Friday, September 18, 2015

Stretching Your Tax Dollars

The City saved over $25,000 by using in house expertise to complete the electrical work on two projects. 
In January/February 2014 the back shop building at the Public Works complex received severe structural damage from excessive snow and ice buildup on the roof. Nearly all of the roof trusses had structural failures ranging from small cracks to complete failures. When the damage was discovered Public Works and Public Safety staff quickly worked together to shore up the roof so it wouldn't collapse. Unfortunately, the building, which normally houses Street Division staff and equipment, was left uninhabitable. The city consulted with structural engineers and roofing contractors, then bid out a repair project that would involve removing the old roof and trusses a section at a time, replacing the trusses, then replacing a reinforced roof deck. The project would also involve extensive electrical and HVAC work and the removal and re-installation of several large overhead doors.

After receiving bids on the work, Public Works staff reassessed the project and determined that by using city staff rather than the contractor to remove and replace the electrical and HVAC equipment that was mounted on the trusses, the city could save a significant amount of money. By the end of the project, city staff had saved $11,544 off the contractor's bid even after adding brand new heating and lighting fixtures not included in the original bid.

In a separate project to rewire the city garage building, Public Works staff again reassessed the project and determined that much of the work could be completed by city staff with a commercial electrician needed for only a portion of the work. By utilizing in house expertise, the city saved $14,776 on this project. 

This is just one example of how the city takes our financial stewardship seriously. Tax money is limited, so city staff tries to make it go as far as possible. On these two projects, the city saved over $25,000 by taking a non-traditional approach to complete the work.