The Port Washington Police District plans to build a new headquarters, about...

The Port Washington Police District plans to build a new headquarters, about a mile from the existing headquarters seen here. Credit: Howard Simmons

The Port Washington Police District is evaluating bids from contractors to continue work on a 1.47-acre property where it wants to build a multimillion-dollar headquarters, officials said Tuesday.

The district’s Board of Commissioners approved purchase of the property, which includes the former Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home and six nearby homes, for $8.8 million in November. The board used money from the district's capital reserve accounts for the purchase.

“While we are still working to solidify what this building is ultimately going to look like, we have started to conceptualize the site layout so we can begin all of the ground and environmental reviews to follow,” JB  Meyer, a district commissioner, said in a statement.

Since closing on Dec.19, district officials have hired an outside company to remove trash and overgrown vegetation from the property.

Police Chief Robert Del Muro said the district is considering bids for contractors to install a fence around the perimeter of the land and to demolish vacant homes on the property.

District officials are working with Melville-based H2M architects + engineers to develop a plan and have estimated that the new structure would cost the district another $30 million, money they plan to borrow in September. The district would have to get approval from North Hempstead town council members since it is a special district within the town.

“We’re building this not for today, but for the next 25 years,” Del Muro said Tuesday.

The district’s current facility houses 80 employees, including 64 police officers, crossing guards and dispatchers.

Built in 1958, the building was designed for 35 people, officials have said. The district has about 25,000 residents and Del Muro previously estimated officers respond to more than 9,000 calls annually.

While the project moves forward, some residents are asking the district to involve the community more in the process.

Longtime resident Jeffrey Rosenberg, 65, said he and other community members have questions about traffic, tax implications and environmental impacts the project may have on the area.

“As a community we need to be informed about what the plan is, as it is going to ultimately be funded by taxpayers,” said Rosenberg, who lives near the property.

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