Littleton City Council Meeting Minutes – July 8, 2008

Littleton City Council Meeting Minutes

8 July 2008

 

Study Session Topics were:

             Update on Police Facilities

            TABOR Surplus from 2007

            Agendas and Meetings (Boards and Commissions)

            Western Welcome Week Parade Float

 

 

Police Facilities

In a memo from Jim Woods to the council Jim wrote, “At the workshop, staff was given direction to research the feasibility of building additional evidence processing and storage space, renovating the police officer locker rooms, and expanding administrative space primarily for the Investigations (Detective) Division.  The options were to include relocating Fire Administration to a building owned by the city at 2009 W. Littleton Boulevard; building a permanent stand-alone evidence storage building at the Belleview Service Center; a building east of the current Littleton Center; and a building on the north side of Slaughter House Gulch.”

 

Six options were prepared by ARC Integrated Program Management, Inc.

 

Option 1 – 12,245 sf new addition at Littleton Center – total construction cost of $3,765,192 and soft costs of $1,506,077 for a total budget of $5,271,269

 

Option 2 – 9,324 sf new addition at Littleton Center – total construction cost of $4,723,574 and soft costs of $1,889,429 for a total budget of $6,613,003

 

Option 3 – 10,101 sf new facility at the Service Center – total construction cost of $3,038,927, soft costs of $1,215,571 for a total budget of $4,254,497

 

Option 4 – 10,101 sf new facility at the Service Center – total construction cost of $4,681,138 soft costs of $1,872,455 for a total budget of $6,553,594

 

Option 5 – 10,101 sf new facility at the Littleton Center – NE Campus – total construction cost of $3,391,670, soft costs of $1,476,668 for a total budget of $5,168,338

 

Option 6 – 10,101 sf new facility at the Littleton Center – NE Campus – total construction cost of $5,333,882, soft costs of $2,133,553 for a total budget of $7,467,434

 

All the options include:

            Property & Evidence Storage

            ID Lab

            Vehicle Exam

            Renovate existing locker area and convert existing property & evidence to lockers

 

Option 2, 4 and 6 also include:

            Renovate existing fire administration for police detective offices

            Renovate two floors of community services building and shell remaining

            Relocate fire administration to community services building

 

Debbie Brinkman wanted to know why the City bought the building on Littleton Blvd if it takes $2,000,000 to make it habitable and it does not have adequate parking.

 

Woods said that was a “head scratcher” – it came with the deal.  We purchased the Courthouse for $1.

 

Brinkman asked how much it cost to renovate the Courthouse.  Woods said $5,000,000.  He continued, in 2001 or 2002 we bought the old jail site and this building came with it.  At first we thought it would be demolished for parking but South Suburban doesn’t need it for parking.  City Council and members of the Historic Preservation Board said wait a minute – this building has some historic value.  We have had some private investors interested – one party interested does not need parking.  We could go out for a RFP to see if the private sector is interested or come up with some joint use that we haven’t thought of yet.  It has evolved and changed along the way.

 

Peggy Cole said all the options are costly in today’s economy.  She asked how much it would cost to lease space for everything but evidence storage at Littleton Station or the old Sheriff’s building.  How much would it cost to purchase the old sheriff’s building?  What about buying out the lease for Geneva Lodge or adding a 3rd story to this building?

 

Woods said the answer to leasing would depend on how much space and for how long.  What kind of improvements you would have to make.  Office space, as a rough rule of thumb, goes for $12 to $16 per sf and the downtown spaces upstairs range from $18 to $22 per sf.  If there is interest in the old sheriff’s building we would need some direction to negotiate with the owners.  All the commercial space at Littleton Station has been leased.  We would have to negotiate to buy out the 20 year lease on Geneva Lodge.

 

Scott, from ARC, said if they leased space they would have to keep the Evidence Storage and ID Lab separate from the rest of the facility.  To add a 3rd floor to the Littleton Center would not be practical for Evidence Storage and the mechanical systems are already challenged.  His gut reaction was that it would be more cost effective to go with a stand alone facility.  Is the building capable of withstanding the load of a 3rd floor and if you assume it is capable – there are a lot of other factors that would make it cost prohibitive.

 

Clark asked about taking Option 1 or 2 and make it a second story elevated over the parking lot. 

 

Clark asked why the Ltn Blvd building needed to be renovated when people worked in there 3 years ago.  Scott said the mechanical and electrical systems are inadequate, the roof leaks.  He did not know if there was a possibility of painting and moving in desks.  It is not ADA compliant.

 

Clark said there are 7,000 sf – more than 3 times what fire currently has.

 

Scott said the building is inefficient and making it efficient will lead to code changes.

 

Woods offered any council members so inclined to take a tour of the building.  He doubted that the County would have had employees in the building much longer. It is a throw-away building.

 

Clark said rather than calling it a dysfunctional building it really was a historic gem that people want.

 

Clark asked for a more definitive cost estimate on Options 1 and 2 with a 2nd story for evidence.  He wants to tour the Ltn Blvd building.

 

John Ostermiller said maybe we need to be talking to the Crazy Merchant – their building has a lot of potential.

 

Clark was also interested in the idea of converting the existing Service Center for the police and building a new building for the Service Center.

 

Cole said she was also interested in that but would want to build for a future 2nd story.

 

Jim Taylor said he was not enthused about the Service Center options – there are way too many drawbacks and it would take a lot to convince him that it is a good idea.  He favored Option 1.

 

Ostermiller said Finance should project to see how we could pay for it – given the capital requirements I don’t know how we would fund it and without a financial plan it is not worth a lot more staff work.

 

Brinkman preferred Option 1 but would like to know how much it would cost to finish rather than have a shell for finishing in the future.

 

Taylor said they would avoid code issues if the new building was not attached to the old.  Scott said attaching them would allow for the use of the elevators and provide physical access.

 

Clark wanted to hear more from Chief Coogan about the impact of having the police split between the City Center and the Service Center.

 

Taylor thought something would have to be done to improve the access from Belleview.

 

Brinkman suggested that they sell the Ltn Blvd building to help pay for whatever they decide to do for the police.  Woods offered to contact the two parties that expressed interest in the building.

 

Clark moved to look into selling the building, moving the Service Center employees into a new building, look at Option 1 more extensively and obtain the cost of building the shell out for a 2nd story, and extending the building over the parking lot and provide a tour of the historic gem.

 

Mulvey seconded the motion.  Motion passed 7/0.

 

TABOR

Suzanne Staiert provided three different methods for adjusting the revenue base related to the 2006 refund and the potential for exceeding the TABOR revenue cap this year.  Quoting from her memo, “Historically, the City of Littleton has never adjusted its base for voter approved revenue changes.  For this reason, the Fiscal Year Spending Base (FYSB) has remained a pure calculation of the 1992 FYSB plus inflation plus growth.”

 

  1. Adjust the base for each year the voters approved revenue changes.
  2. Remove the 2006 excess from 2006 base to calculate the 2007 base
  3. Use the actual 2006 revenues to calculate the base.

 

The Council has a deadline to let the clerk’s office know if there will be a TABOR ballot question.

 

Clark said there were two issues in front of them – do we want to do something about the calculation of the base and do we want to got to the voters to retain the overage.

 

Cole said she preferred Option 2.  Taylor agreed, so did Brinkman and Clark.  Cole made the motion and it was approved 6/1 with Clark dissenting.

 

Ostermiller asked if there was a final number for the 2007 TABOR limit.  Doug Farmen said the auditors have agreed that it is 1.63 million dollars.

 

Clark said he would support eliminating the Open Space money from the TABOR limits.

 

In discussing whether or not to refund the TABOR excess Brinkman said she would support asking for specific items to be purchased.

 

Clark said he would have a difficult time supporting anything except the Open Space money since the voters have already eliminated the TABOR limits on it at the County level.  We had an election in 2006 for a permanent de-TABORing for unspecified uses and we have $12 million in the Water Fund.  The more you ask and lose the harder it gets.

 

Brinkman said she agreed with Clark on the Open Space money but did not agree with him on going to the voters to deTABOR.  The Water Fund is an unknown.  She had talked to a lot of citizens and asked and not one has encouraged her to refund the TABOR excess.  She wants to be specific about how the money will be used – it needs to be real, honest and right – something that without the voter’s approval would not get done.

 

Clark moved that staff prepare a ballot title to eliminate the 2007 Open Space (Shareback) and all future revenues for open space from the TABOR limits.

Brinkman seconded.

 

Ostermiller asked what happens when the open space tax expires – is our base adjusted lower?  Tiffany Wooten said yes.

 

Taylor said he could not just support eliminating the open space money – it will not solve the problems.  The motion passed 4/3 with Taylor, Mulvey and Ostermiller dissenting.

 

On a 6/1 vote, with Clark dissenting, the Council will be discussion language for a possible TABOR question for this November’s ballot.

 

Agendas and Meetings

Kelli Narde said some of the boards and commission are confused about what should be posted and when.  It was decided on a 7/0 vote that all council regular meeting agendas, draft minutes, approved minutes, study session agendas and approved minutes would be included on the City’s web site and posted at the City Center and Bemis Library. 

 

All boards and commissions agendas and approved minutes will be posted on the Web based on a 7/0 vote.

 

WWW Float

Cole moved to do a float – motion passed 7/0.

 

Council directed Woods to write a letter to the RTD Board opposing the elimination of the Sky Ride on a 4/3 vote with Taylor, Brinkman and Jose dissenting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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