IOWA CITY — Public Works Department employees are a step closer to getting facility upgrades.
On Tuesday, the Iowa City Council approved, 7-0, a $844,000 design services agreement with Neumann Monson Architects for first phase of an Public Works Facility upgrade.
Ron Knoche, the city’s public works director, said this phase would include building a vehicle storage facility and a fire department training tower on the city’s land on the northwest corner of McCollister Boulevard and South Gilbert Street.
“We make the best with what we have and the situation that we’re in, and that’s what our Streets Division’s been doing for a long time,” Knoche said.
The new building would contain the Streets and Water divisions’ vehicle storage facility and shop and a fleet-washing facility for the Equipment Division. Knoche said in future phases the administration building on the property would be demolished and office space would be added to the Phase I building.
The Phase I facility will be a major upgrade for vehicles, which are kept outdoors. During the winter, the city rents space from the Johnson County Fairgrounds for indoor storage of Streets Division vehicles.
“From an operations standpoint, having storage off site makes it challenging,” Knoche said.
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“Obviously, if we keep them out of the weather and keep them under roof, the fleet itself will last longer.”
Knoche said the city’s goal would be to bid out the project and begin construction of Phase I in the fall. While design has yet to be started, Knoche said city staffers hope to keep the first phase around $9.2 million.
Future phases would include moving the equipment fleet maintenance building from South Riverside Drive to the new location. The transit facility, including bus storage and maintenance, also would move.
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