The Flagler County administration last week completed the purchase of the 4,500 square-foot former Wachovia Bank branch off Old Kings Road, what will be the Flagler County Sheriff’s permanent Palm Coast Precinct starting later this year or early next.
The county paid $832,500 for the property, $42,500 less than when the administration submitted the proposal to the County Commission in May. That’s good news for the sheriff (and taxpayers): the sheriff will be repaying the county for the building out of his budget over the next several years, though the county funds the sheriff’s budget to start with. The building had originally been listed at $1.195 million.
The county was able to lower the cost based on two appraisals and a “review appraisal,” according to County Administrator Craig Coffey, who informed the county commission of the purchase in an email last week.
But the lower purchase price was less than half the story. Renovation costs for the building will be much higher than the $100,000 the administration projected when it presented the plan to the commission. The cost will be closer to $255,000, Coffey said.
“There were no fatal flaws discovered, but the building needs renovation and updating,” Coffey wrote. “The drive-thru portion of the old bank was poorly constructed and needs to be completely rebuilt. We will also update insulation, put in new HVAC units and ductwork, frame out offices and redo finishes. We will contract out windows, storefront changes, and countertops and cabinets. Technology alone is estimated at 65K between cameras, security, regular IT, phones, interview room, etc. and will be done in house. The County has secured a local architect for plans and will pull permits through the City of Palm Coast.”
The renovation costs are expected to be $230,000, with $25,000 for [signage]. Those amounts don’t include further renovations in the near future when, Coffey said, “the tile roof will likely be replaced with more conventional shingle or metal roof. We hope to patch any minor leaks and repair broken tiles for now, if we can. If we can’t patch things for the time being we will also do a roof replacement.”
The Sheriff’s Office’s lease for the current precinct at City Marketplace runs out at the end of the year. The sheriff was displeased by the size and the cost of the space at City Marketplace, which the agency has occupied since 2013, where it pays $72,000 a year for rent. The sheriff’s budget for the Palm Coast facility will rise to $90,000, paid to the county in annual installments for the new facility. The county is responsible for maintenance of the sheriff’s facilities.
At Monday evening’s County Commission meeting, commissioners approved an application for a $1.5 million grant through the state and federal emergency management administrations for “hardening” of many county buildings, including the new Palm Coast precinct. The portion that would go to the precinct building would be $160,000. But Coffey cautioned that there is no certainty the county will get the grant. “If we get the grant, we’ll start hardening those portions of the building,” Coffey said. The grant is part of a pitch by numerous local governments and Florida Hospital Flagler for over $8 million in hardening grants.
The Palm Coast Precinct building of course has no connection with the Sheriff’s Operations Center in Bunnell other than as a satellite of the agency, which provides policing services for Palm Coast in a separate contract between the city and the agency. But facilities have been a sensitive issue between the county and the sheriff as the two sides are embroiled in a controversy over the troubled Operations Center, currently standing empty. The Operations Center may or may not be a sick building, but upwards of 30 of its employees have been made sick by the building. The Palm Coast facility is not considered large enough to accommodate evacuees from the Operations Center, most of whom have been split between offices in the county courthouse and at the sheriff’s old administration building on Justice Lane.
PC Citizen says
Ah, perhaps they should run a LIDAR scan to see the tunnel under the Bank. OOPS !!!
Reminiscence of an old hospital on Route 100, who will the clowns blame this time?
Damn, I need to see if the county wants to buy some of my properties. They seem to pay top dollar plus 200% for junk that needs to be rebuild. The only problem is I don’t know who to pay the kick back too to close on one of these sweet heart deals. If the county government was a woman, it would pregnant all of the time because they “JUST CAN”T SAY NO”!
Bulldoze! Start from scratch! That way the FSCO doesn’t have to sick money pits.
You better believe I won’t be voting for this dufuss again or anybody connected to this useless city or county government. It will be a new sweep for me.
It’s already going over budget?well Flager commish have to get there kick backs.
Concerned Citizen says
Food for thought:
After the bank this was a funeral home. Short lived but never the less. Not sure I’d want that as an office after that.
There were all sorts of issues the funeral home had with reno and permitting. Work had even stopped for awhile so this building already has a troublesome past.
That’s a horrible location as well. No real exposure and at an awkward intersection. Still I suppose they will drop thousands and then cry when it goes to crap.
Let’s make sure we do the proper renovations this time not a cover up ! Yea you general services suck it up do the job right stop cutting corners!