The Sun Valley City Council and Mayor Peter Hendricks will likely scale back a proposed renovation to the interior of City Hall and the police station.
A cost estimate compiled by Hummel Architects called for spending $727,000 total for the project, which would have renovated 3,636 square feet of City Hall at a cost of $460,128 and 2,114 square feet of the Sun Valley Police Department headquarters at a cost of $267,522.
The proposed budget for fiscal 2020 includes $99,260 for funding part of the City Hall interior renovation. The City Council discussed the overall project during its budget hearings last week.
In an interview Tuesday, Hendricks said the council will revisit and likely scale back the project during an upcoming budget meeting on July 8, which begins at 9 a.m. at Sun Valley City Hall.
“That’s a very, very hard justification for taxpayers,” Hendricks said of the $727,000 estimate. “I wish the number was a little bit less. It’s been 30 years since any significant amount of money has been spent on City Hall.”
He said that depending on the council’s preference at the July 8 meeting, the project could focus on the public spaces in City Hall first, such as the council chambers, hallways and reception area. Then it would shift to renovating the Community Development Department and Police Department spaces after that.
Hummel Architects provided a report to the city government in May. The firm used the rustic modern style as an inspiration for designing the renovation project. The firm was hired in fall 2018 to spearhead design of the project.
According to Hummel’s report, the project included “the replacement of millwork, doors and hardware throughout and a complete replacement of the building’s lighting system. A furniture package was also developed for City Hall which includes the replacement of all office, council chambers and police administration furniture.”
The report included a cost estimate from Idaho Mountain Builders, which estimated that the project’s price per square foot would be $127.
Broken down, the lighting package would cost $112,000, the millwork would cost $63,888, the doors and hardware would cost $52,000 and remodeling four restrooms would cost $14,546, $23,831, $16,305 and $16,933 each. The project budget included $44,106 for flooring and carpeting, $70,344 for paint and wall covering, $100,000 for demolition and $52,047 for base and trim refinishing.
In an interview Monday, Councilman Keith Saks said he was not willing to support spending that amount of money to renovate City Hall and the police station.
“I would be very, very hard to convince that we should spend anywhere near what that figure was,” Saks said. “There are certain things that should be done. Our taxpayers would not be very happy seeing us spend three-fourths of a million dollars.”
He said he could support including some money in the fiscal 2020 budget for the renovation, but not what was presented.
Saks said a better use of the city’s budget is to support a plan from Public Safety Director Walt Femling and Fire Chief Taan Robrahn to purchase a new pumper-tanker for the Fire Department. That is expected to cost about $785,000 and will allow the department to replace two fire engines with one pumper-tanker that can hold 2,500 gallons of water.
“I give a lot of credit to Walt and Taan for what they came up with there,” Saks said. “That type of thing makes a lot of sense to me.”
Hendricks said the July 8 meeting will focus on the city’s long-term capital needs, and how much the City Council should set aside in future budgets to meet those needs.
“We need to be diligent about putting away funds for the future,” he said.