CEDAR FALLS — The City Council on Monday night gave the green light for a new public safety building in the southern part of the city to headquarter fire and police operations.

Council members approved a contract with Peters Construction of Waterloo, which submitted the apparent low base bid of just more than $7.3 million. The council added alternates for additional work for storage and training space and natural lighting to bring the total construction cost to almost $7.4 million. The estimate was $7.6 million.

The entire project, including land purchase, engineering and architectural fees, fixtures and equipment, will cost about $11 million.

The project has a May 2019 completion date.

The site currently houses the south fire station near Greenhill Road and South Main Street. Public Safety Director Jeff Olson said bringing fire and police operation under one roof would relieve crowded conditions in the police space in the basement of City Hall and foster greater fire-police cooperation as the city hires more cross-trained public safety officers to perform police duties and fight fires.

The project is being paid for with money accumulated over several years, without having to raise taxes by issuing general obligation bonds, which would have required voter approval.

On a separate project, the council awarded a contract to Peterson Contractors Inc. of Reinbeck for $820,700 to rebuild a box culvert on West 20th Street in the vicinity of Franklin and Clay streets. PCI submitted the lowest of six bids and was below the engineer’s estimate of nearly $957,000.

The council also approved a resolution affirming Jan. 1 automatic pay raises for the council and mayor based on the federal Consumer Price Index, which was 2.1 percent for this past year.

Council members will make $6,046 a year and Mayor Jim Brown will make $91,197. While the raises are automatic under a city ordinance adopted years ago, the council is required to approve a resolution to document the raises.

The council also approved a development agreement with Zheng Development for construction of a $1 million building at 2125 College St. housing the Great Wall restaurant which was destroyed by fire at that site in April 2016 and space for three other commercial tenants.

The agreement provides economic development grants totaling $114,000 over five years based on a percentage of taxes generated from the improvement to the property.


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