Posts Tagged ‘Arch St.’

I am happy to report that the new police garage on Arch Street in the Lower Highlands is up and running. Vehicle maintenance operations were previously located by the Tsongas Arena in the former Post Office garage. In selling the Tsongas Center to UMass Lowell we agreed to move from this site by May of 2010. In late 2009, we began and completed the task of identifying and securing space suitable to the needs of fleet maintenance and repair.

 Our goal was finding a facility that met vehicle repair needs efficiently and safely for staff, cost effectively for City taxpayers and within the guidelines of public bidding laws.  Below is an outline of the process we followed in securing this new facility along with an outline of its current condition and the status of final improvements.   The photographs used in the slide show were taken between May 19th and May 27th, 2011.

 First Step–Lease RFP

On December 23, 2009, we issued a Request for Proposals to lease space for maintenance operations. As a result, two bids were submitted by the deadline of January 22, 2010—Arch Street($450,000 over 3 years) and Meadowcroft ($430,248 over 3 years). Given these numbers I decided to explore other options including utilization of existing City facilities, building a new facility on City land and purchasing an existing facility.

Step Two–Exploring Other Options

In the winter/spring of 2010, we undertook an exhaustive process, including a GPS search of every City-owned parcel, to explore the option of locating a new garage on City-owned land. This process also considered the possibility of combining all of our vehicle maintenance work (LPD, LFD, DPW, Parks) under one roof. The least expensive approach incorporated a prefabricated facility, however after analyzing each department’s requirements along with costs for the structure as well as foundation and utility work, this option was deemed to be not feasible. Meanwhile, the deadline was looming to vacate the Tsongas Arena site with a financial penalty if we did not vacate on time.

 Step Three–Purchase RFP

On June 23, 2010 we initiated a second Request for Proposals, this time for the purchase of a service facility. At the July 23, 2010 bid opening, only two bids were received—Arch Street($449,900) and Meadowcroft Street($1,098,500). Public bidding law clearly directed us to the Arch Street facility based on the disparity of the price proposals submitted between the two properties. At the same time, we recognized that repairs and upgrades would be needed at both facilities to make them operationally feasible and so undertook a conditions assessment and cost estimate process that would allow us to compare the true costs of each facility.

Step Four–Comparing Costs and Values and the Public Bidding Process

After accounting for the higher costs necessary to upgrade each facility, the Arch Streetfacility came in at $680,900, $492,600 lower than the comparable cost for the Meadowcroft facility. The chart below outlines these numbers as well as each facility’s assessed value.

Facility/Assessed Value  Purchase Bid Price  Repair/Upgrade Budget Estimates Total  
Arch Street/$397,000




Meadowcroft Street/$678,500








Arch Street not only addresses our basic vehicle repair needs, but more importantly does so in adherence to the public bidding process and at significant savings to the taxpayer. (more…)

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