AGENDA #6b

 

MEMORANDUM

 

TO:††††††††††††††††† Mayor and Town Council

 

FROM:††††††††††† W. Calvin Horton, Town Manager

 

SUBJECT:†††††† Concept Plan and Preliminary Budget for Public Works Operations Center

 

DATE:†††††††††††† October 27, 2003

 

 

The following resolutions would establish a preliminary budget for the Public Works portion of the Town Operations Center.† The Manager recommends adoption of Resolution A, which would set the preliminary budget at $23,738,000 after the refund of an estimated $540,700 of sales tax. These figures include $1,120,400 for public housing maintenance, whose debt service could be paid by grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

Resolution B would establish a preliminary budget of $20,275,000 after the refund of an estimated $460,000 in sales tax. †It could be amended as the Council wishes.

 

The purpose of this memorandum is to present the best Public Works operations facility possible for about $20,000,000 and to provide options for the Council to consider in establishing the preliminary project budget.† We discuss the value of each of the various options, so that the Council can decide which, if any, of the additional options should be included in the concept plan and whose cost should be added to the preliminary budget.

 

SUMMARY

 

In order to present the lowest cost concept plan for the Public Works operations facility consistent with minimum functional requirements, we have reduced both the quantity of developed space and the quality of how it is developed.† We recommend changing the program and reducing space for those functions retained to minimize the quantity.† We also recommend maintaining a higher level of quality than the minimum that could be provided in the $20 million concept plan.† The quality enhancements relate to the values of sustainable development and environmental sensitivity and would, we believe, provide an example to the community of the high performance building techniques, systems and components; up-to-date stormwater management and neighbor-friendly buffering.† Including these quality enhancements, the proposed preliminary budget would be, after refund of sales tax, $23,738,000, or 10% lower than the $26,353,000 projected costs presented in September.† This recommended budget includes $1,120,400 for space for the Public Housing Maintenance function, for which debt service could be paid by grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.


 

BACKGROUND

 

Please see the background presented in Agenda Item #6a.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The original concept for the Town Operations Center included accommodations for the Public Works Department, Public Housing Maintenance Division, possibly another department currently housed in the Town Hall, and the Transportation Department.† However, in this memorandum we discuss only the area devoted to the first three functions.† The Transportation Department facilities are discussed in a separate memorandum.

 

There are currently four conceptual plan options, each with its own budget implications: †

 

Please see Attachment 1 for a table which details and compares the preliminary budgets for the three plans.

 

The original concept plan was based on a study of the current and projected needs of the Town, and guided by the principals of sustainable development, environmental sensitivity and fiscal prudence.† Below we will:

 

Our consulting team, led by Corley Redfoot Zack, included as sub-consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff, an international firm with wide experience designing local transit and public works operating facilities.† This sub-consultant played a primary role in helping us define the types and amounts of space needed for the operations that we identified.† From the space needs, we projected the costs, and presented them to the Council in June.† Then, we revised the plan and preliminary budget in September, based on a 15-year instead of 30-year planning horizon.

 

Tonight we present a plan that was developed in a different way: instead of beginning with the program (the functional needs to be met), we began with the target of the budget, $20,000,000.† From there, we tried to develop a facility that would accommodate as much of the functional program as possible.

 

DISCUSSION

 

The three interactive elements of any development plan are cost, quantity and quality.† If one of these elements changes, then one or both of the other elements also needs to change.† For example, if all three were in balance and quantity increased, cost would need to increase or quality decrease, or a combination of the two.† Or, if all three were in balance and quality decreased, then cost would decrease, or quantity would increase or a combination of the two could occur in order to restore the balance.†

 

In the present case, the Council has asked us to propose a plan that would reduce the cost by 26% from $27,000,000 to $20,000,000.† This required changes in both quantity and quality.† The discussion that follows illustrates how we first decreased the quantity of the proposed project, i.e., amounts of space of all types, and then reduced the quality of the proposed project in order to keep the cost set at $20,000,000.

 

QUANTITY

 

Functions to be accommodated in the $20 million concept plan

 

The $20 million concept plan we present tonight includes enough space, we believe, to accommodate the operations of the Public Works Department now and for approximately fifteen years after occupancy.† The plan proposes four major buildings totaling 66,800 square feet and would accommodate the following functions:

 

The $20 million concept plan also provides enough outdoor, uncovered storage area for about 156 Town vehicles, including sedans, pick-up and dump trucks, garbage trucks, and police cars and fire trucks needing repair and maintenance; and covered storage for vehicles and equipment.† Parking is also proposed for about 138 vehicles of employees and visitors.

 

About 13,500 square feet of covered storage area would be provided for storage of such items as riding lawn mowers, tar kettles and leaf machines.

 

Quantity of space in the $20 million concept plan

 

The quantity of space has been reduced to meet the cost criterion.† First, the planning horizon had been reduced from the original 30 years to 15 years, with the September 8 concept site plan drawn to facilitate expansions needed after 15 years. Further reductions in space have been made by, for example, deleting some corridors, reducing the size of all the crew rooms and equipment bays, reducing space for parts storage and warehousing, and moving the solid waste function from the fleet building to the field operations building, thus allowing a more compact design for the fleet building.† Because these reductions decrease potential flexibility, we expect that the space may become insufficient sooner than it would with more room, but that it should accommodate Town operations for approximately 15 years.

 

The quantity of space has also been reduced by further changes in the proposed program since September 8.† In the $20 million plan the Information Technology Department, which had taken the place of the larger Engineering Department in the September 8 plan, would be removed from the site, too.† Although space would remain for equipment and personnel needed for the Public Works and Transportation Departments, the Information Technology Departmentís Director and other staff would remain in Town Hall.

 

Additional changes in the program include building six canopied fueling stations instead of eight; deleting the compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel station; and, building only the truck wash station and not the automatic wash station for cars and small trucks.

 

The $20 million plan also deletes completely the space for the housing maintenance function of the Housing Department.† It had been included originally because the need for additional and more functional space had been recognized since the 1991 Comprehensive Plan for Modernization.

 

Space/Functions Compared by Plan

 

The amount of space that could be provided with even the most restricted of the concept plans would be a significant increase over what is available in the present Public Works facility.† We believe that the additional space is needed to improve both operational efficiency and employee safety by reducing crowding; reducing the need to wait for and/or rearrange a given space while it is being used for one of its other uses; and providing storage space so that parts, equipment, materials and tools can be kept available where and when needed.

 

The new facility is being designed to simplify traffic movements and to separate as much as possible pedestrians and vehicles, both around buildings and within the fleet maintenance building. An enclosed large truck-wash facility would be included, so that employees would not need to wash large vehicles outdoors in low temperatures and so that they could reach the tops of large trucks by standing on a catwalk, rather than by climbing on the wet truck itself.† An enclosed automatic wash for cars and small trucks, using recycled water, has also been included in the first two concept plans for cars and small trucks; the alternative would be, as it is now, to hold a hose outdoors in all types of weather.† Although the automatic car and small truck wash is not included in the $20 million plan, room would be left available for installation at a later date.

 

The following table compares the space involved in each of the concept plans presented to date: the 30-year plan, the 15-year plan, the $20 million plan and the Managerís recommended plan.† We also include estimates of space that is available now at the present site.† Because the space available now is so inadequate, we have included what Parsons Brinckerhoff has said would be appropriate for 2006 based on industry standards, with no expansions in services, employees or equipment from 2003.† While we do not expect necessarily to be able to meet such standards, we include them to help the reader evaluate the gap between present space and what has been proposed.

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