Following a lengthy two-and-a-half hour meeting, Frankfort Mayor Judy Sheets and members of the Frankfort City Council all had huge smiles of their faces because of three major decisions that has the possibility to reshape the City of Frankfort in the future.
Asked if the meeting was worth it, Sheets replied, “Absolutely. It’s been a great meeting. We got a lot things accomplished.”
What Sheets was specifically referring to was the unanimous passage of resolutions regarding the Frankfort Police Station and Iron Block Building plus an updated discussion regarding the Aquatic Center at TPA Park.
The City Council officially gave the go-ahead for the new police station on State Road 28 just east of Brock Grain.
“We’ve been talking about this since 2015,” said Frankfort Police Chief Scott Shoemaker. “But, even further back to 1830, we’ve never had a place that was dedicated to a police station. Now instead of being in the basement of the utility office or the basement of the water works or a old post office, we’re going to finally have a new building.
“After tonight, we’re going to start packing,” continued Shoemaker. “There’s things that need to be purged, there’s paperwork in the basement for the 50s and longer. It’s interesting stuff that we can’t really make public. We’ll have to shred a lot of stuff and we don’t want to take a lot with us. It’s been a great day.”
Sheets agreed that the police station has been a long time coming.
“It was 2015 when we first started talking about this,” Sheets said. “We just kept changing this and that and the other. That was one of the things when I came in. I said this is want and I want to see this happen. I want that police station to come to fruition and he we are.”
The cost of the project is $7.9 million, but was amended to not to exceed $8.5 million. It is hoped to be ready by the fall or winter of 2022.
The council also passed a resolution approving the change of terms for financing documents between Frankfort Main Street and the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce. This was basically the same agreement reached by the Frankfort Redevelopment Commission late last month when the Redevelopment Commission agreed to forgive a $103,400 loan.
What this agreement does is allow the Chamber to move forward with plans with offices on the second floor as well as a huge conference room and, most likely, an elevator.
“I think this is a much needed thing in this community right now,” said Sheets.
The discussion on the Aquatic Center wound up with the council giving Sheets the go-ahead to signoff on the redesign of the project. Sheets said she wants to keep the project under $10 million. However, current cost estimates are not readily available because of the rapidly rising cost of materials since COVID-19 needed for the project. She did say that the concession stand will most likely be taken out of the project with the lap pool and one of the slides up in the air.
Cost estimates for the pool back in early 2020 were between $8.4 million and $9.3 million. Since the start of this year, lumber prices have jumped 73 percent, steel is up 50 percent and there has been a 17 percent jump in overall costs.
“As soon as we get that (the redesign) back in, then I know we’ll be back in front of the council to talk about the costs,” said Sheets.
Originally, the opening date for the pool was slated for 2022. That has now been pushed back to March or April of 2023.
After the meeting, Sheets was asked about the future of Frankfort.
“I think we’re growing,” she said. “We’re growing economically and in numbers. I’m just looking forward to seeing how great it’s going to become in Frankfort. It’s been along time coming. We’re ready.”