The contractor for the new Montville Public Safety building was awarded a plaque Saturday at the ribbon cutting ceremony that honored him for “enduring the wrath” of Town Planner Marcia Vlaun. That presentation got lots of laughs from the members of the building committee and contractor himself. It’s not that Vlaun is unkind. She was just tenacious ensuring every detail was observed and she was deeply dedicated to the project.
“You can’t say enough good things about Marcia,” said committee member and Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell. “She fought and fought hard.”
When Vlaun was asked by a reporter after Saturday’s ceremony if the conclusion of the project was akin to the hours on Christmas Day when all the gifts have been opened and some feel that, ‘it’s-over-now-what’ kind of feeling.
“It’s not at all like that,” she corrected.
“Sometimes you get the opportunity to do something that really matters. That’s what this is, this building. It’s a real public works project done on time and on budget. It’s an important public building and I’m honored the building committee trusted me.”
And the taxpayers, she said.
“You have to be totally cognizant of the fact that you’re spending taxpayers money,” she said. “They trusted us with that and it’s a tremendous responsibility.”
And, Vlaun said, there might even be money returned; the project may ultimately come in under budget.
“Yes, I believe a small margin might be retuned,” she said of the $5.6 million project supported in part by a $750,000 state grant.
And that fact was something praised by Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman.
“In fact,” Wyman said directing her comments to the building committee, architect and contractor, “on time and on budget? When will you be coming to work for the state?”
The big day
Building Committee chair Jack Platt held the door for the literal hundreds of residents filing in to the public meeting room, all smiles and gracious when accepting congratulations for a job well done. And when asked how big a day it was for him he laughed: “Oh, it’s just another day.”
Well, not really.
Joining Wyman at the ribbon cutting Saturday to commend the residents for supporting the project, the building committee, Vlaun, and the project architect and contractor were local legislators Rep Kevin Ryan, Rep. Betsy Ritter (now Deputy House Speaker) and state Senator Andrea Stillman. Not to mention hundreds of Montville residents, past and present town officials, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, EMTs, dispatchers and many others.
And then there were the volunteers that helped make the event special including Boy Scout Troop 93 who prepared food and provide all manner of refreshments for visitors. Dime Bank, Stop & Shop and Montville Florist all sponsored the event providing support, food and floral arrangements respectively. And volunteers from Mohegan Fire Department and photographer Danny Coley were thanked for their support as well.
Brand panking new and impressive with its state-of-the-art features from a high-tech dispatch center to evidence lab and rooms and offices for administrators and specialized officers including animal control, youth and DARE to the detective squad room, prisoner control section and new detention and cell area, the Montville Public Safety building is at once impressive and inviting.
Children and parents, toured the cells and sally port, locker rooms and fitness area.
"It's really pretty spectacular," said Karen Mills who said she came to the ribbon cutting "to see what it was all about."
In the dispatch center Fire Marshal Ray Occhialini didn't get a break, everyone wanted to see the brains of the building and he was "thrilled" to share it. "Pretty exciting? Yes, yes it is," he said.
For hours people filed in to see what their tax dollars were paying for and not one could be heard sharing anything but praise.
“I just cannot express how overwhelming the response has been,” said Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel. “It is awesome.”