VALPARAISO | While plans for the new public works campus are being finalized, Public Works Director Matt Evans received permission Thursday to advertise for bids as soon as they are ready.
Evans told the city's Board of Public Works the plans by Chester Inc. should be ready by mid or late August. The city hopes to begin construction in October. The buildings at the city's sewage treatment plant are expected to be ready in October 2014.
The new facilities will be shared with the city's Utilities Department. Utility Director Steve Poulos got approval from the board Thursday to enter into a lease with the city for its share of the project.
The lease calls for the Utilities Department to cover the cost of the construction of its portion of up to $1.5 million. Total cost of the project is $6 million to $6.3 million, and the city will pay for the rest with a bond issue.
The bond issue will be paid off without raising taxes because a park department bond issue is being paid off this year. The new bond issue will replace that at about the same rate.
Evans said he will be able to cover some of the initial expenses of the project, such as the land appraisal and the wetlands delineation, out of his regular operating budget. A building corporation will be formed in August to issue the bonds, and the city expects to close on the bonds Oct. 3.
Evans presented the council with an outline of the project Monday showing two main buildings totaling about 85,000 square feet. One building will house offices for both the public works department and the utilities, a sign shop and a vehicle maintenance shop.
The public works office area will have a little over 5,000 square feet with a second floor, mostly for storage but will provide room for expansion. The utilities department's portion of the building will be 14,000 square feet.
The second building will be for vehicle storage, and Evans said a wall will separate the city's rubbish trucks from the rest of the vehicle storage area.
A fueling station and a salt storage barn also are planned. Evans said it will reduce the number of buildings from seven at the existing campus to two and allow for greater efficiencies and sharing of space.