Borough considers municipal building remodel


The Petersburg Borough Assembly is combining the police station and jail facility project with its municipal building rehab project after voting to allow MRV Architects to come up with a document listing the next steps and costs associated with a remodel.

Those items are on the borough’s capital projects list that prioritizes projects community wide in hopes the state legislature provides funding for them. The police and jail facility have been at the top of that list for two years. The Municipal Building Rehabilitation was ranked 17 on the list. But the borough recently received a structural analysis, detailing load bearing deficiencies and other parts of the complex that don’t meet current building code.

Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht said during the September 3 meeting that the possible renovation would involve gutting the police station, fixing the foundation which is currently settling and build it back on the inside.

“The concept would be, could you structurally modify this building complex, meaning all of them, in a manner that meets current building codes while we are all still working in it and come up with a useable building,” Giesbrecht asked.

This would involve shuffling departments around the building as construction proceeds.

No cost or concrete plan has been submitted.

MRV is the same firm that designed the new library and assembly member John Hoag had some concerns over whether or not it was right to automatically give the company the go ahead for the project.

“At what point should we be doing competitive bids,” Hoag asked. “I do not like starting down the road of contract after contract with the same firm because they get complacent at that point.”

But because the assembly needs to generate a list to get to the governor and state legislature soon and MRV wouldn’t charge the assembly to come up with a quote, the assembly moved forward with the plan.

“When our lobbyist was here in May he said this was our year to get money from this project,” Assembly member Susan Flint said. “In order to get it we should have a plan to Juneau in December. We can’t dilly dally around here.”

The assembly still has the option to move forward with a competitive bid after MRV provides more information as to how it would move forward.

Estimated costs for the Police and Jail Facility are set at $9.2 million and $3 million for the Municipal Building. But Giesbrecht said those costs don’t reflect the current project.

Another high-ranking capital project includes the Rasmus Enge Memorial Bridge Reconstruction.


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