A new home for Harrisonville’s police officers may finally be near, but not without spending more money than was originally budgeted.
The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a resolution by a vote of 6-2 to execute a $1.4 million agreement with Zahner Hansen Construction Group for the purpose of providing contract labor and site preparation for a new police station during a regular meeting Feb. 19.
During initial discussions, Harrisonville’s new police headquarters was on target to be completed by April 2012, yet hit a snag when bid for architectural work awarded to Jack Cotton, and his company Cotton Custom Designs, for $26,500 had been withdrawn in August 2011.
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, 2012 special BOA meeting, City Administrator Keith 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.
At that time, 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.
The agreement made on Tuesday does not include the cost of the 12,600-square-foot steel building that the city is looking to build for the new station, which was awarded as a second contract.
During the meeting, Moody also presented to the board a proposal to increase the facility’s budget by from $1.7 million to $1.95 million.
“I have incorporated the low base bid of $1,397,170 plus the $7,295 add for the sally port in order to show the amount that we are projected to be over our $1.7 million budget,” Moody said. “With a $70,000 contingency the total project will be $1.95 million.” This is how much it costs to build a new 12,600-square-foot steel building with a tornado-proof communications center on the site selected.”
Moody did not give any specific reason for the increase other than price increases since the city first began looking at doing the project, but did say that the city has the money in reserves.
“In the past two fiscal years (2011 and 2012), the police department has spent $367,000 less than budgeted. In essence these savings, which result in a larger general fund reserve, are the source of funds to cover the additional budget allocation for this project,” Moody said. “The unaudited general fund balance at the beginning of 2013 was $5,895,604, which is $2,736,419 higher than anticipated.”
During the time for public participation, Harrisonville resident Brian Hasek voiced concerns about the proposed agreement before the board for the labor and site preparation contract.
“Why are we increasing the budget,” he asked.
Moody responded, “Because that is how much it costs to build a 12,600-square-foot building on the site that we have selected. The city has the funds. We set aside a certain amount of money for the project based upon our estimates. Our estimates were wrong. This is what it costs to build this building in the location that the BOA has directed us to design for.”
Ward 3 Alderman David Dickerson asked the city administrator for another work session to discuss the project before voting on the proposal.
“I’m really kind of confused on all what you’re wanting us to do,” Dickerson said. “It seems like the price keeps going up and I don’t want to build something that’s going to keep costing money and having cost overrun problems. I know that I need to be brought up to speed on it.”
Moody said that the city can certainly schedule more work sessions to review the scope of the project, but the design of the project has not changed.
Following Moody’s response, Ward 3 Alderman Brett Reece then entertained a motion to approve the resolution. Ward 2 Alderman Morris Coburn, along with Dickerson, voted against the agreement.