Joint Building Task Force notes – 3/26/2010

North side

Notes from today’s Joint Building Task Force meeting.

Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York is before the Task Force.  His choice would be to have his department here, in the City-County Building as it’s already designed for public safety.  Allen County Sheriff Fries is saying that he has no comment about where they (FWPD) would be located.  He would also rather be moved into the City-County Building.

Commissioner Nelson Peters is asking if there would be any detriment to co-locating with City Police.  He is responding that after 9-11, a concern is concentrating all the eggs in one basket.  He’s also concerned about costs to tax payers.  Commissioner Peters is reminding everyone that only about 15 people are going to be moved and, this wouldn’t really be putting all the eggs in one basket.

Fort Wayne  City Councilman Tom Smith is asking about the up to a $1 million Mayor Tom Henry offered for a state-of-the-art crime lab.  Is it really necessary?  How are we treating crime lab work now?  Sheriff Fries is responding it’s not necessary. They’ve never had an issue with the State Police Lab.  Chief York is clarifying the state-of-the-art term.  They already have state-of-the-art in some areas.  It wasn’t initially meant for things like DNA analyis.  They currently do some marijuana and fingerprint analysis, but the ventilation system is inadequate.  He is also stating it would not be duplication of  what the State does.  It does need an upgrade.  Firearms analysis is also included.

Commissioner Bill Brown is talking about the satellite locations throughout Allen County.  Allen County Councilman Roy Buskirk feels he hasn’t heard about these satellite locations.  Brown and Bloom are responding it has been talked about for quite a while.

Commissioner Linda Bloom is talking about the ability of citizens throughout the County to interact with officers rather than having to come downtown.

Fort Wayne City Councilman Tim Pape asked for a round of applause over the recently completed communications consolidation.

Allen County Councilman Roy Buskirk  is asking if the FWPD transports prisoners.  Chief York is responding no, only for questioning.  They do transport to and from the Allen County lockup.

Allen County Councilman Paul Moss is asking if Chief York feels he has been adequately engaged in this process.  He is responding that he hasn’t been asked directly about the impact.  He feels it would be beneficial to have the investigative divisions in close proximity.  He feels the daily interaction would be beneficial.  No matter where they go, a suite of interview facilities would be needed.  For six rooms, the total cost  including audio and video, would cost $60,000.

Fort Wayne City Councilman Mitch Harper is talking about the need for evidence storage.  Storage would depend on the type of system.  There is some shelving they would be interested in.  Should be refrigerated storage.  Both currently have all the storage space needed, although it will eventually run out.  They need it to be secure.  Harper is asking for clarification whether they would forsee needing additional space in the future.    Chief York is saying they’re looking, in consideration of these plans, 20 years out.  Vehicles could not be housed in either location.

Commissioner Brown is talking about group dynamics.  Will working side by side make them stronger?  Sheriff Fries is responding he does not know if it would.  Chief York is talking about the posts they have away from downtown.  He doesn’t see a negative.

Councilman Harper is talking about continually having to look 20 years out in public safety.  He’s asking about consolidation of departments.  Sheriff Fries and Chief York feel there haven’t been a lot of positives coming out of Indianapolis.

Councilman Pape is asking if two places for gun permits and vehicle storage are needed?  York is responding they have to be issued in the jurisdiction they reside, so the County could take it over.  SWAT utilitzes some of the vehichles, so it would have to be centralized.

Commissioner Brown is stating the crime rate is going down in Allen County.

Ron Dick, Design Collaborative, and Cory Miller, SchenkelShultz are presenting.  Their presentation will be posted later on the City website.  As soon as it’s available, I’ll post a link here.

Process outline:

  1. Due diligence including tours, interviews, questionnaires
  2. New Layout Plans for Scheme A and B
  3. Cost estimates

Cory Miller is talking about the costs estimates.  Scheme A which would put the public safety into CCB would cost approximately $12.1 million as  a base price.  Recommended add-ons would bring the total to $14.6 million (can hardly see the numbers).  Scheme B base price is $11.6 million while the Recommended add-ons would bring it to $14.0 million.

Scheme A is the public safety functions annd tax-related functions into the CCB.  Management team, Internal Service Team Development-related functions, and City Utilities into Renaissance Square.

Commissioner Brown is asking about parking needs.  Ron Dick responded it’s not been part of their study.  Moderator John Stafford is responding parking is adequate.  Mayor Henry is responding maximum walking distance for employees would be two weeks.

Mayor Henry is clarifying the base price is the cost.  Can the additional add-ons be phased in over two or three years.  Ron Dick is responding yes.  However, it would be cheaper and easier to do the work before move in to the Renaissance Square.  Mayor Henry is again stating it could be spread out.

Commissioner Peters is asking about the estimates and if they were based on the Renaissance Square being empty now, renovations completed, then move and so forth.

Commissioner Bloom is asking if departments could be expanded if necessary.  Response is yes.  She is asking if the plans are locked in, or if things could be moved around.  Response is no, things could be moved if necessary.

Commissioner Nelson Peters is asking under scheme B, how much of the storage space would be duplicated.  Cory Miller is responding storage space would be separate, no duplication.  Peters is now asking about balance in buildings.  Under Scheme B, 45,211 square footage would remain empty in Renaissance square while a little over 1,200 square footage in the CCB would remain empty.

Allen County Councilwoman Paula Hughes is stating she would now like to talk about the impact  of changes on staff, public perceptions and needs, etc.

Allen County Councilman Paul Moss  is asking about vending areas.  Larger area in Renaissance Square, smaller in CCB.  Adult Probation was excluded from this study.  The working group had stated it was not appropriate to put Adult Probation in either building.  It would be around 8,500 square feet.  The schemes do not include furniture or moving costs as this was not part of the study.  Moss is stating he doesn’t care if public safety is co-located.

Councilman Pape is asking under Scheme where Neighborhood Code would be?  With the rest of the development team in Renaissance Square.  Pape is asking why the tax team would remain separate.  Ron Dick is responding it’s always been that way.    Pape is saying there would be room in Renaissance Square could be put in Renaissance Square.  Commissioner Peters is joking that some people aren’t happy with their tax bills.

Councilman Harper is talking about voter registration and elections board being away from the need for security to not harm the process.  Commissioner Bloom is stating when the Keystone building was redone, elections departments were brought here.

Mayor Tom Henry is thanking John Stafford and members of the task force for their time.  Part of his original invitation was to sit down and look at a plan which would best suit both buildings.  He feels a plan has been put forth that will put both public safety departments here.  Scheme A will be a full co-location plan.  He is thanking Councilman Moss for putting forth his plan.  But Scheme A validates the co-location idea which is in the best interest.  The contribution approved by the City-Council, amount pledged by the County Council make it possible to move forward with the co-location plan.  Let’s move forward.  He is asking for a motion for Scheme A to be adapted.

Commissioner Peters is stating he would second the motion, but doesn’t know if any definite promises have been made, regarding who will pay for what and where.  Mayor Henry is responding that the various bodies have pledged and approved monies.

Councilwoman Hughes is suggesting each branch fund their own furniture requirements.  The motion was so ammended.

Mayor Henry has called the question.  The vote:

  • Roy Buskirk – I support the motion
  • Tim Pape – aye
  • Tom Smith – aye, don’t know what more we can give you
  • Linda Bloom – aye, hearing the Chief and Sheriff state it will work, there are issues, but she feels they can make this work.
  • Mayor Tom Henry – aye
  • Bill Brown – aye
  • Nelson Peters – aye
  • Paul Moss – aye, he does feel there is room for savings for taxpayers, which has been his concern.
  • Mitch Harper – aye, he is concerned about how courts and legal systems will evolve and their effects on the buildings.   We need to look forward an understand it will be changing.  How will a framework be put into place to deal with changes and structure needs.
  • Paula Hughes – aye

Commissioner Peters joked, that was easy, let’s take on Health Care.

Stafford is recognizing the efforts of Controller Pat Roller and Chris Cloud.

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