A Lincoln City City Council special meeting was held Wednesday to hear from City Manager Ron Chandler about a revised budget for the building of the new Lincoln City Police Department Headquarters.
The original plans for the police station had to be trimmed down, or “Deferred and deleted” as Councilor Riley Hoagland put it, in an effort to see where the project could save money. One of the bigger ticket items was keeping the old police station in its current state rather than demolishing it, which was estimated to save $500,000.
Councilors asked about what would become of the existing building and Chandler said, “We’ve been joking about that and have said we could turn it into a VRD (vacation rental dwelling),” to the laughter of the council.
Councilor Diana Hinton asked if it could be turned into a homeless shelter and Lincoln City Police Chief Jerry Palmer said that would not be the best use for the building.
Keeping the old station would also speed up the new construction. Emerick Construction Project Manager Jordan Fell said construction of the new building would take approximately one year.
After lowering the square footage of the project from 20,000 to 18,000 the original projected cost of $14.5 million was dropped to $13.5 million.
Ian Gelbrich, Project Manager for FFA Architecture Interiors, said “We are 75% -80% done with the designs.”
$150,000 was saved by eliminating covered parking and $300,000 was saved by focusing landscaping on the front of the building. Lincoln City Mayor Don Williams said, “We were going to spend $300,000 on landscaping?”
Gelbrich responded to questions from Hoagland about what would happen to the rest of the non-landscaped areas with: “Those areas would be grassy. It’s not like we’re leaving you with dirt.”
Hoagland expressed concern over the location of the new building. He said he felt it was in the wrong place and there were other options. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said. Chandler and Palmer said they looked at various locations and could not find anywhere else that was a suitable spot to build.
$10.5 million will be borrowed from the Transient Room Tax (TRT) with a 30-year general obligation bond, and the other 2.1 million will come from sources yet to be determined. Possible sources for funding could include the general fund, capital facilities fund, emergency fund and Williams suggested selling city owned land such as The Villages at Cascade Head.
“The City’s finance director and I will present the required resolutions for using these funds in August,” said Chandler on his blog, ronsreport.org