Milton City Council to spend $156,000 on police department/city hall plan
MILTON The Milton City Hall staff isn’t packing up shop at the Shaw Municipal Center, but an exit strategy is in the works.
The Milton City Council on Tuesday tapped Janesville firm Angus Young Associates to formalize designs the firm had floated earlier this year for a combined Milton Police Department/City Hall at 710 S. Janesville St.
City administrator Jerry Schuetz said it could take at least a month, but once Angus Young turns its schematic drawings into architectural blueprints, the $2.5 million project will be sent out for contractor bids.
Milton Mayor Tom Chesmore told Milton Public Library Director Lisa Brooks on Tuesday the decision was good news. It essentially means the library could have the entire Shaw building at 430 E. High St.
The library is working on plans to expand to the second floor in the 21,000 square-foot Shaw building.
Under current plans, the offices of the city clerk and the city administrator will be pulled from the top floor of the Shaw.
Those offices would go in a 6,000 square-foot addition at the former Dean medical building at 710 S. Janesville St., which the council earlier agreed to renovate as the new home of the Milton Police Department.
City council chambers would be moved from the lower level of the Shaw building and share space with the municipal court at the future police department.
Under a set of preliminary budget estimates, the city would spend $1.6 million to renovate and ready the future police department and $818,000 to build the city hall expansion.
Schuetz said if the city awards the contract in May, construction could start in June or July.
The city has not settled on financing for the project, but it would borrow $1.9 million and use $600,000 from city cash reserves, Schuetz has said.
Schuetz estimated the project could mean a $22 increase on the city tax bill for an owner of a $100,000 house, although he said that estimate doesn’t factor in shifts in property valuation.
The council on March 13 had directed staff to have Angus Young use preliminary plans to ready construction blueprints for the project.
Council members indicated they intended to vote Tuesday on whether to send the project to bid.
But Schuetz said staff decided at Chesmore’s request to seek a second proposal from Portage-based General Engineering, which worked with the city on the public works department building in 2011.
The city asked General Engineering to estimate the cost to turn preliminary designs into construction drawings and manage the bidding process.
According to city records, General Engineering submitted an offer on March 15 to do the work for $173,000. Angus Young submitted a proposal on Tuesday to do the work for $156,000.
The council decided to stick with Angus Young for the contract because its estimated costs are lower.
Chesmore asked Schuetz to set up a meeting with Angus Young while the city works out a contract with the firm. Chesmore said he plans to draw a hard line over costs.
Chesmore’s edict: “Here’s your money. It’s all you have to spend. You will not go over it.”