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Progress continues with new Center 4 Life building and police department expansion

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Sep 23, 2020


Steps continue to be taken to further the progress of both the new Center 4 Life building and the Sanibel Police Department expansion.

Community Services Director Keith Williams said it will take a number of months, as outlined in the memorandum, for any form of professional services to begin for the Center 4 Life pre-construction, as they have to secure an architect and get them under contract, as well as have plan drawings.

The board unanimously approved the memorandum, which will begin the advertisement for the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act, the process that provides a qualification based selection process for an architect.

The city purchased land and a building on Dec. 30, 2019, at 2475 Library Way for $1,899,176.43. According to the city, the cash to purchase the Library Way land and building originated from the general fund, with the expectation that a future debt issuance would pay the short-term loan back.

There is a tentative schedule of advertising for the Request for Qualifications for architectural and design professional services on Oct. 19 with a deadline to submit the RFQ for review by Nov. 20.

The schedule also includes a tentative review of the RFQ for no less than three architects between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4. In-person interviews and rankings will take place from Dec. 14 through Dec. 18. On Jan. 19, City Council will then consider the rankings and authorize staff to negotiate pricing for the top ranked architects.

On Feb. 2, City Council will authorize and enter into contract with the top ranked architect.

From there the tentative schedule has the architect and professional services team producing a design/bid documents including a conceptual design/layout from March through August.

Then in October of next year advertisement will begin of bid opportunity for construction contractor for the Center 4 Life. By December 2021 through January 2022 the construction contract will be awarded by City Council.

The council also spoke about the Sanibel Police Department modernization renovation expansion during the Tuesday meeting. The report, which was approved, was from ADG Architecture regarding its proposal and agreement to furnish architectural and related engineering services.

“I think we all want to do everything we can to continue to give the police department the necessary tools,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said, adding that it really comes down to financing.

Ruane said it is imperative that they move forward. He said they borrowed $5 million purchase from the bank with $3 million sitting there waiting.

“It’s not going to impact the taxpayers’ millage rate from a debt point of view,” Ruane said. “We have 12 months to amend our bank loan and make adjustment to it. It affords us the opportunity, as an amendment to add on. We can lengthen the term if you want to. I would be remise if I didn’t go into the debt schedule just briefly. The amount of debt that we are paying off in 2021-22 basically comes close to covering the debt that we put on for the $5 million on the Senior Center. By (20)23 we will certainly have paid that down.”

He went on to say that looking at the debt and the millage rate it currently serves, once they get pass 2022 it becomes less of a burden from a monthly point of view.

“You wouldn’t have to increase taxes whatsoever,” Ruane said.

Vice Mayor Mick Denham agreed that the police headquarters is extremely important and the department deserves the expansion. He said he believes the expansion receives equal priority as the Senior Center.

Denham said if they could accomplish both the senior center and police department in a reasonable amount of time it would fulfill his personal desire, which is both important and critical.

“I really very much want this to move forward,” he said.

Ruane said it is a capital project on a building that is 40 years old.

“Chief has always come and asked for reasonable things. I am happy to certainly support our police department needs and assure the taxpayers that there is a way to financially do it in a prudent way that there is not a burden put on them,” he said.

Police Chief William Dalton said it is an expense and an investment for the future of the city. He said when they get to the point, just because of age, it becomes a burden for him to recruit new police officers, which becomes a problem.

“This will be a fix for probably 50 years,” Dalton said.