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Public Safety Building Conditions Assessment Approved

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Public Safety Building Conditions Assessment Approved

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Legislature authorized the County to move ahead with a Conditions and Program Needs Assessment of the Tompkins County Public Safety Building, by unanimous vote authorizing the County to contract with LaBella Associates and allocate $74,000 from the Contingent Fund to support the study, services to be billed per hour at a cost not to exceed the $74,000 amount.

The study will evaluate architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety, and security and control systems; investigate feasibility for carbon mitigation; assess the facility’s below-grade sanitary sewer piping; and review and identify any suspect regulated building materials. Public Safety Committee Chair Rich John noted that the idea is to look at the building’s present condition and seek to determine a direction on whether existing facilities should be upgraded or whether to construct a new building.

Prior to adjournment, Legislators renewed discussion of the issue, specifically related to a property located at 767 Warren Road, adjacent to Airport property and near the current Public Safety Building, which has been toured by others including the Sheriff, and considered by some as a potential location for the Road Patrol and Civil Division.  Administrator Jason Molino advised that, now that co-location with the City is no longer being considered, the County needs to follow a comprehensive approach in analyzing its public safety facility needs,  with the conditions and program needs assessment as the first step.  Based on the LaBella study findings, multiple alternatives should be considered, not just focusing on one building option, he said. 

The administrator will come propose an enhanced scope of work for the LaBella study’s to be discussed further by the Public Safety Committee next month.  A tour of the 767 Warren building also will be scheduled.