Decision on ptc police station tabled

Mon, 02/25/2008 - 10:23am
By: John Munford

The Peachtree City Council voted Thursday night to table a decision on spending another $720,000 to fix the city's police headquarters.

The repairs, which are being recommended by staff, involve replacing all the exterior walls of the facility. That should fix the problem of moisture entering the building, according to a consulting architect that has evaluated the $1.8 million structure that opened in 2001.

Council didn't go into detail about why the vote was tabled, but Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett said there was "additional information we're not privy to yet."

City Manager Bernie McMullen said meetings on the project were set for this week so it's possible that information could be available by the next council meeting March 6.

Should the new repairs be approved, the city will have spent $1.1 million to repair a facility that cost $1.8 million when it first opened more than six years ago.

The building is already undergoing $538,000 in repairs to its HVAC system, flooring and ceiling to respond to the moisture problems inside the building. Because those repairs are so extensive, the department is currently operating out of a rented building off Commerce Drive near Ga. Highway 74.

The city's police headquarters has suffered from moisture entering the structure, creating mold and mildew and causing flooring to separate from the foundation. An architectural firm hired by the city last year has determined that poor design and poor construction attributed to the problems.

The exterior renovation contract, if approved, would be financed over 15 years at an annual cost of $68,000, city officials have said in a memo to the City Council.

City staff have presented other options to council, including the demolition or sale of the current building while building a new headquarters on the same site or elsewhere. But those options start at $6.4 million, including the necessary 23 months of rental payments for the temporary police headquarters, which is 6,000 square feet smaller than the permanent facility.

The city has also looked into possibly purchasing an old Photocircuits building in the city's industrial park and converting it into a police headquarters, but the potential for environmental cleanup and other modifications to the building have left staff recommending against that option.

Another option suggested has been keeping the city in the current temporary headquarters on Commerce Drive. According to county tax records that site is worth upwards of $1.68 million, but it's not immediately known whether the property owner would sell it.

City Attorney Ted Meeker previously has informed Council that the statute of limitations has expired so the city can't sue project architect Don Cobb and Associates nor project contractor Leslie Construction.

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