SWL: Public Safety Complex carports won’t be funded by solar; small deadline extension granted

by beth on November 26, 2018

Post image for SWL: Public Safety Complex carports won’t be funded by solar; small deadline extension granted

Above: The project to build a combined police and fire station reached 25% completion at the end of last month. (image cropped from 11/7/18 Facebook post)

The Board of Selectmen agreed to a negotiated 10 extra unpaid days for contractors to finish the Public Safety Complex this summer. They also agreed to pay the $350K needed to construct carports for cruisers.

The decisions were made at last Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, according to Southborough Wicked Local. The article reports:

The town has negotiated with the contractor of the new combined police and fire stations after the company wanted an extra month to complete its work.

Selectmen just before Thanksgiving also agreed to ditch a plan to have a private company install solar canopies for police cruiser carports on the property.

After a series of letters between the general contractor and the town’s project manager, the town gave the contractor an extra six working days or 10 days total, according to Jason Malinowski, chairman of the Public Safety Building Committee. . .

CTA Construction of Waltham now has until July 10 to complete the project.

The town hoped to work with a company to lease space to build the solar carports, but after two rounds of bids no companies returned bids.

For full article, click here.

The decisions were made following the latest update out of the Public Safety Building Committee. (You can view that via Southborough Access Media video here.)

Four days prior, the committee released its latest monthly newsletter update by the Owner’s Project Manager. That recapped progress through the end of October. (You can open it here.) According the newsletter, the project was at 25% completion. The update indicated parties were in process of talking through schedule delay requests.

Since I never posted the September report, I’m sharing that link here as well.

For more pictures of the project progress, check the Southborough Fire Department Facebook page.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SB November 26, 2018 at 8:59 PM

Wow, $350k for 10 carports?!? Seems like a lot, does anyone have the back story on this?

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2 beth November 27, 2018 at 8:06 AM

I don’t know where you got the number 10, so I don’t know if that is accurate. I couldn’t find how many canopies or how many cars they are meant to cover.

The only backstory that I believe it was said that the Chief wants cruisers to be readily available to quickly go even when it snows. The cost was a concern. That is why they sought to fund the car ports through a solar project. (http://www.mysouthborough.com/2018/02/28/public-safety-building-project-bids-due-before-town-meeting-rfp-being-issued-for-solar-canopies/)

Apparently, that was unsuccessful.

I will reach out to the chair to see if he can provide some more context.

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3 beth November 27, 2018 at 1:23 PM

I contacted Jason Malinowski, the committee Chair. He explained why the canopies, which will cover 19 cars, are expensive. It’s not expensive marble. It’s expensive steel and concrete:

unfortunately with the cost of steel and concrete these days, this is partially a product of the cost of labor coupled with the tariffs attached to these items. Thankfully, the bids for the building itself went out and were back before items such as steel had a tariff attached to it. If we were bidding today, as opposed to last Spring, we likely would be looking at a very different result not in our favor.

He also pointed out that the canopies were part of the original project scope Town Meeting approved. After estimates came back, the Fire Department scrapped the canopies they had planned over their trailers. But:

Given that the police do not have any garage space for their cruisers, it was necessary to still keep them for the police side to deal with inclement weather, etc.

This wasn’t in the original bid because:

we chose not to accept the cost until we exhausted all avenues to make sure it was a cost that we should actually be paying for, as opposed to finding alternative sources of funding for such as the solar that firms ended up not replying to.

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4 SB Resident November 27, 2018 at 5:13 PM

I’ve been by our police station a couple of times and I remember only 4 or 5 cruisers being in the lot. How often are 19 cruisers on premises? Do we really need 19 covered spots? Can they not maybe share? The blank check received under the “well town meeting approved it” is just obnoxious. Yes, we approved the general concept of build a new facility, but we also approved the only option given to us, it doesn’t mean go blow our money. Regardless 350k is a joke. Here’s a sample…

I’ll start with one that is probably like what we are getting, but this town was able to build an 18 vehicle canopy for 140k.
https://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-bethlehem-township-commissioners-0302-20150302-story.html

In case anyone though my 1/10th of 350k was inaccurate, (I was assuming 10 spots) This one got a 6 vehicle carport for a mere 17k.
https://allegannews.com/allegan-news-news/allegan-police-get-new-undercover-car-carport

This town got what looks like a 10+ unit carport with walls for 40k
http://www.thepostnewspapers.com/norton/local_news/police-carport-opens-for-business/article_de246334-0046-51cb-bf1e-eecba8a88102.html

Here’s another for about 35k
https://cumberlink.com/news/local/communities/mechanicsburg/silver-spring-police-carport-provides-shelter-for-snowy-days/article_d52198a6-7df3-11e3-a529-0019bb2963f4.html

This one also almost got fleeced for 350k, but they were smart enough to reject the bid as they expected the cost to be around 100k.
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/katonah-slash-lewisboro/articles/bedford-police-department-carports-project-re-bid

These towns got theirs for free due to solar usage.
https://www.nhregister.com/metro/article/Police-Department-in-Cheshire-will-get-
carport-13131212.php
https://www.greenskies.com/about/news/cheshire-police-solar-carport-works

This town was requesting 90k for their carport, but it got rejected as that was determined to cost too much.
https://www.middletownpress.com/news/article/No-police-carport-Cromwell-finance-board-rejects-11813897.php

This town estimates theirs should cost 150k.
https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/brattleboro-to-design-police-train-projects,539899?

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5 SB Resident November 27, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Yes 350k is a lot, it should be about 1/10th that. But this is the taj, so I’m assuming they’ll be using all marble in which case to cover less than 2000 sq ft of parking lot at roughly $100 a sq ft for marble, 350k is well still too high.

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6 southsider November 27, 2018 at 5:45 PM

we own 19 police vehicles?
seems like a big number for our small town. And frankly, I’d much prefer most of them were rolling around town enhancing our safety and preventing potential crimes.

I’m sure I’m over-simplifying something or other… but 19 town owned police vehicles parked at any one time seems counter-intuitive to me…

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