It’s agreed that the city needs a new Department of Public Works building, but the potential cost is concerning to the councillors who have to approve the loan order
The request several months ago was for a new building estimated to cost between $22.5 to $25.3 million. Three different options were offered that varied in size and scope. Option 3, the largest project, would be phased in over a 10-year period. The less expensive option could be built all at one time.
A 57,000 square-foot building would be ideal, but it would not fit on its current Charger Street site. The lot is 10,000 square feet too short.
“Up to now there aren’t any trailers there. I thought there would be,’ Rizzo said.
Councillors had voted to bring in trailers to house the offices and some of the equipment last fall.
He added that he was surprised at the figures. He was not a councillor last year when the project was discussed.
“I’m just a little miffed at these numbers,” Rizzo said. “I just can’t imagine it would cost $21- $23 million. It’s a concrete building with offices. Those numbers to me are staggering.”
Superintendent of Public Work Don Goodwin said the trailers are under construction and should arrive in four to six weeks. On the plus side there is no need for land acquisition.”
Goodwin said the current building is deteriorating rapidly and is a hazard to employees and supplies. He said trucks can’t fit in the building and part of the cement floor is sinking.
“The building is not state compliant from a code standpoint,” Goodwin said. “It has become a real safety issue not just from a slip-and-fall standpoint, but it’s an embarrassment for the guys to work under these conditions.”
Goodwin said the firm of Weston and Sampson has been working with them.
“We can no longer wait for the perfect spot,” said Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso. “We have to get something going as soon as possible. We need people power in the DPW too.”
Council president Jessica Giannino said, “I think its time to bite the bullet, use the trailers and build new.”
Rizzo suggested that Weston and Sampson come in to explain the figures. The issue will go to a public hearing.