The final two tangible projects from the Surprise 2017 general obligation bonds are not quite complete, and now they are formally one project.
A budget transfer at the Oct. 5 Surprise City Council meeting formally consolidates the two projects — the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center and the Police Training Facility — on paper. It renames the project as the Public Safety Evidence, Readiness & Training Center, stated Kristin Tytler, Surprise city engineer/assistant public works director.
Tytler said the project should be completed in a couple months. The council unanimously approved a budget amendment moving $975,000 from contingency in the capital projects fund into the project’s fund.
Tytler stated in an email that originally, the two buildings were planned on different sites. When the projects initially were scoped, the Police Department was going to repurpose the existing Police Property and Evidence facility on Litchfield Road to be the new Police Training Facility.
“Soon after the design stage began, we realized that a more appropriate building to repurpose for the Police Training Facility was the then-current Public Works operations building, as the building was newer than the existing evidence facility, and it existed on the same site as the new Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center. This also allowed for efficiencies such as shared parking and gates,” Tytler stated.
She stated that when the facilities were located at the same site, the estimated savings were approximately $694,000. At the time, this amount was transferred from the Police Training Facility to the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center project.
City officials stated in an email that the estimated final cost is $13.5 million for both buildings. This includes the $10.9 million originally in the bond, $1.56 million from the development impact fees for added capacity/bays and the just approved $975,000 for improvements to the original scope of the project, including items like the VR technology.
Tytler stated no overall bond funds were added, rather, the funds we reallocated.
“Surprise capital improvement projects include funding from multiple sources. While a majority of the funding for these particular projects come from the bond, this has also been supplemented by other sources, including police and fire development impact fees and general capital projects. The funds approved in this action are budgeted from the general capital projects contingency,” Tytler said.
Approving this funding allows for building with more durable materials and newer technology that was not in use at the time of the bond’s proposal.
A majority of material alternatives are the concrete over asphalt, in heavy vehicle traffic areas, and the replacement of millings in some locations to asphalt, Tytler said.
“Additional features include customized virtual reality training software that is more robust and specialized than what was available at the time these projects were scoped, virtual meeting technology and communication resources, as well as property and evidence supplies and equipment that make the handling and storage of evidence safer and more efficient than has been available in the past,” she stated.
Surprise Police Chief Benny Pina stated the is the most up-to-date system that will allow the department to provide training on scenario-based decision making and use of force options.
“The scenarios will be based on situations relevant to what officers face during daily response to calls for service. Without leaving the training room, officers will be able to conduct traffic stops, help an individual in crisis, or simply talk to a customer at a local retail store. Trainers are able to provide an infinite range of environments and scenarios to prepare our officers to best serve our community,” Pina stated.
Less technological upgrades will help with everyday tasks, like a car caddy for the evidence yard and evidence bins.
And starting with better material should make for less long-term maintenance costs.
“The consolidation into one project will allow us to efficiently manage and track some of the shared assets we have. As we move into the asset management, it will be much more manageable in one project.
Tytler also said the city is in negotiations with a landowner west of Loop 303 for the final bond item, purchasing land for a future police and fire station and city park. The land sale budget in the bond is $3 million and an update on the city’s web site stated Surprise is planning to purchase 16 acres.