Public Safety Center
- Executive Summary
- Current Progress
- Cost Projections
- Property Tax Implications
- Village Plan Reference & Project Background
Construction of the new Public Safety Center is now underway at the southeast corner of Holscher Road and Broadhead Street. This facility will house the Fire & Rescue, Municipal Court, and Police Departments within a shared use facility. Relocating them from their current location at the McFarland Municipal Center will alleviate current space constraints and allow for better growth of each service. Bray Architects was contracted within 2020 to prepare the plan, design, and bid for the project in 2021. The Huffman Facility Group was contracted with to serve as owner's representative of the project. The Village Administrator has overseen the general facility development of the phases along with leadership from each of the representative departments the facility will house. The Village Board has previously reviewed the project design authorizing the project for bidding in June of 2020 and awarding contract for the project in August of 2020. The General Contractor for the project will JP Cullen of Janesville, WI. The facility itself is estimated at 58,000 square feet and will be a net-zero energy facility using geothermal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and solar panels. This means the facility will produce more energy than it consumes. This webpage is meant to provide an overview of the history of the project as well as its current progression.
The project is currently in the construction phase which began around October 8, 2021. The new facility is anticipated for completion by December of 2022.
The total project budget for the Public Safety Center is $22,000,000. This amount is established following award of contract in August of 2021 in the amount of $18,782,943. The overall total amount includes all soft costs like engineering, architecture, testing, inspections, and other professional services. The overall amount also includes costs for contingency due to unforeseen expenditures developed during the project.
Please click on this link to view the full project budget.
Nearly all of the revenue associated with paying for the costs of this project are through borrowed funds over multiple years. Borrowed money is paid back through the debt service annually through an allocation from the tax levy. We have studied the tax impact of this project while reviewing the project's inclusion within our annual 5 Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The total amount of money needed to pay our debt each year is a portion of the overall levy needed to fund our operations. The debt service fund has its own tax rate based on its share of the overall levy.
Overall, when you look at the next five years of our capital plans, the levy and the rate will climb accordingly based upon the schedules that are established. The current tax rate in 2021 needed to support debt service is $1.64 per thousand dollars of value and thereafter, in 2022 the first increase hits at $2.09 per $1,000 followed by $2.37 per $1,000 (2023), $2.60 per $1,000 (2024), and $2.84 per $1,000 (2025) before leveling out and beginning to decline. The 5-year average on these increases from year to year is $0.27 per thousand of value. A homeowner with a median value home at $295,100 would expect to pay an additional $79 more per year for the duration of the current five year plan. At the very least, even without the Public Safety Center, the projection to pay debt service to support capital needs over that same time is an average annual increase on the debt service tax levy rate of $0.10 per thousand dollars of value which would equate to roughly $30 more per year for the duration of the current five year plan. The inclusion of the Public Safety Center within the CIP adds about $49 per year over the life of the plan on average.
The analysis above represents the projected average over the next five years. Next year, however, will be the largest increase on the tax rate for debt service in the next five years. Current forecasts demonstrate an increase of $0.45 per thousand in value which on the median home will cost and additional $132.73 as it relates to the share of the tax levy needed to support debt service. After next year, it will be more stable and about half of what that’s showing. Likely, though, what is demonstrated here through the average and projected for next year is a worst-case scenario. Things that have yet to be factored in to help lower the tax burden include ways to diversify the revenue stream. We will be applying or exploring the following:
- Fund Balance – Sizable fund balance within Debt Service that can help flatten the actual levy needed to pay down debt. Helps to step into increases versus taking them on all at once.
- Impact Fee – Studying impact fee for Public Safety Center which will offset the need for additional tax support if approved.
- Annual changes in assessed value due to growth – The more value that’s created, the more the levy can be spread amongst and keeps the tax rate down.
Annually, these impacts will continue to be monitored and adjusted to maintain a tax rate to support debt service that is efficient and necessary.
2017 Facilities Master Plan
The Village embarked on a planning exercise to study its facilities and help plan for future improvements. This study reviewed all existing departments and the Youth Center to help project their future staffing and associated staffing needs to provide service. The plan provided the ability to gather initial data on challenges and issues surrounding departments within the facilities that they operate. Challenges surrounding our public safety users were born out of this document noting several issues with the current use of the Municipal Center and difficulty finding solutions to alleviate these issues over the long term.
It also studied the opportunity to add in a community center to the existing Municipal Center footprint while trying to balance the needs of the remaining departments. As a result of these challenges, the plan always envisioned at least one of the public safety users moving out of the Municipal Center due to lack of available space. First, the Fire & Rescue Department was studied and then the Police Department, to understand these options and cost ramifications at a conceptual planning level. Many different iterations of the planning for the Municipal Center struggled to properly address what was needed for the departments, especially the public safety departments. Challenges such as, out-grown office spaces, no storage capacity, out-grown garage spaces, emergency ingress/egress conflicts, and many more similar issues that made long term use of the facility with short term fixes less than desirable.
View the Facilities Master Plan (PDF) approved on June 20, 2017.
2019 Public Safety Analysis
As a result of these challenges that arose from the previous study, a new analysis was commissioned in 2019 to study the Fire & Rescue and Police Departments more specifically. This project was to conduct a review of existing operational, staffing, and equipment utilization to provide recommendations for the future. It also looked to review the space needs analysis from the previous planning exercise to verify and/or adjustment assumptions related to the future facility needs.
The result of this provided a review of our departments and helped give insight into the future. It also confirmed the challenges with existing facilities as studied previously while recommending constructing a new facility to address these challenges. While at least one public safety user was contemplated as being relocated from the Municipal Center in 2017, by 2019 that grew to both users needing to vacate their existing spaces to address the identified challenges. It was also noted that when they vacate their existing spaces, it frees up a great deal of space that could be used to better situate remaining departments at the Municipal Center as well as add a community center to this facility as desired. Furthermore, it may free up the need to construct a second floor on top of the Municipal Center as was previously being considered. This requires further discussion and study, but on our present progression we are on a better track to properly establish the facility needs for our public safety users while also providing great opportunities for existing and new uses at the Municipal Center.
The Village Board has conducted the following reviews for this project, including two public information meetings (PIM). The listed items occur from most recent to least recent.
- August 16, 2021
- June 28, 2021
- May 24, 2021
- March 8, 2021
- February 18, 2021
- Public Information Meeting: Review Project Design (Phase 2)
- February 8, 2021
- January 25, 2021
- September 28, 2020
- September 10, 2020
- Public Information Meeting: Review Project Design (Phase 1)
- August 20, 2020