Funds approved for interior demolition of former police facility in Bella Vista

NWA Democrat-Gazette/FILE PHOTO Bella Vista sign

BELLA VISTA -- The Bella Vista City Council has approved a contract amendment with Clinard Construction Management for the interior demolition of the two-story former Police Department facility at the City Hall complex.

The resolution approved Sept. 25 authorizes expenses in the amount of $367,112.40, including the purchase of a generator with an automatic transfer switch as well as a main switch gear, in furtherance of the Central Fire Station project.

The new generator equipment will serve the entire complex, Fire Chief Steve Sims pointed out during the council's work session Sept. 18. He said the current generator is still in good shape and will be repurposed.

"The one there is not big enough," he said. "It's a 100kw, and we're going to need at least a 300kw, because when it's all said and done, that generator is going to run the whole city complex, so we have everything on generated power.

"The old generator that's sitting there is going to move to Station 2. We're going to repurpose it to the fire station on the east side, because I want all my fire stations on full generated power."

Sims added that Station 2 is the only fire station in the city that's not operated on full generated power in the case of a power outage. "As emergency manager, I think it's important to have our fire stations running on complete power," he said.

According to a takeoff worksheet provided by Mark Clinard of Clinard Construction, the generator and automatic transfer switch will cost approximately $180,000 and the main switch gear will cost $30,000.

The worksheet also shows the line-item costs for the Phase 1A demolition work, which are estimated numbers except for the demolition contractor. Clinard said he is comfortable the numbers are sufficient to complete the interior demolition of the two-story building.

Regarding the switch gear purchase, Clinard stated, "That main switch gear dates back to the original construction, so it's going on 40 years. We can't even buy parts for the switch gear that's in there."

He noted that one meter serves the entire complex, and if a breaker were to go out "we'd be in trouble."

Sims said the expenditures are currently in the capital budget for 2023, under Capital Projects Fire Station #1 remodel. "Two point four million [dollars] is what was in capital this year," he said. "We've spent out of that maybe a couple hundred thousand so far on the project."

The interior demolition needs to be completed before a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) can be given so crews can open up the walls for discovery purposes.

Clinard said he hopes to have the GMP intact and the Phase 1 project put out to bids by the end of the year, if not sooner.

Sims said he hopes to have the new plans approved by the project architect and submitted in time for the November Planning Commission meeting.

In other business Sept. 25, the City Council approved a resolution amending the 2023 budget to reallocate $13,600 in capital budget savings to apply to the purchase of a Chevrolet pickup truck for the Fire Department.

This is a capital transfer pertaining to the recent purchase of an extended cab pickup and additional equipment for use by the inspection division.

Sims said the awarded bid came in at $45,165, which went over budget by $5,165. He said the department completed a couple projects under budget this year and requested to use those savings to finish paying for the pickup with accessories including striping, lights and a camper shell.

The council also approved a resolution appropriating $76,135.15 in unspent funds from the 2022 capital budget relating to fire suppression water line expenses at the Bella Vista Public Safety Facility.

During the Sept. 18 work session, Police Chief James Graves, overseer of the project, said this amounts to a bookkeeping revision. He said within the 2022 budget, $150,000 was designated to cover unforeseen fire suppression water line expenses during construction of the facility. Due to the length of the project and some oversight in billing, not all of the designated 2022 capital water line money was used in 2022, he said.

To balance the Public Safety Bond Fund, Graves requested approval to allocate and recognize the remaining $76,135.15 within the 2023 capital budget.