York City will just barely squeeze a new police station out of a $5 million state grant.

On Tuesday, the York City Council approved nearly $4.7 million worth of contracts with companies that will transform the former City Hall at 50 W. King St. into a modern facility where York City Police can achieve accreditation.

It took a second round of bidding and negotiation with the general contractor, but the project should stay within its budget, said Jim Gross, the city's director of public works.

The city is making some sacrifices to make the numbers work, however.

The contracts approved Tuesday cover most of the construction work - electrical, plumbing, HVAC and general. Earlier engineering costs amounted to about $250,000.

That leaves a little less than $100,000 for the installation of an information-technology system, work that has not yet been bid. Estimates put the cost of that work between $100,000 and $150,000.

To stay under $5 million, Gross said, he'll have to keep the IT budget under $100,000 "or find another way to do it."

Also, instead of hiring a contractor, the city will use its own employees to move furniture about four times during the 18-month construction project, Gross said.

That's an expense that had been bid earlier for a cost of $43,000.

When construction is finished, city police will have access to new prisoner cells, an updated evidence storage system and flood-proof locker rooms. They'll have more space to interview witnesses and suspects.


Plans call for transforming the upstairs attic into a gym and training room.

Construction is expected to begin before November.

- Erin James may also be reached at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.