Corcoran picks facility site

New public works building to be located at County Rd. 19

 

After years of meticulous site searching, property negotiation and discussion, the Corcoran City Council has reached consensus on where to locate a new public works facility.

The facility will be sited at privately owned property owned by the Roehlke family along the eastern edge of County Rd. 19.

The council also discussed an inquiry from the city of Greenfield about contracting for public safety.

 

PUBLIC WORKS

Just one meeting after the council questioned if the Roehlke site could pose cost concerns, staff followed up with specific financial data. It concluded that the Roehlke site ultimately wouldn’t cost the city more than the other proposed city-owned site on County Rd. 116.

“County Rd. 19 must be well and septic but the County Rd. 116 site might have the option of either well/septic or possibly served by the new public sewer and water system,” city administrator Dan Donahue noted in his memo to the council. “Given this, could well and septic serve either sites or yet be feasible and economically possible? Bottom line is we think it can be both and there is no clear advantage of either scheme.”

At the council meeting, city engineer Kent Torve followed up about public works facility cost comparisons, comparing such issues as sewer, water, fire suppression, streets, land and recurring costs (such as hauling waste water, and vehicle mileage and fuel).

After considerable discussion by the council, a motion was passed 4-1 to locate the facility at the Roehlke site; councilor George Gmach was opposed. Gmach has publicly stated his preference for building the site at County Rd. 116 and using the Roehlke property for future parkland.

But after the initial motion was approved, Gmach and the council unanimously asked the city attorney to negotiate the site at approximately 11.8 acres. The city planner will proceed to plat the site.

The council also authorized staff to make a recommendation on a construction manager and architect.

Reached later, Mayor Ken Guenthner said he’s glad a site was chosen but wished “it hadn’t taken so long.” He said, “It’s a difficult process but the council was able to approach it in a very professional and civil manner, and really had a lot of fair discussions. It was a deeply considered process.”

Donahue said the council “still feels the return on investment is greater to the city if we hold off (the city-owned site) for the future and sell at a much higher sales prices. They’re preserving the site for future development.”

Donahue said the city’s next step is to consider finance options. A financial consultant will be present at the Aug. 9 council meeting to put together some options for a schedule to sell bond issues.

No project amount has been set, but the council did ask phase one design architect, Oertel Architects, if the city could construct a building for around $2 million to meet the city’s needs for the next 20 years. The architect’s answer was that it is feasible.

As for the construction schedule, Donahue said, “I think everybody would say it would be great to get footings there this year, but a lot of things have to happen.”

Donahue did say that the bulk of construction would take place next year in time for a late summer or fall 2012 building completion.

 

GREENFIELD POLICING

In other matters, the council discussed a letter sent from the city of Greenfield concerning public safety contracting.

Greenfield asked if Corcoran would be receptive to providing police services for Greenfield.

The council said it is interested but would need more information in a request for proposal format, such as how many hours of daily contracted protection Greenfield would need.

“We’d certainly be willing to look at a request for proposal,” Donahue said. “Then we could choose whether we’d be willing to respond.”

He said the request is “very informal” at this point.

In other action, the council:

REVIEWED 2012 budget expenditures. Revenues will be reviewed Aug. 9 in preparation of submitting a preliminary levy to the county in September.

-Compiled by Aaron Brom

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