11 thoughts on “Police Station Financing Open Thread”

  1. Well tonight brings another meeting of the “minds” for the new police station. It looks like the last meeting found us in the area of $16 million for the new 55,000 square foot police station. We look to be unanimous about the need to build this size for the future, our other choice of 35,000 would already be too small by 2.5 years (current station is 17,500).

    To get a better interest rate for the 20 year amortization. We are looking at raising the real estate tax by .15 per 100.00 (currently at .60 per 100.00). This would and could be rebated back to the homeowner with the Bar and Restaurant tax of .75. Suggestion is that any monies brought in the the B and R tax would pay back or reduce the homeowner’s obligation. Our thinking is that visitors and students of NIU would help more this way in what monies were used to pay for the new station.

    If by chance we had several good years, I believe the committee is suggesting to apply any extra moneys to the principle and pay it off early. This would save the taxpayer millions of dollars and even up to 4 million over the course of the loan.

    We also realized for the first time that the council and staff have decided to go the Construction Manager at Risk (CM at risk) for the building of the station. This would put all of the burden on the CM of coming in at price. Anything over and the CM will pay. However, the down side is that the CM can use value engineered products to help him get back on line with costs.

    I suggested that we tell them that we are only funding $15.4 million for the buildings and sitework and that would have to be their mark to hit.

    I would think that the CM at risk will probably use some precast to make the bid work but I believe it will be at his discretion as he will be working along with the architect while the building is being designed.

    As for Leeds built for all of you “Green thinkers” out there. How much is Leeds worth to you. The architect says that it generally isn’t that much more expensive to incorporate enough design in the building to qualify for a bronze or gold Leeds certification ( I hope I got the colors correct). The problem comes from the group at Leed’s certifying and presenting the plaque and papers saying the building is official. This process will only add, now get this, only add about $450,000.00 to the cost of the station. I will repeat that; only a mere $450,000.00 for the designation.

    I personally would be very happy to know that the architect incorporate the Leed’s thinking where they could have. I would not be spending $450,000.00 for a plaque to hank on the wall.

    Well let’s hear what you got to say.

    Thanks much, Ivan

  2. LEED thinking, yes. Official certification to get a plaque, no. Yikes.

    FWIW the certification process, based on points earned for this or that feature, goes like this:

    –certified
    –silver
    –gold
    –platinum

  3. Unfortunately, the city council is the one that will make that final decision when it comes to paying the money for the plaque or not. Their track record these past few months has been nothing less than scary.

  4. Yes, some points could be earned with the site. Examples: preserving trees (especially to shade the building or parking areas), providing access to the park, using certain stormwater managment designs.

  5. I could not attend tonight’s meeting.

    Going green in order to save HVAC, etc. costs are fine with me. The idea of paying $450,000 extra for certification and a plaque can be jettisoned.

  6. Last meeting was just to go over our proposal to the city council and look over the numbers again from Assistant City Manager, Rudy Espiritu. We also met again with the architect representatives with the break down of the needs for the new police station. They had met a few days earlier with the Chief and department heads to get a better feel of the space that is needed.

    Basically, the new station will come in around 56,000 square feet. Anything less, general concensus of the committee, would be too small. 35,000 square ft. was one recommendation suggested by the city manager but the police department passed that number in early 2006. The committee also concluded that the community would save more dollars if this station was built for the future instead of being built small now and added on later. Police stations are very difficult to add on as I have previously mentioned in earlier updates.

    Initially to be built at 58,000 square ft., the courts will stay at the current city hall and size modifications took the station then from 55,000 to just over 56,000 square ft. This is definitely a building that this community will be able to be proud about for the many years to come. Planned for 20 year but truly planned and workable for 40 years. We are also in agreement that LEEDS is a good thing and will save many dollars into the upcoming years but no to the $450,000.00 certificate and plaque. Council needs to know this and vote against it. Architect will certify for us and document for future records.

    It’s like our police department will be coming out of the “stone age” into the 21st century the way this building is designed to work for them and with them, I’m just worried as to how we build it for them. Costs will do nothing but continue to escalate and it will never be cheaper to build than today.

    2 options for the council to consider. Looks like it may be put on the shoulders of real estate taxes. It could be paid entirely by a real estate tax increase or by a real estate tax increase and a raise of the Restaurant and Bar tax. The R and B tax would be used to rebate the real estate tax. It also is a chance that both could be combined to retire the bond early saving millions in interest charges. Along the way there could be other dollars inserted to the payments from safety impact fees, fines, annexation agreement payments and maybe government grants. We looked at vehicle stickers, luxury taxes such as booze and cigarettes, water meter charges and even boarding house fees.

    The city would receive better interest rates if the bonds were covered by real estate taxes and we felt that there would be relief to the homeowner’s in the community if the R and B tax would pay the entire obligation. There is still some discussion to be made but we are readying ourselves to meet with the council at a committee of the whole in July. I believe it would be July 28th at 6:00pm in the council chambers.

    This is going to be one of the most difficult choices that will be made this year. Knowing we need a new police station in the worst way, and trying to make a decision on the future of DeKalb’s safety with the way today’s economy is. We have to think for the future. We have some time for some good discussion here. I’d love to hear the ideas.

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