Gardner voters will be asked whether to approve issuing $13.7 million in bonds for a new justice center on the Aug. 7 ballot.
Council members have been discussing a proposed Justice Center to house the police department and municipal court for several years.
In 2016, the city purchased 15 acres of land off 167th Street. Need for a new building was first determined in 2013 when the city conducted a study of the current Gardner Police Department facilities, and they were graded as inadequate.
The police department is currently housed in the community’s former telephone company office; it’s been remade and reconfigured several times. Gardner’s population has doubled during that time.
An architect’s study done in 2015 to determine community needs and cost estimated construction then at $8.9 million.
In the past two years, current cost estimate to construct the facility in 2018 has grown to $13.7 million.