CLINTON — Selectmen this week approved the latest design plan for a new police station and intend to have the project on the ballot next November to seek voter approval.

The project would expand the town office to provide more space for the police department. Officers are not allowed to bring those who are arrested back to the cramped station for processing, because the town’s insurance carrier found it to be unsafe.

“We’re still in the early stages of everything, but we’ve got a good start going here. And I think we have a good plan moving forward,” Jeffrey Pierce, chairman of the public safety building advisory committee, told selectmen Tuesday.

The town has been working with Fairfield-based Dirigo Engineering on the project and selectmen approved a motion to waive the bid process and continue to work with Dirigo.

The next steps for the police station will be to develop a final design and go to bid for construction so the town can have a final cost before a vote. In order to get the project on the November ballot, the design and cost will have to be ready by the end of August so the board can declare the first public hearing in September.

After the meeting, Town Manager Earla Haggerty said that she does not have a cost estimate for the project she is prepared to share publicly, because it will likely change.

While selectmen agreed to continue working with Dirigo, they still have to sign a contract with the firm that will include the final cost of services. That will likely happen at the next meeting Dec. 28, Haggerty said.

The second half of the town’s public safety buildings project is focused on the fire station. Residents in November approved the purchase of land at 37 Baker St. for a future fire station, and Haggerty said she had a meeting planned for Friday to close on the property.

Town officials plan to demolish the building currently on the property.

Selectmen also approved $7,000 to be used for a preliminary site plan for the fire station. This will give an early design for the building and evaluate the traffic flow to ensure that it won’t interfere with the police station expansion next door.

Before construction can begin for the fire station, the project will also have to get voter approval, and town officials do not anticipate that happening for several years.

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