Photos clockwise from top left corner: These existing public facilities – city court, fire administration, police department – would be removed and a new public safety complex would be built, if bond financing planned is approved in August.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Kerrville (Kerr County) – Kerrville city council voted on Wednesday to make known its intention to issue bond certificates to fund land acquisition and construction of a new public safety complex.
Debt financing, if approved later this summer, would be no more than $ 7 million. Its goal would be to consolidate the Kerrville Police Department, Fire Administration and City Court into one facility.
The three existing facilities are all in poor condition, according to a report from city staff, and continue to deteriorate. Installations require costly repairs on an annual basis.
“In addition, the municipal court building is well beyond its useful life. It was intended to be a temporary building when the court moved there in 2004, ”the staff report said.
Many residents spoke out against the council’s plan to use bond certificates, noting that city council has not gone to voters for a bond proposal since the mid-1980s. Council Member Romain Garcia proposed a motion to defeat the resolution, but it failed for lack of a second.
Member of the board Kim clarkson defended the board’s direction, noting that the process has been transparent and on budget since 2016 as a future debt servicing capital improvement project.
Clarkson described the existing facilities as real needs, saying it was “a failing structure with asbestos, with water running down the walls; a rented administration facility on the other side of town; a facility for the municipal court that was never intended to be a permanent facility. I think I would be doing our community, the people who elected me and our first responders a disservice if I didn’t act now, because of what I have seen and experienced and the conversations I have had. ‘ve had with people who work in the police department, firefighters, citizens.
Anne Burger Entrekin, a financial director with Hilltop Securities Inc., told the council that the city’s AA bond rating should ensure very favorable terms at the time of the sale.
The proposed schedule of activities would have all public notice obligations released in July. City council could approve the signing of the bond purchase agreement by August 24, with a tentative closing date of September 16.
In 2018, Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects were hired to carry out a feasibility study for a public security complex. This task was limited to providing an assessment of the space requirements, with phasing options. The feasibility study was completed and accepted by the city council in December 2019. The feasibility study was registered in Virtual Builders Exchange as VBX Project ID 2018-3ECB.
There has been no action to date on issuing a qualification request for a Project Design Architect / Engineer.
State of existing installations:
- The 429 Sidney Baker Street – Police Department building is a two-story, precast concrete structure with expansion constraints due to the size of the property.
- 301 McFarland Drive – The municipal yard is in a temporary location – a one-story prefabricated metal building that does not meet the maximum workload of the yard; the size of the property also limits expansion.
- 87 Coronado Drive North – Fire Administration occupies rental space that is owned by individuals. The structure has ADA compliance issues and requires substantial interior renovation.
Virtual Builders Exchange will follow the Kerrville Public Safety Complex project as VBX Project ID 2021-449A.