ford said.

Former police chiefs are being flown in for the event. Those who have accepted are Richard Gummow, Mike Gelston, Joe Ciraulo, Richard Burton and Patrick Wellington, said city manager Dave Palmer.

The cost to fly in the five chiefs is $2,985, he said. Transportation, balloons and cookies are being paid for out of the $70,000 left over from construction.

``(The new station) came in on time and under budget,'' said Palmer, ``and that's where we're getting the money for the dedication. I think it's appropriate to pay for the refreshments and to pay the airfare for the police chiefs.''

The $10.3-million station was funded through a temporary sales tax.

``If we had issued bonds, we probably would have paid twice as much as we did,'' Palmer said.

Personett called the new station, in the Lemon Creek area, ``a substantial public safety facility.''

``We want everyone to see the state-of-the-art enforcement facility we have now,'' he said. ``It's your building; come see it.''

Tim Sunday, secretary/treasurer of the Juneau building trades council, expects to meet and greet members who worked on construction of the station, including sheet metal workers, roofers, brick layers, laborers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians.

``We all want to be there,'' said Sunday, Teamsters' business agent for Southeast Alaska. ``We're glad it went the way it did, with union contractors, and it saved Juneau money, and came in under budget.''

One subcontractor on the station was Juneau Grasle Electric, headed by Carla Meek.

``We had a large crew working there, 20 to 30 people,'' Meek said. ``All of my electricians sincerely appreciate that the city actually is choosing to include the people who did the work -- instead of just the people who shuffled paperwork and got the funding.''

Meek said the police station is ``the first local project that the city has ever acknowledged subcontractors, and we all think that's a really decent thing.''



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