s the City of Platte City prepares to dive into a study on potential locations for new city facilities, the former Platte-Clay Electric Coop building on Main Street has emerged as a serious possibility.
Responding to word from sources, The Landmark inquired of city officials this week whether a deal was imminent between the city and the current owners of the old Platte-Clay Electric building. The building is now owned by Foutch Brothers Construction Management.
“There is smoke but not yet any fire,” responded DJ Gehrt, city administrator, when asked if the city has plans to purchase the former PCEC property located at 425 Main Street, across from Sprint Lumber.
A facility location study is funded in the current fiscal year budget for the city, Gehrt said. He said a request for proposals on the study will go out as soon as staff time is available to draft the document.
Gehrt said that guidance from the board of aldermen has been to focus on possible locations in an area bordered by Hwy. 92/North Street/First Street and Marshall Drive (top of the hill), or essentially the downtown business district, more or less.
“As this area has few open parcels, a facility in this area would most likely require renovation of existing building or clearing and reconstruction, depending on most cost-effective alternative,” Gehrt said this week.
The city administrator admitted the former PCEC building “is an obvious option.”
“It’s difficult to see any reasonable location study not assessing that location,” Gehrt remarked.
In addition to an office building, the former PCEC location has outbuildings on the property. It is all one parcel, all owned by the Foutch Brothers.
Platte County tax records indicate Platte-Clay Electric Coop paid the taxes on the property through 2009. Owner of record since 2010 has been Foutch Brothers LLC.
In preparing for the upcoming location study, the city has talked to Foutch Brothers regarding availability of the property, and the owner has told the city that the property is available for purchase and Foutch Brothers believes “that location is a good fit for a police station/city facility.”
Gehrt emphasized the city’s preference is to always work with property owners interesting in “willing sellers” whenever the city looks at any type of property acquisition.
Follow up on any potential action pertaining to the old PCEC site “will depend on the facility location options identified in the study,” Gehrt said.
He said the city’s intent is for the facility location study to occur in the summer of 2019, and information derived from that study “will play into determining the next steps in the facility process,” Gehrt said.
The city has been considering long term options for a police station, as it currently leases what they describe as a “tight” in terms of space location in the 300 block of Main Street across from the Platte County Courthouse and located diagonally across the Fourth and Main intersection from City Hall.
There has also been talk of the city potentially needing a larger City Hall and potentially needing more space for public works needs. All of the potential future needs have been mentioned by city officials in the past.
A good portion of the city-owned Civic Center located south of Hwy. 92 at Fourth Street has structural issues and other concerns. Only the city parks department remains housed there, in the western end of the building.
The city’s police department in 2013 moved out of the civic center after a number of structural problems were revealed. The discovery was made while workers were replacing a floor in the east wing of the center where the police department was located.
Once workers pulled off the sheeting, they noticed mold and dry rot was causing joists to fail. Parts scattered as workers peeled away the sheeting. Other structural problems were discovered throughout the east wing.
Because of those structural problems, the police department moved in May of 2013 to its current leased location at 355 Main Street.
The age of the city’s five main facilities (Civic Center, police department, City Hall, and public works yard) average nearly 70 years old. All city buildings, with the exception of the public works office constructed in 2001, are at least 60 years old.
City officials say the age, condition and capacity of the city’s facilities create negative impact on city services and operation; the most obvious signs of which are the age/structural related closure of the city pool in 2016 and the 2013 police department relocation due to structural failure and environmental concerns in the east wing of the Civic Center.
In 2014, Shive-Hattery Architect/Engineers conducted a condition assessment of the city’s five main buildings. This assessment included an review of current conditions, options to renovate existing buildings to current standards, future needs, and a renovation versus replacement comparison.
The general conclusions of the Shive Hattary report are:
•The only buildings with remaining useful structural life are City Hall, the west wing of the Civic Center (gym, community room, park offices) and the two newest structures in the Public Works complex.
•The public works buildings, except for the 2001 project, have insufficient remaining life, capacity and location for a cost effective future use and or expansion.
•Of the buildings with remaining structural life, City Hall and the Civic Center west wing do not meet current or future space, capacity and capability needs without significant renovation.
•While the City Hall building is structurally sound, the building and property does not have sufficient space, capacity or expansion opportunity to justify significant expenditures for extended use as either police station or a city administrative building.
•The west wing of the Civic Center can be retained and renovated but would require extensive renovation and new construction.
•The former police department space at the east wing of the Civic Center has significant structural deficiencies. The cost to repair or renovate this wing equals or exceeds the cost of new construction.
The Shive Hattery study recommended the city consider some combination of the following options/alternatives to address future facility requirements:
•The only city facilities with capacity for long term use and possible renovation for existing city functions are the two newest public works structures and the Civic Center west wing.
•Two conceptual options to retain the Civic Center west wing include
a) retain the existing single gym capacity by demolishing the rest of the Civic Center building and constructing a new eastern gym wall or
b) expand the gym/community room capacity by demolishing the center and east wings of the Civic Center building, renovate/repurpose the current gym, community room and office spaces and construct new gym space on the site of the current center and east wings.
•The two newest public works structures can be renovated or expanded, and the public works complex has enough space for construction of replacement vehicle and equipment storage/maintenance buildings.
•City should either construct a new City Hall at the existing location or identify a suitable location for a building with space and capacity to meet future needs.
•City should locate and construct a new Police Department building with adequate space and capacity for current and future use.
•City should consider new facility options combining one or more functions as a means to increase operating effectiveness, reduce administrative and operating costs and limit the cost of new construction.