Police and Fire design feedback forum, December 2018

Just wanted to give a quick update for those that were not able to make the latest of our community meetings regarding Collingswood's Police and Fire building. We had a lot of residents join us on December 5 to hear updates on the project. Here are the highlights:

With all your feedback, we are starting to finalize the "look" of the building which you can see below. Our team took inspiration from the historic architecture around town like the Zane Schoolhouse and Borough Hall. It will house both our departments with the equipment and technology they require, but currently lack.

This dual facility makes an extremely efficient use of design by sharing spaces between departments. We were able to touch on grant funding we are exploring and efforts to make the building as green as possible. Our architects noted that Collingswood is remarkably considerate of sustainable design - more so than most other towns. Regarding finances, our belief is that we can fund the project with minimal tax impact. As we retire old debt we are confident we can absorb the cost of this new project and keep our budget steady for residents with no major increases for taxpayers.

As we progress through engineering phases we will get more detailed answers regarding traffic and stormwater management. A lot of the questions we heard revolved around these topics but we do not have that information yet. We are able to say that any work done will improve flooding issues in the area as we plan for infrastructure improvements. It is our goal to make our new home for Police and Fire appropriate for their needs and to fit it as seamlessly as possible into its new location, the surrounding neighborhood and Collingswood in general.

We will continue to work on the project through winter and host follow up forums in early 2019. We have been hosting tours of the current police and fire buildings before our town forums which illustrated to several attendees how desperately we are in need of new facilities. If you missed those tours, and want to see our current buildings or have questions for our Chiefs you can email them here (Fire Chief Keith David) and here (Police Chief Kevin Carey). You can see the live stream of the Dec 5 meeting here and you can always email me with questions at jmaley@collingswood.com. We're looking forward to sharing updates and hearing your feedback.