Kamloops city councilors are being asked to approve additional funding of $4.75 million so that detailed design work for the RCMP Battle Street Detachment expansion project can begin.
A staff report will be presented to council this Tuesday, May 10, outlining why city staff say expansion should be a priority before the new council is elected in October.
“What we’re suggesting is that validation work (pre-planning), once complete, could come back to the new council in early 2023, but that work would be essentially complete this summer,” the director of civic operations said. , Jen Fretz, to NL News.
“So we would wait until the new board is in place to present that or if that current board wishes, we could move forward with detailed design work and avoid any delays.”
A business case that included this preliminary planning work at a cost of $750,000 was presented in early 2020, but Fretz tells NL News that work did not begin until late last year due of the pandemic.
“The city team is doing that validation work right now and if the council wants, we can just finish that work and then bring back a range of costs for them this summer,” Fretz said, noting that the move would require some time. add $800,000 with the money. from the reserves of the Gaming Fund.
“Or for $4.75 million we can complete the detailed design now and bring a very firm figure back to the board in the new year. This would eliminate any delay between us to advance the validation work and advance the real cost of the building.
While the expansion is currently expected to cost between $50 million and $80 million, Fretz says it would double the size of the downtown Kamloops detachment and meet the city’s policing needs over the next 15 years.
Built in 1990, the 40,000 square foot Battle Street Detachment was built in 1990 with a capacity of 85 employees. City staff say they are currently retaining 190 employees – both RCMP officers and city support staff – double their originally planned occupancy.
If approved, Fretz says Council will also have to approve short-term borrowing of that $4.75 million, though she says NL News staff are looking for grants that could lower the cost to ratepayers. .
But she notes that moving forward with detailed design work now could save up to $7.1 million on the overall construction estimate.
“This request for $4.75 million does not tie the next board’s hands,” Fretz said. ‘It’s not a boost for the building at all, it’s to get more information so we can provide more details on our next council.’
“We want to give the council as much information as possible.”
Find the full report from the City of Kamloops Civic Operations Department here.