SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
DATE OF MEETING: September 27, 2004
TIME OF MEETING: 2:30 P.M.
PLACE OF MEETING: RED BLUFF COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Councilmembers Present: Forrest Flynn, Mayor
Larry Stevens Mayor Pro Tem
Councilmembers Absent: NONE
Staff Present: Susan Price, City Manager
Richard Crabtree, City Attorney
Charlie Mullen, Planning Director
Cheryl Smith, Deputy City Clerk
1. CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – ANTICIPATED LITIGATION: One potential case.
Mayor Flynn announced that the City Council during the Closed Session had decided to retain Mike Shepherd, Attorney at Law, to prosecute in a personnel hearing.
At 3:02 p.m. Mayor Flynn called
the Special Meeting to order.
There were no citizen comments.
1. POLICE FACILITY FEASIBILITY STUDY
Susan Price, City Manager, introduced Nick Ambrosia of Thomson & Hendricks.
Mr. Ambrosia reviewed the Police Facility Feasibility Study. Some of the items that currently are not available at the current site are fenced parking for patrol vehicles as well as employee vehicles; bullet proof glass in the front office; women’s locker facilities; refrigerated storage for DNA as mandated by state Department of Justice; storage for evidence. They have tried to plan for the next 20 years and feel that 20,000-21,000 sq. ft. would serve the needs of the City and allow for future expansion. Eight sites met the criteria set for the facility and of these the old Kmart building appeared to be the best fit that would allow for future growth. Option A, which is the cheapest, would keep the current existing Kmart building and remodel. Option B would be to destroy the existing building and rebuild on that site. The study is proposing 524 sq. ft. per employee.
City Manager Susan Price stated that a great deal of time was spent on what kinds of things should be at the facility and what type of space would be needed.
Mayor Pro Tem Larry Stevens questioned if when deciding on the old Kmart building was consideration given to the relocation of City Hall offices and City Council Chambers from the congested area of downtown, to have a City Services Center, similar to what Redding did.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that it was considered under Option B. The rebuild could allow for additional City offices be located in the same building, similar to the One Stop Services that the County of Tehama has planned for the old Montgomery Ward building.
Mayor Flynn stated that the old Kmart building is approximately 27 years old and wondered if it would be a liability rather than an asset to try and renovate it.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that they have looked at the building and it is steel framed building, with masonry walls, which are holding up quite well. There is some ground water coming up through the asbestos tiles, which would have to be abated and they have not looked at the roof, but would assume that it needs a new roof. Even with this he did not feel this would be a liability to the City.
Mayor Pro Tem Stevens would like to see some shade areas brought in and areas in and around the front area that would be warmer to the public, as well as the employees who are working there.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that they had allowed 9000 sq. ft. for landscaping needs. The estimated land cost would be $50/sq. ft. of the Kmart building and the estimated construction cost would be $300/sq. ft. It would most likely take five (5) years to get the funding needed for the project.
Option A -- $15,117,000 – Which would remodel about 8,000 sq. ft and the rest of the Kmart building would be readied for future usage. There would also be a 12,000 sq. ft. new building to the front of the building.
Option B -- $15,800,000 – Removal of the old Kmart building and then constructing an entirely new building.
Councilmember Houghton questioned if vehicles would be parked inside of the Kmart building.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that there are currently four (4) lifts that could be used for maintenance of the patrol vehicles and the remainder for impounded vehicles.
Councilmember Houghton stated that if the Kmart building were remodeled there would still be room for future expansion in the front.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that was correct and that the building is not that bad of a building once it got cleaned up and painted.
City Manager Susan Price stated that the Kmart building would leave a lot of room for future expansion. Looking at this in phases, Phase 1 is to get the Police into a new facility; Phase 2 would be able to have City Hall begin to move down and look at the Fire Department expansion, which is phase 3.
Mayor Pro Tem Stevens wants to make sure that the City is adequately prepared and that adequate parking is provided.
Ms. Price stated that parking was one of the issues that she has had and agrees with Mayor Pro Tem Stevens that the most important thing is to have the department accessible. The County of Tehama did look at this building prior to purchasing the Wards building and it doesn’t appear that what exists there would limit what the City wants to do there. The other aspect of this is the financing and what she would like to do is come back with some financing discussions and options. Some of which are loan funding from Rural Development, Certificates of Participation and there are Bonds, which are paid back by property owners.
Mayor Pro Tem Stevens questioned is there was a way to shorten the 5-year period.
Ms. Price stated that if the City Council thought this property was appropriate then we would talk about securing the property.
Mayor Pro Tem Stevens stated that as the boundaries of the City grows the Police and Fire services will have to be able to get around and there are problems with the railroad crossing at the south end of town, but this gives accessibility from the freeway.
Ms. Price stated that Mayor Pro Tem Stevens had a good point; the next step would be to discuss the financing mechanisms.
Councilmember Frey stated that he felt the City Council should wait until after the November elections and that he felt that Option A is the way to proceed.
Ms. Price stated that after the elections there could be very focused discussions on funding.
Councilmember Houghton questioned the amount of obligation the City would be under.
Ms. Price stated that she had spoken to Rural Development and as an estimate a 40-year loan at an interest rate of 4.75% on $10,000,000 the annual payment would be approximately $583,000 per year, which is why the City needs to look at other options for funding.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that one thing that might address some of the issues was if the City could obtain funding by a block grant for programming now, before the design can start there needs to be a program for the new facility.
Councilmember Frey stated that he concurred with Councilmember Stevens and would like to see this really well thought out, so that we proceed with this with the future in mind.
Mayor Pro Tem Stevens stated that the City will see more and more annexations and growth and we need to be prepared for those needs now.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that the key to making a successful project is the programming and projects that succeed the most are the ones that are thought out and planned.
Councilmember Houghton stated that he agreed with the project as something that needs to be done, but it’s still a lot of money. There are two tax measures on the ballot and we talk about the state taking money from us and here we are talking about building a $15 million Police Station.
Ms. Price stated that the Redevelopment Study will be brought to the City Council and that this building is in one of the blighted areas. This is a process that will not be done overnight, but we want to end up with something. There is Homeland Security money and there are multiple funding resources that will need to be looked at. Also if Measures A & B pass some of that money will be available.
Councilmember Avilla stated that the City needs to move forward because what we have now is inadequate. But we want to build a nice facility, not one that falls apart in 10-years.
Mayor Pro Tem Stevens stated that as with any governmental building it needs to look nice and that he would like to see the new Police facility called a Law Enforcement Center instead of a Police Station. It’s a first phase of governmental services where people can take care of a lot of business that they need to get done.
JD Ellison Jr., Building Official/Director, questioned if there had been any other interest in the old Kmart building.
Ms. Price stated that she did not know what the demand for that building is going to be, although up to this time there has not been any demand for the building. If it is felt that this is the right place we need to secure the building, prior to the price going up.
Mr. Ellison stated that with the addition of Auto Zone and two other anchor buildings in front of True Value across the street the value of the property will increase and people might show more interest as the improvements occur.
Mr. Ambrosia stated that the owner of the Kmart building did contact him on the City’s interest in the building, as he had heard of today’s meeting. I recommended that he contact the City Manager directly.
M/S/C Stevens, Avilla to accept the Police Facility Feasibility Study.
AYES: Councilmembers: Avilla, Flynn, Frey, Houghton and Stevens
ABSENT OR NOT VOTING: None
Councilmember Avilla stated that for the meeting of September 30, 2004 he would not be able to attend the entire meeting as he had a prior commitment at 6:00 p.m.
There being no further business Mayor Flynn adjourned the meeting at 4:08 p.m. to Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 5:30 p.m., Red Bluff City Council Chambers.
s/b Forrest Flynn