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Village Board Will Discuss New Public Works Building, Rezoning for Mandel Project

Whitefish Bay currently rents a portion of a building in Glendale for its public works operations, but trustees are now considering a new facility intended to meet the long-term needs of the village.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board will meet Monday night to talk about rezoning parking lots on the north side of Silver Spring Drive to accomodate . If the board decides to rezone the property as a Planned Development District, the board's recommendation will be forwarded to the Plan Commission for further action.

New DPW building considered

Whitefish Bay trustees will also consider the possibility of a new Department of Public Works building at the corner of Lydell Avenue and Fairmount Avenue.

The village has rented a portion of the former Oster building in Glendale for its DPW operations since 1994. The village has budgeted $276,300 to rent the space in Glendale this year.

Since December, village employees have been working with MSI General and have come up with a plan for a 41,000 square-foot building at a former incinerator site at the southwest corner of Lydell and Fairmount Avenues. The estimated construction cost is $4.1 million, including appliances and furnishings.

Trustees are expected to discuss whether the current DPW site meets the long-term needs of the village, and whether the village can afford to buy a new facility, given a variety of financing options.

Bob McBride July 01, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Do we need a new DPW building, or do we just want one? Because, we kinda need to get the sewer situation fixed. We also kinda need to get a good number of store fronts on Silver Spring rented out. If we want to spend money on the DPW, how about a couple thousand directed towards a refresher course on how to get all the garbage from the cans into the back of the truck? At least in my neighborhood (and another I was frequenting while getting a house ready for sale) that seems to be a reoccurring issue. I'm not for approving any more capital improvements like this one until we get some sort of final decisions made on the sewer project(s). We continue to kick that can down the road while dreaming up new ways to spend taxpayer money on other stuff.
Kevin Buckley July 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Bob - A new DPW building will boil down to a numbers game, and the analysis is very similar to a decision on whether to rent an apartment, or buy a home. $276k/year is a huge chunk of money the village spends every year on RENT. So the math is, borrow $4m and use the $276k to pay your bond payments for 20 years. Looks like the bond payments are a little higher than $276k, around $300k. So it is a bit more expensive for years 1-20. But then in year 21, you own your home (DPW building) and the bond payments go away, and you start saving the Village money. So .. would you rather keep paying $276k a year forever, or have a new building and come out ahead, long term? Mental note, interest rates might not remain at these historic lows .. 6-7% rate, and this doesn't happen / the payback is 30-40 years instead of 20. There is another issue, though .. I think this building's footprint would eliminate the small soccer field at that location. Not sure on that, haven't seen the plans.
Bob McBride July 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Kevin, They should also be factoring in the operational and maintenance costs for the building and its surroundings. I have no idea what that, exactly, amounts to, but if it came to another $30-50K per year I wouldn't be surprised. And again the need versus the want. I'd rather continue paying $276K per year for at least 10 years or until the completion of the sewer project, explore putting that piece of property back on the tax rolls (you've already got apartment complexes in that area) and not spend on something that, apparently, we don't need, because interest rates might change in the future and the payback might be longer. We've got other issues that need the money more than the DPW does.
Kevin Buckley July 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I made a mistake, above. (Good thing I'm not a trustee anymore, eh?) The total cost, rent, utilities, property tax, insurance, the whole nut is $267k per year, $202k of it can be "diverted to debt" .. i.e., things you won't need to pay if they build. It may not be a complete no-brainer .. it will cost something in the short run, no doubt about it. The question is, do the long-term benefits outweigh the short term costs? Anyhow, you can read their analysis here: http://www.whitefishbaywi.govoffice2.com/vertical/Sites/%7BE1AB0FEF-655C-4C6F-A9D3-5941206DD923%7D/uploads/7.2.12_VB_Packet.pdf
StaynConnected July 02, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I've got mixed feelings about the need/desirability of a new DPW facility. Some preliminary thoughts: > The current facility seems to be adequate space-wise, but the amenities (i.e., office space, locker rooms) are pretty bad. > It would probably be desirable to relocate the Village engineer, so that he could be located with the DPW crew. However, will this reduce the ability of residents to interact with him? Is there some way that this can be remedied? > According to the WFB manager's analysis, included in today's board packets, it is going to increase taxes. > It doesn't appear that an adequate consideration of alternatives has been completed. For example, the existing facilities could be modernized/renovated, and additional space could be rented for the engineering staff - it is determined to be desirable to relocate them. Would that cost less than a new building? I suspect so, but it doesn't appear that this has been considered. > With the relocation of the police call center out of the WFB Village Hall, space will be freed up for other things. Couldn't the engineering staff make use of the existing space, with perhaps a part-time satellite office provided for the Village engineer at the DPW facility? > The loss of greenfield space at the old incinerator site will be a shame. It could become a real asset to the Village. I'm hoping that the Village doesn't move too quickly on this, without fully considering alternatives.
StaynConnected July 07, 2012 at 09:49 PM
A question: Is the Village proposing to also incorporate the DPW Yard into the former Incinerator site? If so, they could potentially sell the old building and yard to help offset the cost of the new building. The building on the WFB DPW yard site appears to have been used for vehicle maintenance and storage at one time. Right now, it appears to be storage space for accumulated debris and odds and ends.

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