Montrose City Council formally authorizes millions for police building expansion and update

A rendering of the new public safety complex being built on South First Street in Montrose. Construction is set to begin this year and on Tuesday, Montrose City Council formally authorized $16 million for the project to be built. 

The $16.2 million Montrose City Council formally authorized Tuesday for the public safety complex will give police a modern facility that is light on “fluff” and high on efficiency, Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said.

The complex, consisting of an expanded and updated police headquarters and auxiliary building, is edging closer to groundbreaking and the construction design phase is almost complete. Funding comes from a voter-approved measure that increased city sales tax by 0.58% to create a public safety fund, revenues from which will also be used for equipment, training and additional staff needed to meet the growing needs for police response in Montrose.

“It’s making sure the building works for us, instead of we work for the building,” Hall in his presentation to council said. “I think with the team’s input, I think we’ve come up with a design that works very well for our staff. It’s very efficient. There’s no fluff in it. But it’s also something we can grow into over time and I think it’s very tech-friendly.”

Hall would later add that all police department staff have been involved in coming up with a building that works for the department’s needs.

The complex is being paid for through certificates of participation, which will be paid back with the public safety sales tax revenues over time. Once the building is paid for, part of the public safety sales tax will sunset, dropping the rate to 0.44%.

Dynamic Project Management, MWL Architecture, Blythe Group and SHAW Construction are part of the city’s “owners’ team” and have been working through the design process for the building. The design team is close to completing the first bid package and the construction portion is to be added to SHAW’s existing contract.

Once bids are competitively procured and evaluated, the totals of the bid packages will be added to the contract with a not-to-exceed amount until the final such package is received, according to a contract authorization recommendation document dated Feb. 16. At that time, a guaranteed maximum price will complete the construction side of SHAW’s construction contact, the recommendation from Public Works says.

The $16.2 million and some change is mainly for construction costs associated with SHAW Construction contract, but it includes other hard construction costs, such as placing utilities underground, permitting and contingencies, per the document.

Hall said about $1.4 million of items were removed from the project and replaced with alternates to try to keep within the budget. If council were to authorize the $16.2 million, finances would be “nimble” enough to handle market fluctuations.

Public Works Director Jim Scheid earlier referred to fluctuating costs of materials in the marketplace and the need to get ahead of looming challenges in that regard.

According to the projects summary of budget status log, about $2.07 million in deductions were proposed and $1.42 million in deductions was accepted.

In addition to authorizing the $16.2 million, city council on Tuesday also approved an additional vacation of right of way on South First Street, where the present police station is, and where the new facility is being built.

A portion of the right of way had already been vacated early on in the project, Scheid said. That, however, was before final design details were fully established. It has since been determined that the auxiliary building will encroach into the right of way, necessitating an extension of the vacation of right of way.

The vacated right of way now extends for roughly a half-block in front of the current station, stretching to about half a block in front of the dirt-lot Uncompahgre Events Plaza on South First Street (next door to the MPD), a total of about 12,545 square feet. Another section of South First had been vacated under a prior ordinance.

The vacated area protrudes to the centerline along South First Street.

As a final action concerning the public safety complex, city councilors approved a contract amendment for Huddleston-Berry Engineering and Testing in an amount not to exceed $205,950.

This authorization is for Huddleston to perform such work as testing soils and concrete and ensuring the piling is installed correctly.

Funding for the amendment is to come from the public safety fund and is listed as “an expected expense” as part of the project.

“It’s an exciting day for the Montrose Police Department, for sure,” Mayor Barbara Bynum said, shortly after council’s unanimous vote to authorize the $16.2 million construction figure. “I think this is going to be a meaningful civic building to our community.”

Hall again thanked city council and the community for critical support.

“This is going to be an excellent community fixture. We designed it so it’s going to be a friendly place for our community,” he said.

“That’s what law enforcement needs to be. We’re in the community; we’re part of the community and our building needs to reflect that.”

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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