Town moving forward with public service center
Truckee’s town council voted to move forward with construction of Phase III of its public service center, despite a $4 million shortfall in the budget.
The budget for the project is $8.4 million. The only construction bid received was from McCuen Construction for $12.8 million, around 35% more than what the budget allows.
“We went through quite a bit of effort to evaluate that and come to a conclusion that we think that is the true value and true cost of the project,” said Dan Wilkins, director of public works.
After evaluating the company’s individual subcontractor bids, each bid was within 20% of one another. The town also employed a professional construction cost estimator to do a review of the bid which they concluded was reasonable.
Moving forward, town staff will look at eliminating elements of the project to reduce the costs. This may include eliminating an ice-removal system, removing windows, or downgrading interior finishes in the police evidence storage space and transit offices. This could potentially reduce the cost by $700,000 to $800,000. According to a staff report, accepting the bid offer now, with no construction contingency, is the cheapest option in the long run.
Town staff has not completed the 2019 to 2020 budget. According to Kim Szczurek, administrative services director for the town of Truckee, they are proposing the Town Council use $10 million in general fund cash for the project.
“We’ve carried a pretty healthy undesignated fund balance for quite a while,” said Szczurek. “That has given the council the opportunity to make decisions like this one.”
STILL TO COME
Phase III of the project would include the construction of a 17,521-square-foot building for police, evidence and large vehicle storage and a 18,736-square-foot facilities maintenance workshop with transit offices and vehicle storage.
According to a staff report, the reason the cost of construction is much higher than the town’s budget was due to the fact that the budget was based on two-year-old construction cost data. In addition the project scope has changed since the adoption of the budget to allow for the relocation of transit services to the service center.
Current storage sites for equipment are scattered around town. While facilities maintenance personnel is housed at one location, their work space is located at the old corporation yard, Wilkins said. The new buildings would allow for all the town’s maintenance and transit operations to be at a centralized location with 25% more workspace. This will allow for more efficiency in inspecting and maintaining the town fleet, according to a staff report.
According to Wilkins, the buildings were designed to anticipate the community’s needs in 10 to 20 years.
Phase I of the service center was initially approved in 2008 and included the development of the town’s corporation yard, fueling facility and dormitories for emergency response teams. In 2010, Phase II brought the construction of the joint Town of Truckee and Tahoe-Truckee Humane Society animal shelter.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-550-2652.
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The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is addressing the threats of climate change by hosting a webinar on Friday, March 5, on the region’s greenhouse gas emissions.