The Macomb Township Board of Trustees declined to pay additional design fees for the upcoming public safety building. Construction is expected to begin in October.

The Macomb Township Board of Trustees declined to pay additional design fees for the upcoming public safety building. Construction is expected to begin in October.

Rendering provided by Jason Arlow

Board declines paying additional design fees for new public safety building

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published September 11, 2018


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees have declined paying additional services fees to the designer of the upcoming public safety building at the corner of 23 Mile Road and Alma Drive.

Fire Chief Robert Phillips presented the request from Shelby Township-based Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, which asked for $154,800 to be paid on top of the original $215,000. The justification from AEW was the original response to the request for proposals was based on a smaller building and a smaller construction budget.

AEW said the $215,000 was based on 4.8 percent of the originally estimated $4.5 million construction budget and 20,000-square-foot building. However, the final plans approved by the board are for a 37,000-square-foot public safety building and a construction budget of $8.6 million.

The adjustment, AEW said in a letter to Phillips, represents a 4.3 percent cut for AEW, which is less than the original RFP percentage and lower than a lot of other comparable projects, the letter said.

However, Clerk Kristi Pozzi said the township had bids come in lower than the new AEW cost of $369,800, and it would set a bad precedent for future contracts. The fee adjustment was voted down by a 5-1 vote, with Supervisor Janet Dunn voting against not paying the adjustment.

“It concerns me with all the scrutiny we have had on contracts and bidding and such being labeled the Macomb Township way,” Pozzi said. “It is concerning to me if we accepted a bid at $215,000 and we had bidders bid under the increased amount, that we set a precedent that this type of action could be done in the future.”

Phillips said nowhere in the RFP did it identify an exact size for a building, instead asking for designs that fit the footprint of the site that sits just east of Romeo Plank Road. He said the township had several meetings with AEW with three designs presented, ranging from 27,000 square feet to around 45,000 square feet.

Phillips said in his opinion the amount should not be paid as there have been no major design changes since the original design was chosen except for sleeping quarters being added in place of space that was just labeled for future use.

“We had no idea what would fit on the site and that is why we hire architects to tell us,” Phillips said. “This never came up before the design was completed. It is in my opinion the amount should not be paid.”

Final plans for the new public safety building were approved by the board at the June 27 meeting, as well as a bond for the project to not exceed $15 million. The project is expected to get underway by October and be completed no later than early 2020.

The building will have a large fire apparatus bay, which grew almost 9,000 square feet from the original projection, and will include five drive-through bays. The building will also include space for 14 Macomb County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, offices for both fire and police personnel, a shared break room, and kitchen and locker rooms for the firefighters and deputies.

The plans have received approval from the Planning Commission and have been submitted for permit review. The hope was to go out for bid by the end of August.

The corner of 23 Mile and Alma will be a major focal point with a tower feature housing the main entrance. The building is meant to last around 50 years as the community grows, which has factored into the material decisions.

The construction will be completed in two phases, with the first seeing the demolition of the current Sheriff’s Office substation on the property and the building of the fire apparatus bay so fire operations can continue during construction. The second phase will see the demolition of the current fire station and the building of the administration offices and the Sheriff’s Office garage.

The total project is estimated to cost $12 million, but the bond was approved for up to $15 million to cover bids if they are higher than anticipated.