All options of a space study on the sheriff’s operations center in Palm Coast call for a building far larger and far more expensive than the county can afford or will plan on.
The six options, prepared for Flagler County government by the Center for Public Safety in Winter Park, project a building that ranges in size from 65,000 square feet to 81,000 square feet, at costs that range from $30.4 million to $35.6 million. Some of the options allow for a “shell” building that would be built out only as needed.
The county is not prepared to build a structure larger than 50,000 square feet, at a cost of $15 million at most, County Administrator Jerry Cameron said today. (The standard cost the county has ascribed to the project has ranged between $12 and $15 million.) Cameron distributed the space study to county commissioners on Monday. The full study appears below.
The sheriff’s former operations center in Bunnell, abandoned a year and a half ago, was a bit over 35,000 square feet. The sheriff also has current space at a Palm Coast Precinct office on Old Kings Road and at the county airport.
“That’s built to contemplate being serviceable for out to 25 or 30 years,” Cameron said of the space study. “That would be nice if we could do it. We’re not going to be able to spend that kind of money at this point particularly since I’ve got to look ahead to the Bunnell district office also. So we will be looking at considerably less square footage than that. I’m looking at a cost of $300 a square foot and not $325. We anticipate we’ll be able to get it within our budgetary goals.”
The study was based on questionnaires distributed to sheriff’s personnel, plus analysis from the Center for Public Safety, whose staff conducted “intensive and interactive interviews with command staff and members of the Sheriff’s Office representing all areas and levels of service throughout the county,” in the words of Stockton Reeves, the center’s executive director, in his cover letter.
“We then applied this information to proprietary spatial standards to determine current need in year 2020 would equate to 76,765 square feet with an additional 4,828 square feet to meet additional demand for space in future years,” Reeves said. “The projection for the department to meet its space needs until the year 2030 would be a total of 81,593 square feet.”
The space study calls for built-out space to be built for $325 per square foot. Shell space would be built for less. The options break down as follows:
Option A: 81,000 square feet, $35.6 million.
Option A2: 69,000 square feet of built-out space and 17,400 square feet of sell space for future expansion, $32.4 million.
Option B: 79,000 square feet, $34.5 million.
Option B2: 68,000 square feet of built out space and 11,000 square feet of shell space, $32.5 million.
Option C: 72,000 square feet, $31.7 million.
Option C2: 65,000 square feet of built-out space, 7,000 square feet of shell space, $30.4 million.
“The upper limit for me would be about $15 million,” Cameron said. “That one contemplates in excess of $25 million, so we’re not going to be able to go there. We can reserve a footprint for future expansion but we can’t do that at this point.”
Commissioners did not discuss the study at Monday’s commission meeting. But Cameron met with Sheriff Rick Staly and members of his staff on Monday to discuss it. “And of course the sheriff in an ideal world would certainly like to have what was laid out in the space need study, but he’s a realist too, he understands we have limitations, so both of us want the same goal, to get as much as we can we can get without overdoing it,” Cameron said. (Staly could not be reached before this article initially published.)
The next step is the design of the building within the scope of the county’s budget capabilities. That will take six months, with groundbreaking expected in the spring of 2020.
So what the building will look like and what space will be allocated to what needs will not be known until the design is completed. “But we will tell them they’re going to have to work with the Sheriff’s Office and county administration to get the concepts of that space study and home them down to the size we can deal with, which is probably going to be about 50,000 square feet,” Cameron said. That would combine all the spaces the sheriff was or is using in different places now, plus 10 percent for expansion.
Mike Cocchiola says
If the county commissioners even think about a $30 million edifice to Sheriff Staly they should all be recalled.
Flagler County citizens have had it with this tax and spend commission. Two sick buildings, a useless bank… enough!
What about the old operations building in Bunnell? It could have been remodeled and fixed by now for half that price if the workers werent trying to make a point and get back to work. Instead they opt to cost the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Agree! Besides shingles are not from mold which is why NO WORKMANSHIP COMP!!!
S0 we paid for a study to be done to come up with a plan that we can not afford? Does that really make sense? Why no provide them a budget number so they could do something useful instead of wasting their time and OUR money.
Well I see were going to spend the money either way. We already have sick buildings in the county that the county owns. I ask how are we as taxpayers going to get this money back???? Sell??? Who and what business is going to buy a sick building? Were already into a year of the operations center not in use, and possibly getting worse then before.
As a taxpayer I have an idea!!! Let’s tear down this sick building, and rebuild there!!!!, Leave the sheriff’s operation center in the county seat, stop playing political BS and fix the problem. It’s time the commission get’s there heads out of there A## and think of who’s actually footing the bill. Between the City of PC, and the county your going to tax everyone out of there home’s.
Then our county taxes keep going up right?
When are the criminals that took us for a ride with the old hospital going to be held accountable? Why can’t they go back to the sick building and re-do it the right way? Surely they can replace all the old materials with new and seal the concrete and get rid of a few flying rodents in the attic. The law enforcement spending is getting a little out of control here. Every time I drive up Belle Terre I see three police cars on the trip. Yes, we have crime that needs to be addressed, but this isn’t Compton (yet.) It seems some people are in a hurry to create a monstrous bureaucracy that we will be forced to feed forever.
Dennis Talbot says
I feel the county is wasting millions of dollars here. You have a very nice building site in Bunnell, complete with drive, parking, snd landscaping done. Tear down the building that’s not usable and build another center there. The county seems hell bent on wasting more money, after buying the Sears, and a bank building, that is as bad as the one in bunnell, that is not useable. Money wasted, just raise taxes, as it looks like Flagler County is greedy and not trust worthy with taxpayer money
They bought several buildings that where 10% of this proposed square footage, either those purchases where dumb and short sighted or the current proposal of over an acre and a half of space is the result of the Sheriff and County leaders smoking or injecting the evidence they have confiscated.
Edith Campins says
No, we can’t afford this. Go back, gut the sick building, rebuild it. That will cost a fration of the cost of a new building.
Own the mistake you made in overpaying for the property and doing a poor job of remodeling it.
The old hospital/sick sheriff’s building.
The water plant.
The mold infested Sear Building.
The Bings’s fiasco.
The Sheiff’s substation building.
We can’t affor your bad decisions.
So I thought the county was going to build an evidence facility out by the jail, why would the palm coast district office need evidence storage warehouse space too? That’s going to be a good 8,000-15,000 sq ft that can be shaved off the pc district office.
Trailer Bob says
$30,000,000 for a building and some high tech equipment? You folks are pure crazy, and with other people’s money at that.
I used to be on a city council up north, at that, and this would not fly for a minute. Get a grip and get real, and creative. How many mansions could be built for that amount??? like maybe five or seven?
Pretty simple concept really. Get an estimate for $30 million and $15 million seems like a reasonable option. Let’s see…in 5 years the new building will be “sick” because of all the junk left there by the homeless and they’ll have to rebuild somewhere else. Wash,rinse,repeat. And why aren’t the tree huggers in the county protesting the devastation to our precious land and displacement of animals from this development? oh yeah..that’s right..because it’s not in their neighborhood so they don’t give a crap.
Concerned Citizen says
I agree with Edith Campins on this one.
I have been active in Public Safety my entire adult life. First Law Enforcement then retired out of Fire Rescue. Never have I seen the wanton disregard of taxpayers wishes and frivelous spending of our money. And I’m pretty sure most of these transactions are unethical at best.
Our BOCC needs to have their spending privlidges frozen. They can’t handle large transactions responsibly. And why does an elected official (Sheriff Staly) have so much sway over everyone in this county?
Steve Lattman says
Another story about incompetent people running or being paid by the Flagler County