A new police station in Pasco that once seemed too expensive may be closer to reality.
Projected costs on the station, planned for the site of ballfields east of city hall and the existing police station, had ballooned to $14 million. The city had planned to pay no more than $10.7 million.
But Deputy City Manager Stan Strebel told the city council Monday that architects will look at whether the project can be done for $8 million by reducing the planned facility to 30,000 square feet from an initial design of 38,000 square feet.
The council will vote at next week's meeting on whether to hire the architectural team of Terence Thornhill of Pasco and Hansen Design of Seattle to put together a plan.
Police officials have said their existing headquarters in city hall are cramped. The city would also like to use existing police space to expand administrative offices.
The architects will perform an initial review for $24,500 to make sure it can be done for $8 million, coming back to the council in June, Strebel said. The council could then vote to pay another $550,000 to go forward with the full design if architects give the go-ahead.
The city hopes to put construction of the police station up for bid in December and start construction in March 2015, Strebel said. Work would take about a year. The lower price means it could all be paid with the three-tenths of a percent public safety tax approved by Franklin County voters in November 2011.
Councilman Al Yenney said he was likely to vote for the architects to move forward. He was pleased that some unnecessary space was taken out of the initial design, which was presented in 2008.
"In 2008, I felt the place had a little too much gingerbread in it," he said.
But Councilman Tom Larsen asked why the police offices couldn't be built in the gymnasium adjacent to the police station.
Strebel said the 30-foot-high ceilings were not practical for such a use.
"It probably wouldn't be the best for energy efficiency, plus we'd have to install plumbing for restrooms," he said.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom