With an eye toward efficiency, plans for a multimillion-dollar City of Lawrence solid waste facility could be reconfigured to include additional city operations.
At their meeting Tuesday, Lawrence city commissioners will decide whether to accept a $3 million bid to construct the second phase of the solid waste facility. Alternatively, the commission could decline the bid on the project and decide instead to reconfigure the three-phase project into a multi-department facility.
Tammy Bennett, the city's assistant director of public works, said the alternative option would allow the city to consolidate for efficiency.
“They have been talking about an operations campus that would include public works, parks and recreation, and utilities — all those frontline core functions in a single location,” Bennett said.
The city spent nearly $1 million to purchase the approximately 11-acre site for solid waste operations, which is located on Kresge Road just north of the Kansas Turnpike. The first phase of the project, construction of the Household Hazardous Waste facility and stormwater drainage improvements, was completed in 2015. To date, the city has spent more than $2.7 million on the project.
First Management, the lowest bidder on the second phase of the project as currently planned, provided a bid of nearly $3 million. That amount exceeds the city’s budgeted amount of $2.7 million and doesn’t include another $300,000 that would be needed for inspections and contingency. If the commission votes to accept the bid, it would also need to approve spending the additional funds, which would come from the solid waste division’s budget.
If accepted, construction on phase two of the project would begin in April and be completed in October. Phase two would construct a facility to consolidate trucks and staff from two locations: the public works maintenance yard on Haskell Avenue and the solid waste annex on Industrial Lane. Phase three of the project is a fueling station.
The second option, a multidepartment facility, could address not only the solid waste division's functions, but also water and wastewater utilities and functions of the Parks and Recreation department, according to a city staff memo provided to city commissioners.
“Co-locating these functions would maximize the economy of the city’s investments in facility needs and would enhance operational efficiency through resource and knowledge sharing across the departments,” the memo states.
If commissioners were to vote Tuesday to decline the First Construction bid and consider plans for a multidepartment facility, the new plans would come forward as part of the 2018-2022 capital improvement plan. The departments to be involved would coordinate to present a CIP request to address their facility needs at a single location.
The City Commission will meet at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.