GAINESVILLE, FL – The City of Gainesville, Fla., Commission passed a resolution to increase funding for the construction of a centralized garage for its fleet and utilities vehicles. The original project was estimated to cost $9.6 million in 2008; the Commission approved on Sept. 20 an additional $1.81 million for the facility construction after it was determined the original estimate would be insufficient.

According to Milton Reid, general services director, the revised plan for the facility will have 23 bays. Fueling and wash stations will stay at the current location, a dynamometer station will not be built, and square footage of “concreted” parking space was reduced from the original plan. The facility will be used to service a fleet of approximately 1,450 units from utilities, fire, police, public works, and other departments.

According to City documents, staff from the City and Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) began a study in 2002 to determine the best option for replacing one of the city’s garage facilities. It determined that a centralized facility to replace two existing facilities would “generate operational savings.” Because neighbors were concerned about facility expansion, the City Commission authorized for the search of a new location; it approved a 78-acre site in 2008. At this time, the Commission budgeted the estimated $9.6 million for the project, for property acquisition and construction. This cost would be divided evenly between the Fleet Replacement Fund and GRU.

In January, the City hired a company for construction management services, which determined that the City would need to budget additional funds to complete the project, bringing the total project budget to $11.42 million. GRU and the fleet replacement fund will equally cover the additional costs.

Reid stated that site work on the project has already begun. Estimated completion date is September 2013.

By Thi Dao