The Chapel Hill Town Council has a packed agenda Wednesday for its final meeting before four new council members are sworn in next week following this month’s election.
The council will be considering whether to authorize the sale of a retiring ladder truck from the Chapel Hill Fire Department in an attempt to mitigate costs overruns from the construction of the new Fire Station 2.
Materials provided for Wednesday night’s meeting show excavation of the site for the foundation revealed “unsuitable soils and a significant subterranean ground water issue that were not identified during geological assessment of the property.”
The site, on Hamilton Road, is part of a joint development on town-owned property that will incorporate some Orange County EMS services and office space developed by East West Partners.
As part of the approved agreement for the project, the developer is paying $1.75 million of the $3 million overall price tag. But the town is responsible for the cost overruns, records show. The overruns from the foundation work currently stands at $190,000. The town will also have to fund the additional costs of the two fire poles that were designed for the station. Documents show that $10,000 was allotted for the two poles, but the actual cost to purchase and install the equipment is requiring an additional $70,000.
Officials also “anticipate that prior to the completion of this project there will be other additional expenditures beyond what has been budgeted.”
Officials estimate selling the retiring apparatus would bring in between $275,000 and $300,000. The department is set to receive a new ladder truck in January 2018.
An e-mail from town manager Roger Stancil shows that a council member asked if any of the cost overruns related to the groundwater issues could be shared with the company who conducted the survey. The town staff’s response to that question ended, “Nothing in this report would make the engineers accountable for what was found during excavation.”
The council will also consider calling a public hearing regarding the proposed sale of town-owned property at 127 West Rosemary Street on Wednesday night. The property is currently surface-level parking, but the ownership of Investors Title Company, which is located on the adjacent property, has been in talks with the town to purchase the property.
Documents show that a development agreement between the town and Investors Title, if approved by the council, would include the sale of the land to Investors Title for $300,000. The company would then use the two adjacent plots to “provide a larger, improved and reconfigured parking lot,” which would contain no less than 75 spaces and would be open as a public parking lot from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily at “commercially reasonable rates.”
The decision before the council on Wednesday night will be whether to call a public hearing on the proposal for January 17, 2018.
Other items on Wednesday night’s agenda include starting the process of rewriting the town’s Land Use Management Ordinance and considering recommendations from American Legion Task Force’s second report to the council.