Continued renovation to the Odessa City Hall has been included in the 2014 Budget. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with City Administrator Jon Holmes:

Jon Holmes

The work to City Hall began in 2012. When construction crews opened up the drop ceiling, they discovered an old tile ceiling that was part of the historic bank building. Holmes said the Board of Aldermen the began expressing an interest in bringing the structure back to its former glory. $70,000 has been put aside for those repairs.

Roof repairs that had been scheduled for last year will be completed this year. The City is in the process of accepting bids. The City has $65,000 from the 2013 budget allowed for that work.

The FY 2014 Budget allows $15,000 for Community Building Repairs. Last year, the front doors were replaced and a heating and cooling system was repaired. The building has three, as it is so large. A second unit will be replaced  this year. Repairs and upgrades to make the bathrooms ADA compliant are also planned.

The largest portion of the Fiscal Year 2014 Capital Projects Funding , an amount of $270,000, will go to street projects. Staff is still reviewing the priorities, and the list of projects will be decided at a later time.

Press Release from City Administrator Jon Holmes

  • Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) Capital Projects Funding
    • Street Projects: $248,000 – The following street projects are expected to begin in the next few weeks. We are meeting with the contractors this week to discuss their work plan and timeframes.
      • Otway Street – Street replacement, drainage culverts installed to handle stormwater drainage from the intersection of Otway and Spring Street where drainage has been a continual problem. Curbs and gutters installed to Connor Street.
      • Wells Street Project: Mason to Main Street – Complete reconstruction of street. Construction of curb and Gutters, replacement of old water line, replacement of collapsed sewer line. These costs are shared between the Water fund, Wastewater fund, and General fund
      • Russell Street Project: Orchard to Dryden – Replacement of asphalt for a portion of the street. Replacement of collapsed sewer line. These costs are shared between the Wastewater fund, and General fund
      • Chip Sealing – Phillips Street: 2nd to 1st. 9th Street: Kirkpatrick Street to Cox School Road.
What is chip sealing?
Chip sealing on existing paved streets is not “repair”. Chip sealing is used on streets that are in basically good shape in order to prolong the life of the streets. This process seals the cracks and fractures in the asphalt to keep water from seeping through. When water seeps through cracks and fractures in the asphalt it makes the road base wet and spongy, and when vehicles drive over this, the back and forth eventually cause the pavement to buckle and a pot hole forms. Chip sealing is much the same as applying a sealant on your wood deck to keep water out, and prolong the life of the deck.
    • Emergency Alert Siren Replacement: $25,000 – Much of the Emergency Alert system was put in place beginning in the late sixties and into the seventies. The emergency notification system is very old, and needs to be updated to ensure comprehensive notification of emergency situations in the new developed areas of the city. This funding is to address that deficiency, and for the installation of additional sirens in other parts of the City to ensure proper notification of emergency situations. Sufficient funding has been requested for replacement of the existing sirens over the next three years (see below: FY 2014 Capital Projects Funding, Item B) to ensure that we have an emergency alert system that is dependable and can be heard in all parts of the city. The Board of Alderman review all proposed capital projects annually for approval and funding. The first siren project was completed in fall of 2012.
    • Community Building Updating and Repairs: $15,000 – This project was to replace a faulty and unsafe HVAC system at the Community Building, and replace the broken doors at the front entrance. This project was completed fall of 2012. These projects have been scheduled for funding for three years (FY 2013, 2014, and 2015). This proposed funding is address compliance issues related to meeting federal law with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the bathrooms, and to address much needed updating related to fire codes in the kitchen areas. Other issues include future needed replacement or repair of HVAC systems, and other components of the building such as doors, sliding room divider, sound system for public meetings, etc.
    • City Hall Renovation: $70,000 – This project is for the restoration and renovation of City Hall. In 2012 the front entrance façade was replaced because the old window structure was structurally unsound. In this process the City Administrators office was disassembled in order to complete this project. The City Administrator moved to the back of the Building where he shares an office space with other staff. This was initially only to be temporary. When this project was done, the old building ceiling and other aspects of this historic building were uncovered. In discussions with the Board of Alderman during the FY 2013 Budget work-session, a plan was put forward to address this renovation where part of it would be completed in FY 2013 and then the remaining would be completed in FY 2014. The goal would be to restore this historic building, and to renovate the space to be ADA compliant, and enlarge the office space by finishing the largely unused storage space in the rear of the building for additional office area. Allocations of $70,000 would be made in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 for a total of $140,000 to accommodate this project. At this time, this project is ready to move forward at the direction of the Board of Alderman.
    • City Hall Roof Replacement: $65,000 – The roof on City Hall has been bad for a number of years. Money was allocated in 2012 to replace the roof, but after receiving bids, it was found that the amount allocated was not sufficient. This project was rebudgeted in 2013. We are in the process of receiving bids at this time to complete this project in the early fall.
    • Police/EMS Dept. Building Updating: $10,000 & Street Shop Building Repair: $5,000 – These two projects were initially budgeted in the FY 2013 Budget based on the 10 Year Capital Plan request. Mid-year 2013 one of the Ambulances developed serious mechanical problems that would require several thousand dollars to repair. This ambulance was 18 years old, and had over 160,000 miles on it. The concern was that we must have two fully dependable ambulances to adequately respond to any medical emergency. We had one new one, and two old ones. The 18 year old ambulance mentioned above, and another ambulance that was 13 years old with 130,000 miles on it. I brought this issue before the Board of Alderman for review, and requested that we delay any work on the Police/EMS Building and Street Shop Building and use that funding to help pay for “reboxing” the ambulance box on a new chassis. A complete new ambulance is approximately $150,000. Reboxing only cost about $75,000, but only can be completed if the box is in good condition. The ambulance that needed the extensive engine repairs was viable for reboxing. This plan was approved by the Board of Alderman, and this expense will be financed over the next four years. The funding of $15,000 originally allocated for renovations will be used to complete this project. That leaves the EMS dept with two new ambulances, and one older ambulance as a backup.

Fleet Management:

In 2012 when the 10 year capital plan was developed, staff recorded and cataloged every vehicle,the year, mileage, and use of the vehicle. We also took a picture of it to better record keeping. Going forward, the Board of Alderman reviews every vehicle that is being recommended for replacement, the mileage and age. Additionally, all vehicles are scheduled for replacement based on expected usable life of the vehicle, expected price of replacement, and allowance that there needs to be some give and take in this schedule. The goal is to maximize the useable life of the vehicle, and monitor the cost/benefit ratio to maintaining or repairing the vehicle versus replacing it. In short, not waste money repairing an old vehicle that is well past it’s prime.

FY 2014 Fleet Expenditures:

2 Replacement Patrol Vehicles: $50,000 allocated – 25,000 each.

2008 Ford Crown Victoria – 170,000 miles

2009 Ford Crown Victoria – 150,000 miles

Status: Replacement Completed fall of 2012

Considerations:

The average police car racks up 40,000 miles a year as our officer patrol our community. This means that after just three years, a patrol car can have over 120,000 miles. Police must have vehicles that can be depended on to respond to serious situations. These cars receive regular service to keep them operating efficiently and dependably. All old vehicles are sold at auction, and the money received from these sales is put back into the Capital Projects fund for use in purchasing replacement vehicles in the future. The current replacement schedule and actual usage dictates that at least one patrol car is replaced annually in the budget. Last year two patrol cars were replaced because replacement was skipped in a previous year, and also because the car that had been traditionally reserved for the Chief was replaced by a full patrol vehicle that got more use, and lowered the burden on the remaining patrol vehicles.

Incidentally, I was asked why we did not buy Ford Crown Victoria’s for police use like we had in the past, and weren’t the Dodge Chargers more expensive. Ford discontinued the Crown Victoria in 2011, and the Chargers were the lowest bid that came in when the bid requests went out. It should also be noted that the Chargers have a V-6 motor that is sufficient for patrolling our community, and gets better gas mileage that the V-8 patrol vehicle it replaced.

  • Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) Capital Projects Funding– Pending the passage of the FY 2014 Budget
    • Street Projects: $270,000 allocated
      • At this time the street projects for FY 2014 that be completed in the summer of 2014 have not yet been determined. Staff is reviewing the street priorities at this time, and we will be presenting options to the Board of Alderman after the first of the year.
    • City Hall Renovation: $70,000
      • See discussion of this project above under FY 2013 Capital Projects, Item D.
    • C. Emergency Alert Siren Replacement: $25,000
      • Continuation of the plan discussed above in FY 2013 Capital Projects List, Item B to replace the aging, and insufficient emergency sirens currently in place.
    • Community Building Repairs: $15,000
      • Continuation of the plan discussed above in FY 2013 Capital Projects. Item C.

Tentative FY 2014 Fleet Replacements:

Two replacement Vehicles scheduled: $56,000 allocated 2009 Ford Crown Victoria – School Resource Officer/Patrol Vehicle: odometer stopped working at 190,000 miles. This has been kept because this vehicle is primarily used for the school resource officer, and not used for emergency response unless absolutely necessary.

1989 Dodge Pickup – 170,000 miles – Currently needs many repairs, and was scheduled in the capital plan for replacement.

Many of these issues are multi-faceted and have many aspects that must be considered before taking action. It would be a lot easier if there was a simple answer, however this is often not the case. Please rest assured that every effort is being made to provide the Mayor and Board of Aldermen the best information possible, and they strive to consider all possible options before making a decision. As always, if you would like more information, have a comment or question, you can contact the Mayor, your Alderman, or me.

Jon