City Hall, Police relocation project debated by City Council


Bids for the Wayne City Hall and Police relocation project were discussed at length during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

Three bids for the project were received and reviewed by Carlson West Povondra Architects.

The low bid from Otte Construction was for $4,156,000 (base bid) and $48,500 for three bid alternates.

Other bids were from Huff Construction for $4,223,000 and L & L Contracting for $4,398,00.

Council members spent considerable time talking about the difference between the engineer's estimate for the project, which was provided to the council in June, and the additional costs contained in the bids.

Kelley Rosburg with Carlson West Povondra (CWP), spoke on the items, the majority of which were involving electronics and security equipment, that are not always part of an estimate. She told the council that at times, these items are purchased by the city through a third party vendor.

These additional items added approximately $500,000 to the cost of project.

Council member Matt Eischied said "I am a little frustrated. We had to know going into the project that we would need these. We were told it would cost $3.7 million and now we find out it will cost more. Are we better off scraping this project and building a new building for the same price."

Bob Soukup with CPW told the council that telecommunications items are not typically part of an estimate and said city staff can put in some of the data cabling. He also told the council that building new rather than remodeling the existing building, would nearly double the cost of the project.

Council member Jill Brodersen said that "the police department is the expensive part of the project. The department needs upgrades. Nothing has really been done to this (City Hall) building in years."

Keith Moje with Otte Construction told the council he does not feel "there is a whole lot that can be changed to save any money."

He said that on a number of projects, the telecommunications portion of the project is taken on by the owner, with Otte Construction helping with the installation.

City Administrator Wes Blecke, via Zoom, told the council that the additional funds for the project would possibly come from re-apportioning the bonds that were allocated to the Prairie Park project. One of the reasons for that is the possibility of obtaining grant funding for that project.

Mayor Cale Giese told the council "we have to do something. We can't stay in this building without changes. The spot on Main Street is a central location and we want the police department close to the city offices."

Council member Eischied said "if we do wait, it is not solving anything and costs will be higher. Is there any way we can ask the county for ARPA funds?

Following more than a half hour of discussion, council members voted to table taking action to approve the bids. This will allow more time for input from the public on the project.

A public hearing was held to consider the Planning Commission's recommendation for a zoning "Use By Exception Permit" from Homestead Homes to build a townhouse at 422 Donner Pass.

Following the public hearing, council members voted to unanimously to approve  Resolution 2023-67 in regard to the application.

In other action, council members approved an application for payment in the amount of $6,450.31 to Vrba Construction, Inc. for the 2023 Wayne Sanitary Sewer Service Improvement Project.

JEO Consulting Group, Inc. told the council that the punch list work and other items have been taken care of and the project is now complete.

A pay application in the amount of $40,485 to OCC Builders, LLC for the Freedom Park Trailhead Project was approved. 

The third and final reading for Ordinance 2023-18 was approved.

It will amend the city code in regard to zoning regulations in an A-1 Agricultural District.

Discussion on the purchase of the First National Bank of Omaha Building and property (Lot 1, Centennial Valley Addition to the City of Wayne) located at 1110 E. 10th Street was held.

Administrator Blecke explained the timeline for approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wayne Community Schools for the sale of the Community Activity Center.

City Attorney Amy Miller is working with the attorney for the seller and the lease agreement with the current tenant. The seller wishes to have the sale completed by the end of the year.

She encouraged the council to take action on both the MOU and purchase agreement at the next meeting.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.