Space Utilization Task Force notes – 1/22/2010

Notes from today’s Fort Wayne-Allen County Space Utilization Task Force meeting.  I will be blogging live.

Facilitator John Stafford is calling the meeting to order.

All are present except for City Councilman Mitch Harper.

Currently talking about a letter sent by local businessman Don Schenkel which talks about the benefits of co-location.

City Councilman Tom Smith is asking about the $1 million that will go into the CCB from the City for the Police Lab.  Controller Pat Roller is stating she hasn’t worked out where the $1 million will come from.  It will not come from the bond for 200 E Berry because that has to be spent at 200 E Berry.

Powerpoint presentation of scenarios and cost summaries.

There are four scenarios:

  1. Baseline: City relocates / County backfills
  2. Co-Location: Public Safety in CCB
  3. Combination: Sheriff to CCB, City to 200 E Berry, C0-locate the Development Teams (similar to option four from the Working Group)
  4. New Facilities costs: new separate buildings for Sheriff and Police

Scenario #1 – D.C. stands for Design Collaborative while S.S. stands for Schenkel Shultz.

Scenario #2 – ranges are more narrow on this scenario.

Scenario #3 – about a $1 million dollar spread, eye level estimates

Scenario #4 – building new for Sheriff and FWPD

Bottom line – The City and County has committed $18.9M to the costs and the scenarios run from $19.4M to $24.7M.  Under scenario 1, another $1 million would be needed.  Under scenario 2, another almost $4M would be required.  The $23.2M could be reduced possibly to 15%, at a minimum 10%.

Councilman Tom Smith is talking about the Crime Lab – was it ever figured into the Renaissance Square proposal?  Yes, it was.  Will there be money that could be switched over to the CCB that was included in the original proposal.  Both the Sheriff and FWPD have been asking for a “state of the art” lab, from Mayor Tom Henry.

John Stafford is talking about the advantages of locating public safety in the CCB.  It is an assumption that is on the table.  He feels it is appropriate to narrow the discussion to the baseline that the City relocates and the County backfills and the other of the public safety co-location in the CCB.

Councilman Mitch Harper has asked that the additional expense of studying the above be split evenly between the City and County.

Councilman Tim Pape is pointing out that there would be savings from the sale of buildings not used when offices are moved into the CCB or Renaissance Square.  He is estimating the savings at approximately $3 million for the County.  That would halve the costs for the County.  He is asking if we can’t commit to it now and keep working at it?  Make the decision and figure out how to do it best.

Councilman Paul is asking if that $3 million should be subtracted from only scenario 2.

Councilman Roy Buskirk is talking about the rent that would be lost from the City’s moving out.

Councilman Pape is stating the cheapest option is Co-Location.

County Councilwoman Paula Hughes is speaking.  She is saying she heard County Council would not allow money from the sale of current County buildings to be used for co-location.  Councilman Buskirk is stating the money would be realized after the move/co-location.

Mayor Tom Henry is asking that the #3 million would go into the Rainy Day fund which is already sitting at $14 million (?).

Councilwoman Hughes is reiterating that the County Council feels the money from the sale would not go toward the co-location.  The County’s financial situation is in just as much flux as the City’s.  Maybe the County would keep the $3 million for loss of rent from the City.

Mayor Henry is saying he and the Commissioners believe the 2nd  option is the best.  He doesn’t understand why they wouldn’t put the $3 million into the project.  If option two doesn’t happen, the County Council would be forcing the City back to option 1 which is what they don’t want.

Councilman Pape is asking why if you realize the $3 million from the sale, why wouldn’t you put it back into?  (12:24). Exchange between Pape and County Councilman Moss.  Moss saying that the City bought a building taking themselves out of the CCB leaving space the County can consolidate into so they don’t have to spend the $3 million.

Commissioner Bill Brown is stating that the Commissioners need to determine where they are at on the proposals, before anything goes further.

John Stafford is saying that moving forward with more study on the first two proposals is not making a commitment to either.

Commissioner Brown is reiterating that the Mayor has the impression the Board of Commissioners is on board and perhaps they are not.

Commissioner Nelson Peters is stating his earlier proposal was very clear.

Commissioner Linda Bloom – her first priority was not Public Safety, but for the best interest, Public Safety in the CCB would be the way to do it.

Councilman Pape is stating that perhaps the County Council needs to commit to how much they will spend because there is a need for more than $3 million from the County Council to do this.

John Stafford is asking if Commissioner Peters proposal should be pursued or dropped.  Councilwoman Hughes is stating she has supported his proposal from the start.  Commissioner Brown is supportive of it.

Councilman Harper is stating Peters proposal considers that allocation space will remain static.  He thinks there would need to be a way to figure out how future space need changes would be made.

Councilman Pape is sharing he thinks it is a good idea.  Perhaps a building authority for the two?

John Stafford is  saying if co-location is decided on, it should be pursued.

Commissioner Peters is saying the fundamental issue is whether or not County Council is willing to put more money into the projects.  Real question becomes do you want to co-locate or not?

Councilman Buskirk  is stating the moving numbers and how they change is disconcerting to some.

John Stafford is stating once again the numbers are not final.

Mayor Tom Henry is stating that not everything needs to be done that first year. It could be spread over a couple of years.

Councilman Pape is stating that the costs are not the only thing to be considered.  If nothing happens, the “cost” to the community would be high.  What is the benefit of having the development team all on one floor?  What are the other benefits?  Having the development team on one floor would be beneficial in many ways.  He feels this is a 50-year decision for the community.

Councilman Harper there is a revenue stream, that will be going to the capital improvement board, that could be partially diverted to this project.  It would be better to divert money from food and beverage taxes instead of other limited revenues.

Mayor Tom Henry is saying the Capital Improvement Board will not have much money available until 2014, after the Grand Wayne Center and Coliseum are paid off.

Councilman Smith envisions the CIB money going into new projects, not for building government office buildings.  I think the citizens would be irate.

Councilman Harper is trying to figure out how to fill the gap in funding so the project could move forward.

Mayor Tom Henry is asking when the bond repayment schedule kicks in.

John Stafford is advocating for a public hearing.  We are really down to do we go with the baseline, or ask for more defined, specific numbers?  I would suggest that next Friday, public input be taken.  See if  all four parties are on board with a proposal to go forward.

Councilman Moss is asking for equal examination of option #3.  He is stating option 1 is not an option for him.

Councilman Pape is pointing out that option 3 is the least expensive for the County – is that why he’s pushing for it?

Councilman Moss is stating yes because the City went out and purchased the building.

Councilman Pape is asking how much extra money the studies will cost.  Stafford is responding it is probably not appropriate to have the cost discussion at this point.

Mayor Henry is saying that if the County Council is saying $3 million is it, then there’s no point in giving the money away and exploring anything further.

Councilman Moss is responding that what he has heard to date has not given him confidence to move forward.

Councilman Pape feels option 2 is the one to go with.

Councilman Smith feels more information is needed.  Co-located sounds good, but not sure what the benefits would be.

Councilwoman Hughes is pointing out that the City made the decision to buy Renaissance Square because it was cheaper than building a new police headquarters.  She is asking if that is correct.

Councilman Smith mentioned it is not accurate.

Councilman Pape is talking about the City Council’s desire to co-locate and the Renaissance Square option is the cheapest way to go.

Councilwoman Hughes is responding that she doesn’t feel it is fair for the County Council to be taken to task for not coming up for more money.  County Council has already moved from $2.4 to $3 million.

Councilman Pape is responding  that the cheapest option is for the City to move out to the Renaissance Square, but then it becomes what is the value for the community for co-location.

Next week the meeting will be solely a time for the public to speak on the topic.

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