Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
New police department plans will be rebid
City still looking to build north of existing location
By Bethany Bashioum
The City of Harrisonville is still at the drawing board with their plans in helping the police department find a new home.
City Administrator Keith Moody said it is now his hope that the police department will be in their new space before next winter.
In initial discussions about building in 2011, Harrisonville’s police headquarters was on target to be completed by April 2012.
At the time, the Board of Aldermen had been presented a list of 19 potential sites. The board narrowed their selections down by touring several of the locations.
The board finally settled on a location - the parking lot on the north side of the current police station - property the city already owns.
“They felt that like that was the direction they wanted to go because it kept the police department downtown and it gave them a new building versus an older building,” Moody said.
The building was to be made out of steel, and in addition, the facility’s central communications room and an evidence room would be designed to be tornado proof in order preserve the department’s ability to communicate and protect computer equipment in case of a disaster.
The project went out to bid, but hit a snag in August 2011 after the bid for architectural work awarded to Jack Cotton, and his company Cotton Custom Designs, for $26,500 had been withdrawn.
During a July 2011 board meeting, the three elements of work for the new police station were considered: one for engineering work, one for geothermal work and one for the architectural work, including the internal finishing, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and floor plan.
According to Moody, at the time, the city came across a state statute that required a job as such to be performed by a licensed architect or architectural firm, and Cotton’s company did not qualify.
During the Aug. 15, 2011 meeting, alderman voted to re-bid the three work elements, although no time frame for collecting the information and presenting it to the board was given.
Nearly 16 months later, during a Nov. 8 special BOA meeting, Moody discussed the original costs, revised cost estimates, the bid or actual costs, and the potential or overrun for each budgeted item within the current floor plan, with building.
Moody reported that he had met with the low bidder and discussed some cost-saving ideas, including adding a sprinkler system, which would save money on fireproofing material, eliminating the majority of the retaining wall, and having the sally port sent as an alternate bid.
During the special meeting Nov. 8, Moody also presented the idea of reducing the size of the building to 11,000 square feet, from the 12,600 square feet originally planned.
“Right now, the office space is space is around 5,000 square feet total,” Moody said. “They would more than double their number of square footage.”
The plans will have to be revised by an architectural service, and put out back to bid.
“It’s been considered,” Moody said. “We’ve talked through that option, as well as modifying the plan to sprinkle the building, which should have a net cost savings.”
In addition to lengthy time that it has taken for the project to get completed, the city has also been criticized by claims that it is borrowing money out of the utility fund to build the police station, but Moody denied those rumors, and stated that the city has $1.7 million in general fund reserves to pay for the new police station.
Architect Jim Delmont spoke during the Nov. 8 meeting, and clarified to the board that removing the sally port would not have an impact on the plans, but adding sprinklers would add to the cost of making the plans ready to bid.
Delmont said that unless there are significant changes in the plans for the police facility, the bids are not going to be any better because everyone knows what everyone else bid before.
Moody indicated that the project would need to be put out for bid this winter, around the latter part of December or early January, in order for work on the project to begin in the spring of 2013.
Moody stated Nov. 20 that planning for bids will be due at the end of January.
“That gives the contractor really the best window to start construction,” Moody said. “I’m confident that if we get this bid awarded this winter, we’ll have a complete building by fall. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to do this.”