Although The City Council approved a $22.5 million bond to build a new Department of Public Works (DPW) facility on Charger Road, they are hoping to spend less.
“$22.5 million is an awful lot of money for such a facility,” said Councillor Dan Rizzo, chairman of the council’s Ways and Means Subcommittee that met before the regular council meeting on Monday night.
He noted that DPW employees have been working in terrible conditions for a long time. The building has mold and water leaks. It also cannot house all of the department’s equipment. Employees cannot work in the building. Former Superintendent of Public Works Don Goodwin said trailers are two to three weeks away from delivery.
J.P. Parnus of Weston and Sampson, which has designed the new facility, said there is $17.8 million in construction costs or a cost of roughly $377 a square foot. It is a partial two-story metal building 47,458 square feet on top of a foundation. Other communities with similar buildings include Medford, which built a building for $342 per square foot, and Andover, which built a 54,088 square-foot building for $371 a square foot.
The Revere facility would include an administrative area, a locker room and storage for equipment.
“I just thought the size, the scope and the cost of the project seemed way out of line for what our city needs,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo said he firmly believes in a new facility, but the proposed cost of it is a concern of his.
“These guys have been waiting a long time,” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky.
Councillor Jessica Giannino said they are planning to start building in 2018,.”
“The DPW as a whole is understaffed,” she said. There are 30 public works employees, seven of those are administrative positions. “We have to anticipate for growth. It’s the most understaffed department in the city.”
“We can give them something nice, but we don’t need to build this unnecessarily,” Rizzo said. During the regular meeting, the councillors voted to approve the $22.5 million bond.