The Edmond Sun

April 30, 2013

Public Safety Center costs increase

James Coburn
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — City staff is getting a clearer look at the cost of the Pubic Safety Center project.

City Manager Larry Stevens said the anticipated costs for constructing the facilities combined with soft costs will be about $37.5 million. Some of those estimated costs are not directly related to constructing the buildings but are associated with the project as a whole.

Bidding for the project began last week and a construction contract is anticipated by June 10.

Frankfurt Short Bruza architects has listed $2.209 million of possible adjustments for the project to reduce costs further.

The ballot for the safety center project did not specify a certain amount of money needed for the project, said Steve Murdock, city attorney. The ballot addressed the construction related to the Public Safety Center and its related facilities, Murdock said.

Edmond voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2010 to build the facility. Voters also approved Proposition No. 2 to allow the city to loan itself $7.2 million out of the Hospital Trust Fund with an improved return of investment on that trust fund.

“We want everybody to know that the amount of money to be collected in five years is sufficient,” Stevens said. City Finance Director Ross VanderHamm  projects the 5-year tax will bring in $39 million, Stevens said.

The 70,000-square-foot Public Safety Center will be built on a 1-acre site where the former City of Edmond Administration Building was demolished recently at 100 E. First St. It will combine the Edmond Police Department with Central Communications and Emergency Management.

Laboratory, vehicles, evidence-based storage and other related functions will be located at an auxiliary building at 315 W. 33rd St.

The budget reconciliation construction cost of the downtown Public Safety Center is $26.649 million, which is more than the $25.5 million the city discussed during the safety center campaign, Mayor Charles Lamb said. The headquarters cost of the fixtures, furniture and equipment of more than $2.432 million brings the downtown construction total to $29.373 million.

Funding the auxiliary building costs the city $4.543 million. Total construction and FF&E for both facilities is $33.916 million, according to Frankfurt Short Bruza. City staff had estimated a combined cost of $32.5 million for both the downtown and the auxiliary structures, said Bob Ricks, police chief.

“Those are always approximate numbers because you never know what you are going to go into,” Ricks said.

The safety center campaign originally outlined the need for fixtures, furniture and equipment (FFE) would come out the Police and Emergency Management budgets, Lamb said.

Hiring new employees and equipment change estimates left no funding for Police and Emergency Management to purchase FFE. So the FFE cost was combined with the PSC project budget.

 “So is the demolition,” Lamb said. “So is the street repair and the storm sewer repair that will be required to accommodate the facility.”

Storm drains will remove the existing problem of water accumulating at the northeast corner of Littler and Main streets.

Street and sidewalk repairs are part of the total infrastructure investment, Lamb said. The cost of a $900,000 geothermal application was not anticipated during the safety center campaign, Ricks said.

“I don’t think anyone would object to adding that because long-term it’s going to make the PSC building more efficient and save money,” Ricks said. “We may be able to recoup that cost in as little as five years.”

A new records management system costs $1 million; a capital expenditure the department could not have afforded without the Public Safety Center initiative, Ricks said. The new system is needed to modernize the system in order to perform services that Edmond residents demand, Ricks said. State-of-the-art consoles for the dispatch center will be about $500,000, Ricks said.

“Those are additional costs we did not have in the initial project,” Ricks said.

Items for developing the safety center include site preparation planning, constructing, equipping, furnishing and improvements, Murdock said.

“All those relate to the Public Safety Center, and I believe what we’re doing is consistent with what we submitted to the voters,” Murdock said. | 341-2121, ext. 114