Columbus Police Department expansion ends slightly under budget at $318k

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Police Department expansion, which is nearly complete, came in under budget at $318,575, according to the Town of Columbus.

Columbus Town Council met Jan. 17 and heard from town manager Tim Barth, who detailed the financing for the project. Paving a driveway and parking lot in the rear of the building was completed a couple of weeks ago.

Barth said the project is essentially finished with a few punch list items left to complete inside.

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The original contract with Dunlap Construction was approved for $296,062, which included two alternates. One alternate was to add siding to the existing building and another alternate was to add a coating on the block portion of the new section.

There were a total of five change orders to the project, which totaled an additional $11,918, Barth said. Other expenses included a new sewer line, asbestos removal, treatment and prevention of termites and the services of Cecil Cannon, who served as the town’s construction inspector. Those items added an additional $10,595 to the project, Barth told council, so the total project was $318,575. The town budgeted $320,000 for the project and agreed to take $120,000 from the town’s fund balance and to finance $200,000 from Entegra Bank.

During council’s Jan. 17 meeting, the town also approved a financing agreement with Entegra Bank for the loan. The loan proceeds will be given to the town following the N.C. Local Government Commission’s (LGC) approval of the loan, which is scheduled to be heard by the LGC on Feb. 7.

The town has been paying the contractor out of its fund balance so when the loan proceeds are approved the town will replenish its fund balance with the loan.

Barth also said there are a few items on the punch list that need to be completed so the town has retained $30,798, which represents the final payment to the contractor and will be paid as soon as all items are complete and to the satisfaction of the town.

Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said his department is pleased with the expansion and of the five change orders, four of them were requested by the town. Beddingfield said the police department plans to have an open house in a month or so after the project is complete. Beddingfield also said the police department plans to furnish the new building  using a controlled substance tax the department receives, which means no taxpayer dollars will be used for furnishings.

Barth also said approximately $5,000 will be coming back to the town at some point in sales tax so in reality, the project cost approximately $312,000.

The police department expansion began last summer and was designed by John Walters.

The expansion added storage, a large conference room, offices, an additional bathroom, showers and a basement.