Project Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Town considering this project ?
The simple answer is to address the long-term space needs of the Town. The current facility no longer meets the space needs of the Town or our community as Board meetings are frequently near-capacity, Town Hall is more frequently used as meeting space for community groups and the facility, through past expansions, is not a customer-friendly space to serve the public.
An additional consideration is that the Town is currently renting commercial space for the Police Department - putting public dollars to build equity for someone else. Through the project, the Police Department will be moving into a new facility - allowing the Town to invest its dollars in an asset that belongs to the public.
How will it be paid for ?
First and foremost, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen does not believe in raising property taxes to pay for a building. While operational needs of the Town as a whole may require tax rate adjustments in the future, the financing plan for the buildings has been developed to avoid a tax increase to pay for the buildings.
Of the estimated $5.2M in construction costs, $1M will be reimbursed through the FEMA Safe Room grant project. The remainder of the project will be financed through the TML Bond Fund - issuing general fund obligation to pay for the facilities over the next 20 years. Annual estimated debt service is expected to be $240,000.
By ending the rental lease for the Police Department space on Wesley Reed Drive, the Town will save between $850,000 and $1.2M over the next 20 years. Instead of investing those dollars an asset owned by another party, the Town will use those dollars to invest in a public asset - adding to the Town's balance sheet by retiring the debt on the facilities long before the end of their useful lives.
The $240,000 annual debt service will be financed in four ways. First, the savings from the Police Department rental will applied to the annual debt service. Second, the Water / Sewer fund will make rent payments for their space in the new facility from their annual operating budget. Third, the interest costs will be budgeted each year as an operational expense of the Town and will be paid for through the annual budget. Finally, remaining principal payments will be made using existing fund balance that the Town has in its reserve accounts. As of June 30, 2014, the Town had $12.4M in fund balance available for allocation.
What steps has the Town taken thus far ?
This project has been under development for nearly a decade. Beginning with the purchase of land in 2008, a series of steps has been taken to move the project towards completion.
- January, 2008 – Purchased lot 12 on Atoka-McLaughlin Drive - $143,000
- February, 2008 – Condemned lot 23 on McLaughlin Drive - $196,000
- March, 2010 – Condemned lot 13 on Atoka-McLaughlin Drive - $135,000
- March, 2010 – Condemned lot 14 on Atoka-McLaughlin Drive - $125,000
- August 11, 2011 – Board Facilities Committee met to answer three key questions
- October 4, 2011 – Approved lease agreement for Police Department facility on Wesley Reed Drive
- October 4, 2011 – Approved agreement with F&A to complete master site plan for Town Hall complex
- March 1, 2012 – Submitted Safe Room Grant BetweApplication to TEMA - $1.3M Safe Room project
- March 6, 2012 – Received final site plan report from F&A
- October 10, 2012 – Received formal notice of grant award from TEMA
- October 16, 2012 – BOMA approved resolution authorizing Mayor to execute contract with TEMA
- November 8, 2012 – BOMA approves contract with F&A for Safe Room Design / Grant Admininstration
- November 8, 2012 – BOMA approves contract with F&A for Town Hall / Fire Design / Admin
- January 25, 2013 – Executed contract documents received on Safe Room project
- March 19, 2013 – Board Work Session to Review Project Scope / Costs – added 3rd fire bay
- September 24, 2013 – Board Work Session to Review Project Scope / Costs
- September 26, 2013 – Town secured USDA Loan Funding for Project, if needed
- February 5, 2014 – RFQ for General Contractor Issued
- March 4, 2014 – Board selects Linkous Construction as General Contractor on Project
- August 14, 2014 – Board Work Session to Review Project Scope / Costs
- September, 2014 – Project Out to Bid
- December 5, 2014 – TEMA Safe Room Grant Audit Review
- December 10, 2014 – Board Work Session to Review Project Scope / Costs
- December 17, 2014 – Board Work Session to Review Project Scope / Costs
- January 20, 2015 – Board Work Session to Review Project Scope / Costs
- February 3, 2015 – Public Forum to Receive Public Feedback on Project
- March 10, 2015 - Board Approves Resolution Authorizing up to $5.5M in Financing
What are the next steps ?