Monday Morning Thoughts: City Will Finally Have Its Building and Park Facilities Assessment

The Hunt-Boyer building is just one city-owned facility that will have its needs assessed
The Hunt-Boyer building is just one city-owned facility that will have its needs assessed

For a long time, the Davis City Council has had a ballpark estimate for how much it will cost to repair roads, bike paths, and sidewalks. In fact, within that assessment that came out back in spring of 2013 were various plans that would allow the city to improve the condition of roads, hold the condition of roads constant, or hold spending constant.

While the stronger recommendation was for the city to take out a parcel tax to bond against, thereby producing a large sum of money, the city council held off on the tax measure after polling showed a lack of support. Instead, they have budgeted nearly $4 million the past two years, most of it from general fund sources, to create a fund base to get started on tackling the long-standing problem.

The Vanguard has been warning about this problem going back at least to 2009. At the same time, it has already recognized that the infrastructure needs of the city and deferred maintenance goes well beyond roads, bike paths, and sidewalks.

Back on March 12 of this year, a Request for Proposals was issued to invite interested consultants to produce a comprehensive assessment and plan to maintain the city’s assets. The city has now taken out a Building and Parks Assessment Agreement with Kitchell CEM.

According to a consent item on Tuesday, “The agreement scope will be delivered for a fee not to exceed $175,377. Funds to support the assessment of buildings exist in currently approved FY 2014/15 program budgets and total $125,377. Funds to support the assessment of Parks facilities will come from the unallocated Park Development Impact Fee fund reserve.”

The Building and Park Facilities Assessment is “in keeping with the City Council’s interest to recognize the condition of the City’s Building and Park assets and to develop a plan to sustainably fund the maintenance and replacement of the major critical infrastructure elements.”

Where there was a 30-year Facilities Replacement Schedule for various building components, that was completed five years ago, “it did not address either the physical condition nor realistic replacement costs. A long term maintenance and replacement plan does not exist for park facility assets.”

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Staff expected the work will be completed by the end of October 2015, which will allow the information to be utilized for the next budget. Staff expects, “An inventory and assessment of approximately 77 building structures and 34 parks will be made of the major tangible assets and a report detailing the relative condition, replacement schedule, and life cycle costs that can be used by the Council during its long range fiscal planning.”

The city asks for the following tasks to be completed:

  1. Complete a physical inventory to quantify the City’s tangible assets.
  2. Assess the condition of the assets.
  3. Develop a 30-year life cycle replacement plan.
  4. Apply a forecasting formula to replacement recommendations.
  5. Review the City’s existing asset management tool (s) and make recommendations that will assist the City with managing its assets and annual fiscal decision making.
  6. Suggest best practice(s) to maintain a sustainable program.
  7. Include each site’s hardscape, pavement, and parking.
  8. Provide a project schedule including milestones.
  9. Participate in a minimum of two (2) meetings to clarify scope, approach, schedule, and progress.
  10. Identify additional material needed from the City to proceed.

While this is the first step, clearly we will have a good picture of what our infrastructure needs are for the 2016-17 budget. Moreover, it will have the information available in time for the city to consider a revenue measure on the 2016 ballot.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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8 Comments

  1. sisterhood

    I’ll be interested to read the assessment, once it’s complete – especially the assessment of the DACHA homes. Some of the residents actually made improvements to their homes. I put in a modest backyard, and two of my neighbors put in beautiful backyards. We were supposed to be reimbursed when we moved out, but the city bought the properties. We all lost our investments. Those houses were maintained pretty well, so I’m interested to read what kind of shape they’re in now that they are all rentals.

  2. Davis Progressive

    i applaud the effort of the city to finally account for infrastructure needs.  however, i believe council needs to prioritize spending and i worry about mission creep with things like pools and sports parks being prioritizied over other needs.

  3. Gunrocik

    It is a great to be undertaking the study.

    I think we already know what the answer will be:

    The amount of our unfunded capital liabilities will far exceed our ability to pay.

    It will make it crystal clear that Dan’s “tribute to soccer moms” project is well outside our current financial wherewithal.

    The question will be how Dan’s operative in the CM’s office will spin the information to meet the needs of his boss.

    Hopefully, the Council majority and the FBC will ensure that we have a healthy public airing of the results and range of solutions.

  4. TrueBlueDevil

    Am I missing something here? With a city staff of over 400, we need to hire a highly paid consultant to compile an inventory list?

    Don’t we have city building inspectors? Can’t they assess the condition of assets?

    I’d think we would have at least an intermediate report and plan, and then take it to independent “professionals” for vetting to see what needs improving.

    Can’t an experienced City Manager oversee a lot of this? Or is this a political way to shield blame and put the results onto a 3rd party?

  5. hpierce

    You are missing a lot… building inspectors look for compliance to codes… they are not trained to do appraisals of cost, nor detect defects that are already ‘built-in’.  Similar to most engineers [but they do assess and advise on utilities and streets].  Finance folk in the city crunch numbers, send/pay bills, etc.  Planners know how to process applications.  Public safety folk react to emergencies, plan to avoid them.  Park and Rec folk just try to keep up with demands…  TBD, you HNC. [have no clue]

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      But a firm isn’t required to compile an inventory list. Our highly paid city manager can’t assemble some of this via his staff at hand? … some inspectors actually come from construction, I’ve met a number who were former general contractors who didn’t want the hassle and wanted to slow things down as they headed for retirement … a seasoned inspector should be able to estimate the lifespan of a roof, etc…. I’m sure current staff would argue that they already have their plates full. Thank you for taking a shot at me.

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